On March 20th, Omaha World Herald announced that Tetrad Property Group was pulling out of redeveloping site of the former Civic Auditorium. The developer was asking for about $90 million in incentives and the Mayor decided that was a price beyond what the city has offered to other developers.
Before cancelling the deal, Tetrad and the city planned to build a parking garage in addition to the garage already on the property. Please note that there are two parking garages adjacent to the site, as well, plus the numerous surface lots beneath the I-480. This type of planning does not demonstrate any vision for the transportation future of Omaha.
With the expansion of Creighton University, the continued development of North Downtown, and the on going efforts to revitalize our downtown as more than a commuter destination, we have an opportunity with the civic center site. We can create a four-square-block mega development that begins with the assumption that the site will be accessed predominantly be single occupancy automobiles, or we can develop the site in a manner that increases connectivity, values and accommodates all modes of transportation.
We’d like to know what YOU think! Removing all barriers of budget, profitability, TIF, practicality, current zoning, past efforts, and conventional wisdom, let us know what would YOU want to see at the site of the civic auditorium. Your only limits are the current streets bounding the site — within those boundaries, you can do anything. What would you do? Send your ideas to email@example.com . Drawings, land use proposals, animations, text descriptions, poems, images of foam-board models or sculpted mashed potatoes. You decide what goes between 17th and 19th, Capitol and Chicago in downtown Omaha. Let us know why your idea is valuable — not profitable, but how does it add value to the immediate and broader community? We will publish the best ideas on this blog.