By David G. Brown, president & CEO
This is an incredibly exciting time for the Greater Omaha Chamber. With you and for you, we are elevating our community in significant and tangible ways. Now, to accelerate our regional impact, we are about to launch a bold, new chapter in the life of our organization.
During the first quarter of 2018, we will be moving from our long-time location on Harney Street to a new headquarters on the Conagra campus.
With our expectations, agenda and staff steadily expanding, our need for more space had become all too apparent and renovation, we learned, was simply not cost-feasible.
To help guide the search for a new location, we organized a building committee, chaired by Dana Bradford, and after thoroughly reviewing several proposals, we determined the former Conagra Brands building #5 best fit our current and future needs and checked all of our criteria boxes. The cost, for one, had to fall below market rates. The office also needed to:
- Be located in the central business district
- Be part of a redevelopment project for which we could be a catalyst
- Offer parking as part of the solution
Now that a lease has been signed, DLR Group is finalizing the design of the new space and we will soon be going out to bid for the tenant improvements. If all goes well, we should be able to be in the new space Q1 2018; a space that offers us approximately 23,000 square feet of top floor office space with lobby access for visitors, meeting rooms and plenty of parking.
Our Chamber staff and volunteers do amazing work in our current location despite its limitations. This new location will allow us to be even more effective in serving you and our region because of the efficiency of the space and location, which moves us closer to the center of the Old Market, and even closer to the Capitol District and the NODO area – right in the middle of all of the action!
The Chamber is all about quality growth and positive change, and this move will not only impact our ability to operate; it will have a profound impact on our community. The redevelopment that can occur at the Harney Street location has the potential to positively impact business in the Old Market, along with the proposed street car route and 13th Street, and even complement the development that continues along Gene Leahy Mall. At the same time, as Conagra continues to develop its former headquarters site, we will be tenants in a key building, supporting the continuation of 1,200 Conagra employees on the site and much more development in the future. Very exciting opportunities!
I hope you are as thrilled about the move as I am. This is going to be great for us – and for the region we serve. Many thanks to our building committee for its guidance and insights and to Conagra Brands for working so hard to make this project a success. A heartfelt thank you to you for your membership, which strengthens and allows our organization to flourish. And to our Chamber leadership – thank you so much for thinking about what the future could be in a new location.