Many businesses and municipalities that have worked with Valley Corporation over the years may know us for only one facet or another of our construction services in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Every so often, however, we get to take on a project that calls on the full breadth and depth of our decades of experience. Our latest undertaking, The Mercantile (also known by the more prosaic “Hines Mixed-Use Project, Phase 1A Demolition and Public Improvements”), does exactly that.

The Mercantile: Vision

When Conagra announced that it was pulling up stakes after nearly a century in downtown Omaha, many Nebraskans were worried; the company and the state have a long history together, and Conagra contributed mightily to the local economy and job market. Some 1,300 key personnel — food scientists, creatives, and other professionals — would remain behind, but it was clear things wouldn’t be quite the same.

That closing window opened a door. Four years after that announcement came another: Conagra would undertake a redevelopment plan in conjunction with international real estate firm Hines, giving over an unused portion of its campus to a new mixed-use complex overlooking Heartland of America Park Lake.

Nothing about the development, from its pace and thoroughness right down to its name, was accidental. As Hines pointed out in their press release inaugurating the project,

The word ‘Mercantile’ channels both simplicity and sophistication. It speaks to a place where people come together – not just to engage in trade or commerce, but to interact and share ideas. The name aligns with the heart of the development, Nebraska’s pioneering past and the inspiring call of Omaha’s motto – Fortiter in Re – to advance “Courageously in every enterprise.”

When it’s complete, The Mercantile will sprawl across 23 acres, comprising a half-billion-dollar hub containing hundreds of apartments, tens of thousands of feet of retail space, a new parking structure, and other accommodations for commerce, entertainment, and businesses.

The Mercantile: Execution

After a lengthy planning phase, work on The Mercantile began in February, 2020. Valley Corporation is spearheading much of the early work on the project, including the demolition of a parking garage, Conagra’s former executive offices, and the existing utilities that service the area. Once demolition, excavation, backfill, surcharge and site grading are complete, we will be constructing new water mains, sanitary sewers, and storm sewers. Further work extending Harney Street by two blocks and 8th Street by one block will also take place. We’ve found Hines an ideal partner in this venture, and we’re excited to do our part in bringing it to fruition; once it’s finished, it will be a visible reminder in the present of Omaha’s vibrant future.

Working With Valley Corporation

Valley Corporation understands the Midwest. Our roots in Valley, NE stretch back to 1972, and we’re proudly and firmly a family company. Our clients and employees alike are made to feel valued — their successes are our successes. For help tackling your most challenging projects, whether you’re undertaking new construction, repairing and retrofitting older structures, or revitalizing a downtown area, consult with us today.