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January 29, 2018

Walnut Hill Reservoir

You may have heard that the Omaha Municipal Land Bank is interested in purchasing the Walnut Hill Reservoir site on the southeast corner of 40th and Hamilton Streets. While the Land Bank has been in discussion with Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) about the potential acquisition of that site, at this time no portion of the site is available for sale, no agreement is in place for acquisition and there are no plans for redevelopment.

Upcoming Public Meeting

The City Planning Department is working with neighborhood associations in the area to host a public meeting about future development at the Walnut Hill Reservoir site. That meeting will be held on Monday, February 5th from 6:30-8 pm at the 40th Street Theatre at 4006 ½ Hamilton Street. The Land Bank will be available at the meeting to discuss what we do and how we involve neighborhoods in redevelopment.

A postcard of the Walnut Hill Reservoir from the 1930s. (Image from www.digitalcommonwealth.org)

The Walnut Hill Reservoir in 2017. (Image by the Omaha Municipal Land Bank)

Walnut Hill Reservoir Site

The Walnut Hill Reservoir and park sit on the southeast corner of 40th and Hamilton Streets. Metropolitan Utilities District owns the entire approximately 16-acre site from 38th Street to 40th Street and from Nicholas Street to Hamilton Street.

Looking at the image below, you can see the park on the east portion of the site, the active pumphouse sitting in the middle of the site, and empty reservoirs (dark areas) on the west side of the site. The reservoirs have been empty and unused for several years and are currently planned for future demolition by MUD.

You can find a great history of the Walnut Hill Reservoir (and lots of other things too!) on the North Omaha History website.

The Walnut Hill Reservoir site. (Image courtesy of the Omaha Land Bank; aerial background from Google Maps)

Potential Development

The Omaha Land Bank is interested in acquiring the Walnut Hill Reservoir. Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for transforming distressed properties into community assets and we believe this site could be a perfect fit for redevelopment. While we have been in discussion about acquiring the site, currently, MUD has not offered any portion of the site to the Land Bank and no development is planned.

If the Land Bank were ever to acquire the site, it would be considered as one of our land assembly properties. For our land assembly properties, we start with community engagement to determine best use for the property, then, in accordance with our disposition policy, we issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to developers interested in purchasing the site. The RFP would include information discovered in the community engagement phase and we would expect developers to take that into account in their proposal for development. The Land Bank Board would review those proposals and either accept or reject them, always with the needs of the surrounding community in mind. Board decisions on RFPs would happen at a Board Meeting, which are open to the public. You can find the agenda for upcoming Board Meetings here, published the Monday prior to the meeting.

The Land Bank will soon have two land assemblies available for sale on the Hamilton Street Corridor; one at 36th Street and one at 41st Street. We will be in contact with neighborhood associations about upcoming public engagement opportunities for development at those sites. Please fill out our contact form if you would like to be notified personally as well.

Have a Question or Comment?

Please reach out! You can email info@omlb.org, call us at 402-800-1240 or submit a comment on our comment form. We value the input of our community partners and neighbors and would love to talk to you about what we do and how we can do it even better!