How It All Started
The Birth of Midtown Crossing
Midtown Crossing’s story began in 2002 when representatives of Midtown’s large and small businesses, neighborhood associations, residents and city leaders met at Mutual of Omaha to discuss their concern over the future of the neighborhood. The result of this meeting was the Destination Midtown project, which began with a detailed study of the neighborhood, identifying opportunities to stabilize and revitalize the area. A strong recommendation of the Destination Midtown study was the development of a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood that would bring much-needed retail to serve current Midtown residents as well as new residential offerings to attract residents to the area.
The Destination Midtown initiative was occurring at the same time Mutual of Omaha was driving significant changes in its business, leaving it with under-utilized real estate in a several-block area immediately east of its headquarters building.
These events – along with the company’s visionary leadership – led to the transformation of Mutual of Omaha’s surplus property into Midtown Crossing, a million-square-foot mixed-use urban redevelopment project.
On May 18, 2005, Mutual of Omaha announced that it would launch a feasibility study to determine if a mixed-use urban neighborhood was appropriate for the property adjacent to its headquarters building. ECI Investment Advisors, Inc. was charged with completing an economic analysis, feasibility reviews, environmental studies and cost estimates. In announcing the feasibility study, Mutual Chairman and CEO Dan Neary said: “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.”
After more than a year of study, design and planning, on Oct. 19, 2006 Mutual announced its plans to proceed with Midtown Crossing and unveiled details of the project, which featured a million-square-feet of commercial and residential space in seven buildings, an expanded and revitalized Turner Park, and parking for more than 3,000 vehicles. ECI Investment Advisors was named developer of the project.
Following extensive site preparation that included the demolition of no fewer than eight buildings and the removal of 10,000 truckloads of dirt, ground was officially broken for the project on Sept. 20, 2007.
Their hard work began to come to fruition on Nov. 6, 2009, when Midtown Crossing’s first business, Marcus Midtown Cinema, opened to rave reviews. Prairie Life Fitness soon followed, beginning the cascade of openings that continues to this day.
Exactly five years after announcing the feasibility study that lead to Midtown Crossing at Turner Park, the community gathered in Turner Park on May 18, 2010 to officially cut the ribbon on Omaha’s most exciting new urban development.