Redevelopment of the heart of South Omaha could begin: proposed unified image project
OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — The project in question is known as “Adelante II South Omaha” and has been in development for many years.
“Imagine an inclusive economic development center based on Hispanic culture, as well as other important neighborhood needs,” said Itzel Lopez, president of the Hispanic Economic Development Council.
The focus is on the 24th Street corridor, surrounding businesses and neighborhoods.
“COVID has hit this business district hard and has become one of the hardest hit areas in Nebraska,” said Marcos Mora, festival producer for Cinco De Mayo Omaha.
The project will be implemented in stages. Starting with La Plaza De La Raza, it will include affordable housing and parking.
“Designers, or designers, or anyone else should remember that the star of the show is the people, not the hardscape design,” said Marty Shukert, director of RDG Planning & Design.
The current parking lot will be turned into a shaded pavilion with a performance stage and public space.
“People think of the Gene Leahy Mall downtown. They think about Stinson Park in Aksarben. We’re trying to create such a vibrant South Omaha environment at La Plaza de la Raza,” said Roger Garcia, Douglas County Commissioner for District 1.
Creating more greenery and even space for children.
“What happens here will enrich the rest of the Omaha community and provide people from all over the city with a real vacation spot,” Shukert said.
So what’s next on the plan?
“The next step is to design it; the scheme that’s out there now that we’ve been talking about today is just the initial step,” Schukert said.
So far, Douglas County and the City of Omaha have each provided $500,000 in ARPA funding and are now awaiting ARPA funding from the state.
“This is currently being discussed in the legislature. Therefore, we are trying to secure the flow of these funds so that this project can see the light of day,” said Garcia.
But they hope to break new ground later this year.
“It’s a coordinated way of leveraging multiple opportunities for something that really has a special place in the community,” Shukert said.