Archive for January, 2013

Walk this way…

Walk this way…

Finding your way to places like the Durham Museum, the Orpheum Theater, Turner Park and the Lauritzen Botanical Gardens is about to get easier.

This week, the city started putting up the first of 88 signs meant to help drivers and pedestrians locate some of the city’s most popular destinations. The $800,000 project has been in the works since Mike Fahey was in the Mayor’s Office, but finally started picking up speed about a year and a half ago.

January 31, 2013 Comments Read More
Reminder: Dundee streetscape meeting Thursday

Reminder: Dundee streetscape meeting Thursday

If you live in Dundee, own a business there or are just curious about the construction that will take over the area around North 50th Street and Underwood Avenue this spring and summer, take note.

The last public meeting about the city’s planned $2.5 million renovation will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, at the Neighborhood Center. It’s located at 115 South 49th Ave. Officials will show off the final design and construction plan for the projects (including renderings like the one above, from Snyder & Associates.)

Planned upgrades include new traffic lights, expanded curbs, additional landscaping and angled parking. The city is taking input here.

January 30, 2013 Comments Read More
A vision for Crossroads

A vision for Crossroads

In case you missed it, our pal Janice Podsada worked up the best overview to date of a developer’s plans for the Crossroads Mall site.

When completed, the new shopping center would offer 400,000 square feet of retail space, compared with the current mall’s 700,000 square feet. The center’s “smart” network will guide visitors via their mobile phones to available parking, promotions and ongoing events.

At a public Omaha Planning Department meeting last week to discuss the redevelopment of the 72nd and Dodge Streets corridor area, residents thronged around developer Rodney Yates and bombarded him with the names of retailers they would like to see occupy the new shopping center.

“I’ve heard REI, Nordstrom, Macy’s, H&M,” Yates said, smiling. “Every year $1.5 billion leaves Nebraska because we don’t have some of the stores where people want to shop — they take their money to another state and shop.”

(Click here to see a full-size image of the map shown above)

EDIT: Be sure to check out The World Herald’s latest blog, “Money Talks”. It’s cool.

EDIT: The city’s Planning Department has also posted some more Crossroads-related information for your review and feedback.

January 29, 2013 Comments Read More
Reminder: Transit meeting

Reminder: Transit meeting

Central Omaha Transit Alternatives Analysis from HDR PI Omaha on Vimeo.

Omaha’s transit authority will hold a meeting Wednesday to reveal the priorities of its ongoing study to upgrade downtown and central Omaha’s mass transit system.

The most likely preferred routes for a potential streetcar system — and a new or improved bus system — are to be discussed as part of Metro’s 18-month study.

When: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Presentation begins at 5:30 p.m., with a period of discussion and comments to follow.
Where: Paxton Ballroom, 1403 Farnam St.

January 29, 2013 Comments Read More
Dumpster diving…

Dumpster diving…

Remember this?

Okay, now there’s this. What do you think?

January 28, 2013 Comments Read More
“People are so frustrated. People need a vision for this area.” — Omaha resident Jeanne Penry on Crossroads Mall

“People are so frustrated. People need a vision for this area.” — Omaha resident Jeanne Penry on Crossroads Mall

See more here

January 25, 2013 Comments Read More
Reminder: Crossroads meeting

Reminder: Crossroads meeting

The city’s hosting a public meeting about its redevelopment plans for the 72nd and Dodge Street area on Thursday evening.

Officials say they’re soliciting public input on the idea. Developers have kept a tight hold on their plans, though it’s easy to see broader plans for the area’s revival fall into place.

Mayor Jim Suttle has described his vision to me this way: “It’s, to me, a huge mixed-use development with all the things we would see at Midtown Crossing, probably times five.”

The meeting will be held in the former Old Navy store space at Crossroads Mall on Thursday, January 24, at 6:30 PM.

January 23, 2013 Comments Read More
It’s that time of year

It’s that time of year

Yes. It’s commercial season.

January 21, 2013 Comments Read More
Money will talk

Money will talk

The five best known mayoral candidates for this year’s election say they’ve raised serious money. This transforms the dynamics of a hotly contested race to control City Hall.

We’ll have more details in the coming weeks, but each campaign provided The World-Herald with a general overview of its fundraising efforts in 2012:

» Democratic Mayor Jim Suttle’s campaign said it raised roughly $350,000.
» Republican Councilwoman Jean Stothert’s campaign said it raised $330,000. That included roughly $100,000 transferred from her City Council committee.
» Former City Council President Dan Welch, a Republican, reported raising $278,000, including some $12,000 from his council committee.
» Businessman Dave Nabity, a Republican and a key figure in the attempted Suttle recall in 2011, reported raising $273,000.
» And State Sen. Brad Ashford, an independent, reported raising $170,000, including $16,000 moved from his legislative campaign committee.

We’re on pace for the most expensive local election in the city’s history.

January 18, 2013 Comments Read More
Big money for the spring election

Big money for the spring election

City Councilmember Pete Festersen has filed his campaign finance report early. It’s easy to see why.

The Dundee/Benson representative held $145,605.92 in his campaign account at the end of 2012. Some big-name donors are on the list.

“I’m confident this will be the largest balance of any current city councilman or challenger … and comparable to what you’ll soon find with the mayoral candidates, I’m told,” Festersen told us earlier today. Festersen will face Edward Truemper, a pediatrician who works at Children’s Hospital and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

At first blush, it looks like this year’s city election is going to be a robust arms (e.g. fundraising) race. Mayoral candidates are pulling in some serious cash.

Just look at mayoral candidate Dan Welch’s war chest. Jean Stothert, meanwhile, tells us she has $240,000 in the bank for the spring election.

Stothert’s campaign announced it raised $330,000 in 2012, a figure that includes roughly $100,000 from Stothert’s City Council campaign fund. Stothert’s campaign said much of its spending was on office space, staff and research. The campaign declined to identify specific donors ahead of a finance report deadline later this month.

We’ve watched this issue closely, and will have plenty more analysis on the money involved in Omaha’s elections soon.

January 16, 2013 Comments Read More