The Omaha Commercial Real Estate Market

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For years, the Omaha commercial real estate market has proven to be a stable, steadily growing region, ripe with opportunities that attract brokers and principles alike. When discovering commercial real estate opportunities, investors rely on data to make informed, profit-driving decisions. Crexi bridges the gap between the different parties, helping tenants, buyers, and brokers find the best deals in the market.

On any given day, millions of buyers and tenants use the platform’s search tool to find Omaha properties that match their criteria. Thousands of brokers also use Crexi’s sales and leasing suite of tools  to connect and transact with leads. 

Crexi’s goal is to centralize the transaction process in an online hub where commercial real estate buyers, brokers, tenants, and appraisers enjoy complete transparency throughout each deal. Helping brokers close $440 billion in asset sales and representing upward of $5 trillion in value since its 2016 launch, Crexi is proud to serve Omaha as the fastest-growing online commercial real estate marketplace. 

Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge spans the Missouri river in Omaha

The State of Commercial Real Estate in Omaha

The Omaha metro area is one of the Midwest’s premier business growth and investment locations. 

Located on the Missouri River, it’s accessible to interstate highways and railroads, making it an ideal location for businesses seeking easy access for customers and shipments. The region is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and smaller local companies that are driving innovation and economic development in the area.

With its mixed-use real estate developments, easy access to transportation, talented workforce, and many investment options, Omaha offers plenty of advantages for businesses looking to make a move into the city or for investors looking to buy or sell commercial real estate in Omaha.

Omaha Regional Breakdown

The Omaha metro area – including counties in Iowa and Nebraska – is slowly but surely inching closer to a population of 1 million, according to recent news reports. Between 2010 and 2020, the population of the city of Omaha increased by nearly 19%, almost three times faster than the growth in Nebraska:

  • Omaha is home to 487,300 in the city, 585,000 in Douglas County (where Omaha is the county seat), and 967,600 in the metropolitan area.
  • According to the US Census Bureau, the city has added more than 78,300 residents since 2010, while Douglas County grew by nearly 67,900 over the same period.
  • Major cities in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area include Bellevue, Council Bluffs, Papillon, La Vista, and Fremont.
  • The median age in Omaha is 36.7, a little less than the figure in the US.
  • 40% of the population is between the ages of 20 and 49.
  • Per capita income is $39,782, and median household income is $73,720, both figures about 10% higher than the amount in Nebraska, according to Census Reporter.
Omaha with creek flowing through city

The Omaha Job Market

Omaha, Nebraska, is nicknamed “Silicon Prairie” due to its burgeoning tech industry. The city’s affordable living costs have been a draw for entrepreneurs looking to launch businesses on a budget, according to US News & World Report. This has led to an influx of individuals in the IT and computer science fields seeking employment opportunities in the Omaha metro area:

  • Fastest-growing job sectors in Omaha include construction, manufacturing, education and health services, and professional and business services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Unemployment in Omaha is at a historic low of 2.5%.
  • GDP for Omaha-Council Bluffs NE-IA is $73.9 billion, increasing by nearly 49% over the past ten years.
  • Metropolitan Omaha is home to over 45,000 businesses and Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies like Berkshire Hathaway, Aflac, Union Pacific, Pacific Life, Mutual of Omaha, and TD Ameritrade.
  • Target industries in Omaha include medtech and life science, financial services, logistics and manufacturing, agribusiness and biochem, and military and defense.
  • Omaha is home to Offutt Air Force Base and over 65 defense-related companies.
  • Greater Omaha’s major employers are Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska Medicine, CHI, Methodist Health System, First National Bank, and Mutual of Omaha.
  • Nearly 39% of residents hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree, about 10% higher than the rate in Nebraska and the US.
  • ranks Omaha as the 2nd best place to live in Nebraska, with high scores for housing, public schools, diversity, and nightlife.
  • There are 11 colleges and universities in the Omaha area, including the University of Nebraska Omaha, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Creighton University.
  • Omaha is a crucial transportation hub in the Midwest, served by a ring of interstate highways, railroads, motor freight, air, and river transportation with easy access to I-80 and I-29.

Transportation infrastructure includes:

  • Major rail centers such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian National Railway Company, and Union Pacific Railroad; 
  • 29 direct flights, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington DC. 
  • Barge traffic that can navigate the Missouri River 10 months of the year.
A panoramic view across the river at downtown Omah Nebraska

Omaha Industrial Market

Omaha’s industrial market experienced a remarkable year in 2022, with a record-breaking amount of positive absorption, newly completed construction projects, and new lease agreements. As businesses and investors take note of the region’s thriving economy, vacancy levels plummeted to an unprecedented low of 2.2%, while rents rose 8.4% from the previous year. Here are the most recent industrial trends in Omaha from Cushman & Wakefield:

  • Total industrial inventory: 103,217,170 SF
  • Overall asking rent: $7.07/SF per year, NNN
  • Vacancy rate: 2.2%
  • Absorption: 5,159,277 SF in 2022
  • Key lease transactions by tenant: UPS 165,052 SF, Packaging Corporation of America 163,699 SF, Ford Storage and Logistics 150,280 SF
  • New construction: 2,517,122 SF under construction with 4,233,112 SF in 22 buildings delivered in 2022
  • Investment sales trends: $51.9 million (through Q3 2022), market cap rate 7.4% (NAR Commercial
  • Largest industrial submarkets: Sarpy West, South Central Omaha, Northeast Omaha, Southwest Omaha

Discover Omaha industrial space for lease. 

A brick factory in downtown Omaha

Omaha Office Market

The Omaha office market ended last year with positive net absorption, outperforming the national office sector. Despite lingering uncertainties due to the pandemic, it remains resilient, and there is strong interest expected into 2023, according to Colliers. The demand for office space in Omaha has proven to be far less volatile than in other markets across the US.

  • Total office inventory: 35,045,354 SF
  • Direct asking rents: $26.31/SF per year, full-service gross
  • Vacancy rate: 9.2% market total
  • Absorption: 120,554 SF in 2022
  • Key leases by tenant (Cushman & Wakefield Q4 2022): Applied Underwriters 50,207 SF, Markel Services 39,205 SF, Highline Warren 24,535 SF
  • New construction: 436,935 SF under construction, with 129,438 SF delivered in 2022
  • Investment sales trends: $29.3 million in acquisitions in Q3 2022, market cap rate 8.9% (NAR Commercial Metro Market Reports Q3 2022)
  • Largest office submarkets: Downtown, Midtown, Suburban West Dodge, Southwest

Discover Omaha office space for lease. 

Several high-rise buildings in Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha Retail Market

Omaha’s retail market has seen a positive shift with increased absorption and occupancy. Properties are being converted and redeveloped to include mixed-use spaces such as apartments and office space, which is helping to reduce vacancy rates. Non-traditional retail tenants, such as gyms, medical offices, and health & wellness businesses, have filled many new leases. According to the most recent report from Cushman & Wakefield, this trend suggests a positive outlook for the Omaha retail market moving forward:

  • Total retail inventory: 64,171,351 SF
  • Overall asking rent: $14.53/SF per year, NNN
  • Vacancy rate: 4.6% 
  • Absorption: 1,011,060 SF in 2022
  • Key leases by tenant: Spare Time Entertainment 50,000 SF, Goodwill 37,839 SF, Nebraska Medical 35,000 SF
  • New construction: 379,206 SF under construction, with 379,733 SF in 34 buildings delivered
  • Key sales by property: Pepperwood Village (West Dodge Corridor $26.7 million/$101 per SF), Applewood Centre (South Central Omaha $17.2 million/$154 per SF)
  • Largest retail submarkets: Southwest Omaha, Central Omaha, Sarpy East, Council Bluffs 

Discover Omaha retail space for lease. 

Aerial view of downtown Omaha Nebraska, USA

Omaha Multifamily Market

The Omaha multifamily market has seen strong performance over the past five years, with current vacancy rates significantly lower than they were at the same time in 2017. Average asking rents are also up 21.5% compared to five years ago, while new construction continues to drive growth in the market, with 1,750 units currently under development. Here are the most recent statistics from CBRE for the apartment market in Omaha:

  • Total housing units: 406,840
  • Renter occupied: 41%
  • Multi-unit inventory: 78,184 units, with about 90% located in suburban Omaha
  • Asking rent: $1,098
  • Rent growth: 6.9% year over year
  • Vacancy rate: 5.2%
  • New construction: 1,750 units under construction, with 690 units delivered in 2022
  • Key sales by project name: The Villages at Grant Square ($21 million/$102,941 per unit), Brighton Gardens of Omaha ($18 million/$116,129 per unit), Northridge Apartments ($16.4 million/$151,852 per unit)
  • Largest multifamily submarkets: Central, North/Northwest, Southwest, South

Discover Omaha multifamily apartments for sale. 

Get more in-depth Omaha market data with Crexi Intelligence.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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