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Downtown South Omaha May Have Major Business District Renovation

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — In downtown South Omaha, big business district changes could be coming soon. Metro community leaders and organizations consider it a work in progress.

Walking along the sidewalks of South 24th Street, you’ll notice brightly painted buildings, tiles, and decorated street lights.

The bright atmosphere is complemented by music.

“24th Street is arguably the strongest commercial corridor in South Omaha,” said Cesar Garcia, chief executive of Canopy South.

What you may not know, however, is that all these eye-catching details are part of a project that began fifteen years ago.

“It all started with John Barrientos and RDG, they did it in stages and they did the first few stages, but the third stage was never completed and that’s Plaza del La Raza,” Mora said.

Marcos Mora is one of the board members of the Latino Business District Board. Mora says that La Plaza del La Raza is going to be turned into a gathering place for families and a place for social events, but this is only part of the plan.

Another idea is to make nearby businesses feel more connected to the 24th Street corridor by extending the tiles and details to other streets.

“The idea will be to make any repairs we need to make on this corridor and extend it to F Street,” Mora said.

They also hope to build a garage to make it easier for people to enjoy what the vibrant area has to offer.

“So our goal is to create a parking structure for our special events and our overflow, especially on weekends,” Mora said.

For years, several South Omaha organizations have been coming together to raise enough funds to make this all happen, and they think their chance has come.

Garcia believes they have a good chance of getting ARPA money to complete this project.

“Continue to provide opportunities to further support this community, as well as tourism and the celebration of our culture,” Garcia said.

This means opening the doors of opportunity, including with a new community center.

“A center that has programs for employment, economic development, workforce development and educational opportunities,” Mora said.

Mora said the main goal is to show what the Hispanic and Latino community can do for South Omaha.

South Omaha will likely get a response from the state on whether they will receive ARPA funds in the summer.

Mora and Garcia hope people will contact their state senators and urge them to support funding for the project.

Metro executives plan to meet on Monday to discuss the development of the project.

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