Omaha, Nebraska – The Omaha City Council is working on a project to revitalize downtown Omaha, but some locals are skeptical of the method being used.
The discussions took place behind closed doors in the legislative chambers of City Hall for a couple of hours.
According to the developers, the project is about vision: how downtown Omaha is the heartbeat of the city and area, and how this project drives the future while also striving to retain young people in the city and region.
It’s known as Project Beacon, and it’s a skyscraper that will be constructed in the area where the downtown Omaha Library is currently located. Mutual of Omaha plans to consolidate all of its midtown activities into one location.
It’s a $443 million project, and the developers are asking for $63 million in financing.
Many Omahans were confused as to why a library had to be demolished in the name of development, and why a skyscraper was needed for the city’s skyline when there were so many other major matters.
The developers told the council that they couldn’t finish the project without the extra money.
The tax increment financing for the Mutual of Omaha skyscraper was authorized overwhelmingly by the city council.
Also, discussions on a proposal to construct a public transit system between Omaha and Council Bluffs are now ongoing.