A busy stretch of West Dodge Road in central Omaha may be poised for a new life — again.
Last month, Methodist Health System began construction of a new three-story, $30 million corporate headquarters near 168th and Pacific Streets.
After the 160,000-square-foot building is completed in late 2018, the health system’s administrative offices — and the roughly 800 employees currently housed there — will relocate, vacating a spot on the south side of West Dodge Road at 85th Street that the health system has occupied for several decades.
Investors Realty already has listed the 12.3-acre property for sale. The package includes two buildings — a 104,000-square-foot structure at 8511 West Dodge Road and a 50,000-square-foot building at 8601 West Dodge Road.
Tim Kerrigan, the firm’s vice president, said he believes potential buyers may be interested in redeveloping the site with a high-density, mixed-use plan in mind. The mix, he said, could include office space, hospitality, residential, restaurants and service businesses.
The site is a “premier location” on Omaha’s primary east-west corridor, he said, anchored by two large hospitals — Methodist Hospital and the soon-to-expand Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. It’s also within a half-mile of several large employers.
“That doesn’t mean a buyer couldn’t reuse the buildings,” he said. “But our vision, in this dynamic market we’re in, is that a developer would want to redevelop the site.”
Kerrigan said the property is listed for $15 million. He said the firm has heard from a number of people who have expressed interest, but he declined to name them. The firm has set a due date for offers of Oct. 2 in order to give prospective buyers plenty of time to consider the property.
“Everybody that’s interested will have time to look at it,” he said.
The relocation plan does not affect Methodist Hospital, which will remain at its current location at 8303 Dodge St.
But health system officials have said the administrative offices are nearing the end of their useful life. Information and technology needs have evolved and continue to grow. The current buildings — both built more than 50 years ago — can’t be adapted to keep up with those demands.
The new and updated site out west, they said, will consolidate all of the system’s executive, finance, marketing, human resources, information technology and other support services under the same roof. The new, state-of-the-art quarters will allow the health system to do more with slightly less space than in the two West Dodge buildings. Also housed in the current corporate complex are Methodist Physicians Clinic administration and legal offices, a large ballroom meeting space and a corporate cafeteria.
Recruiting new talent was a factor in the decision to relocate. Officials wanted a site in close proximity to its three hospitals and more than 25 clinic sites, which stretch from Council Bluffs to west Omaha.
The existing buildings have a bit of a history. The 8511 structure, built in 1960, once was home to Schimmel’s Indian Hills Inn. After Methodist bought it in 1968, the structure became the dormitory for Methodist student nurses. It became the health system’s corporate headquarters in the mid-1980s.
The smaller 8601 structure was built in 1964. Methodist purchased it in 2001 and remodeled it.
(The property is also the former home of the Indian Hills movie theater, which the health system razed in 2001 for parking.)
Kerrigan said the property includes large parking lots, enough to have accommodated one of the city’s largest employers. But a redevelopment, he said, would almost certainly include a parking garage.
“It’s just a piece of property for sale right now,” he said.
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