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Destination: Midtown Crossing

Photos Courtesy of Midtown Crossing

Photos Courtesy of Midtown Crossing

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TURNER PARK, in the 80s and 90s (like a once-polished gentleman who had fallen on rough times, with frayed collars and perpetual five o’clock shadow) had seen better days. There were the odd Mutual of Omaha employees enjoying alfresco, brown bag lunches, rubbing proverbial, not literal, elbows with everyone from the homeless and itinerant workers currently unemployed, to drug dealers pushing their goods, to young mothers pushing strollers. Dining options along Farnam Street were limited to Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Chicago Bar. The “modern” Twin Towers and a number of red brick, pre-war apartment complexes along Dodge and circling Dewey Park provided the area’s living accommodations. Retail, other than the fabulous Frank’s Antiques, was non-existent.

Turner Park was ripe for renovation. At least that is what Midtown’s neighborhood associations, businesses, residents, and city leaders thought. When these Destination Midtown representatives met at Mutual of Omaha in 2002, it marked the beginning of the MIDTOWN CROSSING project.

The project conducted an extensive study of the neighborhood, seeking ways to both stabilize and revitalize the area, says MOLLY SKOLD, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING FOR MIDTOWN CROSSING. The study revealed that there was a strong market for the development of a mixed-use neighborhood incorporating living, retail, dining, entertainment, and service outlets all within walking distance of one another.

Mutual of Omaha, at the same time, was considering alternative uses for its surplus land directly east of its headquarters. DAN NEARY, MUTUAL CHAIRMAN AND CEO, says, “We wouldn’t be doing our duty as a corporate citizen if we didn’t explore the maximum potential for this property. As a leader in Destination Midtown, we know our neighborhood is primed for revitalization.”

And revitalized it was. Construction on the million-square-foot retail and residential space and reincarnated Turner Park began in September 2007. The years of discussion and feasibility studies, breaking ground and hauling dirt, erecting seven buildings and filling them with tenants drew to a close when Marcus Midtown Cinema became the first business in MIDTOWN CROSSING.

The flood gates were open. New tenants continue to fill vacant store fronts; those looking for an upscale, urban living experience have already filled Midtown Crossing’s apartments, and condo sales have been brisk.

“A big component of Midtown Crossing is our residential living,” says Skold. “NEARLY 100 PERCENT OF APARTMENTS ARE LEASED; we currently have a waiting list.”

Condo sales exceeded 2010 goals. In fact, the condos in Midtown Crossing “are the fastest selling condo product in Omaha history,” Skold states. Sales are currently limited to Phase One, Building 4,the main middle unit of Midtown Crossing, with approximately 97 condos.


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