Greater Omaha Chamber Courtyard and Parking Plaza
The Greater Omaha Chamber Courtyard and Parking Plaza was envisioned to transform a 0.8 acre parking lot directly adjacent to Chamber's building into a public plaza that would become an active gathering space for the community, while still providing urban parking spaces for lease. The Chamber also wished to create a space that would embrace the vitality of the neighboring Old Market retail and dining district.
HDR took the conception of the idea through initial design, fundraising and construction with a design-build agreement with Kiewit Building Group. The plan called for a lighted vertical landmark denoting the presence of the Chamber while having the ability to draw visitors from the Old Market. The space is activated through the use of a small water feature and several movable tables and chairs, as well as being a free Wi-Fi zone. At the core of the plaza, a large LED screen displays important community events and plays University of Nebraska football games, broadcasts concerts and hosts evening movies for special events. A permanent vendor kiosk gives a space for rotating vendors to sell wares and doubles as storage and security.
The plaza visually improves the street corner by upgrading the streetscape in association with the city's standards, and through the addition of landscaping, acts as a display garden for a variety of native Nebraska grasses and wildflowers.