New Live Music Venue Celebrates Construction Milestone

By 
Derek Noehren
The Daily Record

A new downtown live music venue celebrated a construction landmark Tuesday with a topping out ceremony for Steelhouse Omaha between Dodge Street and Capitol Avenue from 11th to 12th streets sandwiched between the Holland Performing Arts Center and the Capitol District.

The ceremony — hosted by Omaha Performing Arts and the Kiewit Building Group — celebrated the structure being fully framed, with the final steel beam being hoisted and installed at the top of the structure.

Workers attached an evergreen tree and an American flag to the beam. The tree is a tradition signifying that a milestone was completed safely, while the flag signifies the proud Americans who have worked on the project.

Steelhouse Omaha broke ground in May and is on pace to be completed in mid-2023. The project is part of the planned expansion of the Omaha Performing Arts and entertainment campus near the Holland Performing Arts Center and will provide flexible space to accommodate audiences of 1,500 to 3,000. Ennead Architechts  the same company that designed the Holland Performing Arts Center — is also behind Steelhouse Omaha.

“It has been exciting to watch the construction proceed and to see the building changing every day,” said Joan Squires, president of Omaha Performing Arts. “This venue will further transform downtown Omaha and we can’t wait to welcome artists and patrons to Steelhouse Omaha in mid-2023.”

Squires said she believes Steelhouse Omaha will fill and unfilled niche in the current Omaha music scene.

“We’re going to be bringing touring bands that have not always come to Omaha because they need a bigger capacity,” she said. “This (will be) a chance to hear bands that are too big for the Orpheum and too small for CHI Health. We think it’s just going to add to the wonderful entertainment options.”

Speaking in May when the project broke ground, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert praised the value she believes Steelhouse Omaha will bring to the city, specifically downtown.

“Omaha is once again transforming our downtown into an exciting destination that will support and inspire future generations of citizens and visitors,” Stothert said. “Omaha Performing Arts’ commitment to expansion through Steelhouse Omaha reinforces the tremendous public, private and non-profit partnerships we have created to ensure continued growth and success throughout our city.”

The projected was greenlit after the Omaha Performing Arts Board of Directors approved moving forward with construction on the $103 million venue, which includes $1.1 million in public funds from the City of Omaha.

For more information and for renderings of the exterior and interior, visit o-pa.org/our-venues/steelhouse-omaha.

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