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Mutual of Omaha one step closer to downtown skyscraper after Omaha City Council approves plan

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 19:35:57-04

OMAHA. NEB. (KMTV) — The Omaha City Council agreed to a complicated and multi-layered plan on Tuesday that sets the table for Mutual of Omaha to put a tower downtown, with a streetcar to go alongside it.

"The impact of economic growth and development and opportunity for jobs is incredible and much to talk about for years to come,” said City Councilmember Juanita Johnson.

In the plan, the City of Omaha is required to grant Mutual of Omaha $68 million dollars in tax increment financing (TIF) for its skyscraper, and if Mutual wants it, the city would sell off the block between the new riverfront park and the library.

The city will also buy the parking garage inside the new skyscraper for a total of $99 million, or $45,000 per stall, paid for with bonds.

The agreement also spells out a few things the City of Omaha intends to commit to down the road: such as buy three parking garages from Mutual of Omaha at Midtown Crossing and build a streetcar system.

City Council President Pete Festersen said they're still looking for more data on how the streetcar would impact Omaha.

"We've requested a lot more information on it and its financial impact, and it's still a work in progress, and I would say it's been a little frustrating getting those details in the last several months but I think it is getting better in the last week or two,” said Festersen.

Also included in the agreement is a land swap with the city, which will receive the property on 14th and Dodge at a predicted valuation of roughly $6 million, and Mutual of Omaha will officially get the downtown library site valued at roughly $7 million.

The city council still needs to approve the demolition of the W. Dale Clark Library at a later date.

The plan also requires the city to take over maintenance of Turner Park down the road. Currently, Mutual of Omaha funds the upkeep of the park.

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