Business, labor, neighborhood leaders voice support for UNMC cancer campus

A group of business, labor and neighborhood representatives voiced its strong support today for the proposed $370 million cancer center campus at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its hospital partner, The Nebraska Medical Center.

Among the proponents of the project who spoke at a news conference at UNMC this morning were:

  • Terry Moore, president, Omaha Federation of Labor;
  • Mike McDermott, president/CEO, Metro Health Services Federal Credit Union;
  • Tim Holland, principal, Holland Basham Architects; and
  • Bob Bell, former president, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

Moore said the cancer center will provide a significant boost to Omaha's labor force, providing more than 4,800 construction-related jobs. He indicated that this reinforces the state and city commitment to creating new jobs.

McDermott and Holland, who both have businesses near the UNMC campus, praised the project for how it could transform the area surrounding the medical center. It is anticipated that numerous development projects will be spawned by the cancer center, including new housing, a hotel and restaurants as well as recreational space.

Bell, who served as president of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce for 13 years, said the cancer center continues a long tradition of public/private partnerships in Omaha. He cited a variety of projects including the Downtown/Riverfront Development, which would never have happened without public support from state and local governments and the private sector.

Reflecting on the Downtown/Riverfront Development, Bell said a $120 million city commitment turned into a $2 billion project.

The cancer center represents one of the largest construction jobs ever in Nebraska and will require raising more money from private donors than any previous building project in Nebraska, said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D.

He noted that the cancer center will cost more than double what it cost to build the two Durham Research Towers and more than seven times the cost of Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education.

The cancer center will be built on the west side of the medical center campus and includes four facilities - a  multidisciplinary outpatient clinic, a 98-lab research tower, a hospital tower with 108 beds dedicated to oncology patients, and an ambulatory care clinic dedicated to non-oncology specialties.

It is expected to create 1,200 new jobs at UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center and generate $100 million in new payroll. In addition, it will create another 3,457 indirect jobs.

"This is one of the most significant projects ever undertaken in Omaha," Dr. Maurer said. "We are thrilled to see all the support coming forward. It sends a strong message to private donors that Omaha and Nebraska are behind this project and excited about the great possibilities it will bring."

Don Leuenberger, vice chancellor for business and finance at UNMC, said a new study done by SB Friedman Development Advisors of Chicago determined that by 2029 the cancer center will spawn $383 million in new private development in the area immediately surrounding UNMC and generate $63 million in new property taxes.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at www.unmc.edu.



Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)