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CRE Summit Honors Organizations’ And Individuals’ Contributions 4/5/17  04/06/17 10:35:32 AM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

Some of the honorees at the CRE Summit were (from left): Zac Gemar, vice president of construction at Noddle Companies; Barry Zoob, senior vice president, Colliers International; Eric L. Keen, PE - chief operating officer and vice chairman at HDR; Jay Noddle, CEO and president of Noddle Companies; and Ted Zetzman, executive vice president & director of development at Noddle Companies.

CRE Summit Honors Organizations’
And  Individuals’ Contributions To Omaha’s Growth

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

HDR Headquarters, Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, and UNMC/Nebraska Medicine shared the spotlight with Hall of Famers – Ellen Albrecht, Keith Basham, Timothy F. Holland, Dennis P. Hogan, and Dan Smith – last month at the CRE Summit, when all were honored for their contributions to Omaha’s growth.
The Deal of the Year was awarded to HDR Headquarters for its Aksarben Village, Zone 6, office building, which will stand 10 stories tall, and will include shops, restaurants and parking. Put together in just 90-days – a “compacted time frame” deemed as “miraculous” – the project required a group of about 48 employees to roll up their sleeves, and work evenings and weekends to put everything together.
 “We’re all part of this fantastic industry,” said Jay Noddle, President and CEO of Noddle Companies. “The Omaha business community presents opportunities for all of us.”
The three-phase HDR project should be completed November 2018, and “will become the epicenter of Aksarben Village.” It will have 500,000 square feet of office space, 250 apartments, a penthouse, and 2,100 parking spaces. Like the rest of Aksarben Village, it will be a mix of office and retail.
The Deal of the Year is based on the creativity, difficulty, and complexity of a deal that occurred within the 2016-2017 calendar year.
For the first time ever, a “community-minded real estate project” was given the Development of the Year. The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium was honored for its $73 million, 28-acre African Grasslands, which is the largest project in the Zoo’s history.
“I was a bit surprised (to hear about the honor),” said Dennis Pate, executive director and CEO. “We’ve never been categorized as real estate.”
The African Grasslands has 12 animal exhibits, 19 animal species, and 13 buildings and structures … it’s ¼ of the zoo’s size. “We have improved access to the zoo; we have ADA accessible pathways. We’ve eliminated dead ends, and added a bridge. We have a 30,000-square-foot elephant barn, and a 14,000-square-foot giraffe area. We also built an African lodge that gives visitors 180-degree, panoramic views.”
The latest project is part of the 2010 Master Plan, he added, and “there is a lot still happening at the zoo.”
The Development of the Year is based on the creativity, difficulty, and complexity of development that occurred within the 2016-17 calendar year. The African Grassland opened in May 2016.
Jerry Slusky, founder of the CRE Summit, gave three Chairman’s Awards to the media – The Omaha-World Herald, The Daily Record, and The Midlands Business Journal – before inducting Dan Smith of Smith Slusky Law, Tim Holland and Keith Basham, both of Holland Basham Architects; Denny Hogan of Pansing Hogan Ernst & Bachman; and Ellen Albrecht of First American Title Insurance Company into the CRE Summit Hall of Fame. Mayor Jean Stothert handed out the awards.
The luncheon concluded with Randy Thelen, senior vice president – Greater Omaha Economic Development presenting the Summit Award to the Nebraska Medicine/UNMC. This inaugural award recognizes the entity that encompasses the economic, cultural, and civic influence that the nominee has on Omaha’s industry and community.  
Now in its 28th year, the Summit is an opportunity for professionals to earn continuing education credits and to network. The day began at 8:15 a.m. with a Welcome and Highlights overview by Slusky, featured breakout sessions on such diverse topics as pre-construction issues, industrial sector growth, and the explosion of multi-family dwellings, and concluded with the keynote speaker, Bill Rancic, an entrepreneur who won the first season of NBC’s The Apprentice.
For more information, go to www.attendCRESummit.com.
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