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A new addition to Omaha hospital

By Cindy Gonzalez / World-Herald staff writer

A two-story office building set to rise at 85th and Cass Streets will join an existing “sibling” structure next door to create an administrative-services campus for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

Lanoha Development has started ground work for the new 30,000-square-foot structure to be built on land previously occupied by two homes and a vacant lot.

The site is near Children’s home base at 8200 Dodge St.

“As the city has grown and changed, so has the demand in the area,” said Jason Lanoha, whose firm is developing the new building. The land was rezoned from residential to allow the office structure. One of the houses on the lot was recently demolished; the second is to be torn down in August.

Lanoha said he had been seeking land near the central Dodge corridor that can be built on. He said offices in the area are aging and tenants want fresh space.

The estimated completion date of the $6 million project is August 2016, at which time Children’s plans to take ownership, said Scott Kaminski, vice president of support services for the hospital.

He said the hospital’s need for more administrative space has grown as it increases the number of physicians in its pediatric practice.

Children’s has a dozen physicians office locations in the Omaha area, Kaminski said, and is opening another in Council Bluffs in a little more than a month.

As planned, the new 85th and Cass Streets structure will contain 20,000 square feet of office space and an additional 10,000 square feet for underground parking.

Next door, at 8552 Cass St., is an existing building containing about 34,000 square feet of office space that Children’s bought a year ago and has renovated. The pair will serve as a mini-campus for administrative services that is within walking distance of the main hospital, Kaminski said.

“Staff can walk as opposed to having to jump in the car,” he said.

While the new building won’t be a clone of its neighbor, Lanoha said it’s designed to be a “sibling” with similar features, including glass walls that allow natural light. An open staircase and atrium will connect the first and second floors.

Children’s employees currently working in 14,000 square feet of leased space near 90th Street and Western Avenue will move to the new building.

Kaminski said Children’s expects to reduce operating costs by owning, rather than renting. He said the new office building should allow room for workforce growth.

Some had speculated that Children’s might be interested in the HDR campus that will be vacated in 2019 when the engineering and architecture firm moves from its location near 84th Street and West Dodge Road to its planned headquarters in downtown Omaha.

But Kaminski said HDR’s two buildings were too big and didn’t fit Children’s needs. Plus, he said, the hospital’s need for space is more immediate — “not four years from now.”