Lanoha Development Company is building a new skyscraper in downtown Omaha on 14th and Dodge Streets.

The 696,500 square-foot structure will be an office tower and mixed-use development, including a nine-story parking structure with 34,500 square-foot ground retail, two towers for corporate office space and other potential hospitality tenants.

It will also feature a 27,000 square-foot sky patio and lobby.

This development is still early in the preliminary design phase, but it is estimated to cost $200 million.

Developer Jason Lanoha and his company bought the full city block in 2014.

Lanoha Development could not be reached via email or phone call for comment, but recent World-Herald reporting detailed the sky patio and lobby as a prominent social spot, complete with restaurants, bars and a fitness center overlooking downtown.

“As the name of the game is attracting and retaining a talented workforce, we believe it will be well-received by the end users,” Lanoha said. “We believe the health of a city starts with its downtown, and it is important for us to add to the skyline.”

In addition, the World-Herald said that housing is “deliberately excluded,” because Lanoha doesn’t envision citizens of Omaha paying the high rent that would be required.

Matthew Averett, associate professor of art history in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, said that he sees this project as a good thing.

“This is a big hole in the urban fabric of the city and filling that hole is necessary,” Dr. Averett said. “It’s all the better if the new building can produce revenue, as office buildings often do. I should think the hope is that this will financially benefit the city.”

He also sees the structure having “significant visual appeal” and thinks it will complement the other two skyscrapers in the city.

“Buildings such as these often are symbols of a growing city.”

Averett also said that the new parking the building offers will benefit everyone, considering what he described as the lack of sufficient parking downtown has currently.

“I can only assume that there is demand for this quantity of new office space, and it is probably good for such spaces to be built in the city as opposed to something like a new office park out in suburbia,” Averett said.

He said he didn’t envision many negative effects of the project.

“A potential downside is that Omaha doesn’t need this much new office space, which would mean that the new space would sit empty, or it would attract businesses from other buildings and then those spaces would sit empty,” he said. “But in the long run, new spaces like this are generally viewed as important elements in fashioning a city that businesses want to be in.”

Overall, Averett believes the positive results outweigh the negative ones.

“The hope here would be that this new building boasting iconic design and modern office space will attract new businesses to Omaha,” he said. “It is necessary for Omaha to continue [expanding] in order to compete with other similar cities in the area.”

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