- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Developers want to transform an old mail terminal in downtown Omaha into the headquarters of a construction company and space for startup businesses.

Owner and president Jon Crane of Boyd Jones Construction and co-developer Matt Dougherty hatched the $25 million plan for the building that’s expected to undergo renovations starting this summer, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1FdLhHn ) reported.

An entire floor would be reserved for up to 90 startup firms and a restaurant, while high ceilings would allow for an extra floor level to be built, making a total of five stories and 99,000 square feet. Indoor parking would be on a lower level and a rooftop is planned.

“It’s just unique,” Crane said. “The views are so cool. New and affordable housing is nearby. I love that the rails are right there, and that you can grab an Amtrak train and go coast to coast.”

Developers seek a subsidy of more than $2 million in city tax-increment financing to help repurpose the structure, which to be called the Rail and Commerce Building.

State and federal historic tax credits totaling around $4 million also will help remodel the building that has been used like a storage warehouse for objects, including a plane, a boat and antiques. The historic tax credits ensure the preservation of the building’s original features, such as mail chutes, terrazzo flooring and the lobby vault door.

Crane said he’s thrilled for the opportunity to honor the past while adding to the revival of the area.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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