- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Ideas about what to do with soon-to-be-vacant Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha are emerging as a real estate marketer is looking to sell the property.

Proposed uses for the facility include a data center, housing, offices and research space, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1FWZ6wa ) reports.

James Maenner, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis/Mega Real Estate, said no new use for the facility is too far-fetched, including vertical farming. He’s looking into options with potential users.

The firm has listed the 795,000-square-foot medical center and parking stalls, and is marketing the property nationally.

“Given the uniqueness, it could be one of the most creative mixed uses ever,” Maenner said. “We’re saying, ‘Make an offer.’”

The facility will be vacated in 2017, after the teaching hospital and trauma center move to the Bergan Mercy Medical Center complex.

Creighton vice president for administration John Wilhelm says the university prefers that the facility be repurposed and not demolished. He said they’re open to different concepts and haven’t set a price.

“We’d like to see something that benefits midtown Omaha, the surrounding neighborhoods,” Wilhelm said.

Selling the medical center should bring about more redevelopment in the area, said Jim Champion, former chairman of Destination Midtown. He said the new use should fit the neighborhood’s “ecletic” mix of urban farms and Friday night markets.

“If you can put together jobs, along with new amenities the neighborhood wants and needs, that’s a home run,” he said.

Chris Foster of the Gifford Park Neighborhood Association said the group believes it’s important to find the right development, “even if it takes longer.” The neighborhood association backs putting a public elementary school on a medical center parking lot.

Wilhelm said the university is looking for a buyer interested in the entire property, but that the parking stalls could come into play if the facility is repurposed for a different use.


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

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