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Old 01-22-2007, 07:49 PM
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,200,617 times
Reputation: 526


I was directed to this site today about all of the disparaging comments I've heard about Omaha. I don't think I've ever read more negative and just flat out wrong information about this city. I've lived all over Omaha and some bigger cities as well, and I think Omaha is a great city, but to read some of the comments here you'd never know it.

I know lots of threads in here are about people looking to locate to Omaha. I'd like to shed some light on the parts of Omaha that have gotten lambasted on this site. Mainly with how east Omaha is "blighted" and full of crime. Blight is an extreme word. I can assure you that Omaha has it's less glamorous areas but no true blight. I've lived most of my life in the eastern parts of Omaha and have found it to be a fine place to live. Hell Warren Buffet even lives east of 72nd. I don't see him fleeing for west Omaha.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:51 PM
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,200,617 times
Reputation: 526
(edited for length)

In no particular order here are some pictures I've taken around Omaha. I hope this offers some of you potential Omahan's a positive view of the city.

I live Downtown. (DownTown Omaha Luv) so I'm a bit biased if you couldn't tell. Downtown was always where went as kids to play in the parks or go out to eat. So when I hear people say that DT was once dead I don't think they fully understand DT. The Old Market has been a cornerstone of Downtown. Now what we're seeing happen is other areas around DT getting coming to attention with new residents, businesses and recreational/dining opportunities. The DT population is currently around 8,000 people.

Downtown is also a reflection of other parts of the city. Growth and new residents are everywhere. If Downtown wasn't doing so well neither would the suburbs. Since more attention has been turned DT areas all over the city like Benson, Florence, South Omaha, have all seen improvements to streetscapes and new businesses and restaurants around old commercial centers.

Omaha doesn't sprawl nearly as much as people think. The whole city is solid and development doesn't leapfrog very much. Eastern Omaha is also very dense. Midtown alone has a density that you'd expect to find in much larger cities. For example Midtown Omaha has around 8,000 people per square mile, while the compact city of Boston is around 11,000 per square mile. Not bad at all for a midwestern city.

Around the Old Market.

From Miller's Landing

The new Holland Center and Gene Leahy Mall.

From Riverfront Place condo towers on the river.

15th and Farnam
This whole block is a shining example of DT progress. At this intersection there is now a Cajun restaurant, a new sandwich shop, a bar, 2 night clubs, a new theme restaurant opening (Sullivan's), a Starbucks, a bank, a tanning salon, a hotel, and a 14 story condo rehab of a vacant building. This is a perfect example of areas DT, outside of the Old Market, that are breathing new life. (I do realize this picture doesn't showcase very much of this block)

New residents that can afford the finer things in life.

If there were two projects that got the masses of Omaha to see DT anew it would be First National Center and the Qwest Center.

People love tall buildings. They are the face of the city. FNC gave people a new face to get behind. It's the tallest building in any state we touch (taller than the St. Louis Arch and Seattle's Space Needle). It's a symbol of pride for many Omahans as the Woodmen Tower was for 30 years.

Where the FNC made people look at DT, it was the Qwest Center that brought them DT. The Qwest Center has been a smashing success since it's 2003 opening. It has continuingly been in among the top 20 and 10 grossing arenas in the WORLD. Instead of drving 3 hours to KC, Omahan's could now see the big concerts they'd dreamed of seeing. U2, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Prince to name a few.

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Old 01-22-2007, 08:08 PM
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,200,617 times
Reputation: 526
There are plans in the works for DT Omaha to once again have streetcars. The Mayor has been pushing it along for the past year and it should be approved by this summer.

The Red line is the first phase. The orange line is the second phase through Midtown.

Midtown Omaha is set to see some major changes over the next few years. Mutual of Omaha (my employer) is building massive neighborhood on underused parking lots owned by the company. It is called Midtown Crossing. A 600 residential unit, 1,000,000 square foot commercial center to be completed in 2009. It will bring many big name stores and chains next to local favorites. (I'm really looking forward the McCormick and Schmik's)

Moderator cut: copyrights

Last edited by Yac; 01-23-2007 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:24 PM
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,200,617 times
Reputation: 526
Another addition to DT Omaha is the pedestrian bridge across the Missouri River. It is currently under construction with a fall 2008 completion date.

Even though Omaha is in the traditionally conservative midwest, there are plenty of left leaning people in the city to make any relocating blue stater comfortable.

Trust me when I say this was the ONE guy who demonstrated.

Omaha also has many events going on that are sure to keep anyone busy. If you're bored in Omaha you'd be bored anywhere.

Creighton Bluejays Basketball at the Qwest Center.

Omaha Knights Hockey at the Civic. The Knights are the minor league team for the NHL's Calgary Flames. Omaha is also home to the Omaha Royals. The minor league team for the KC Royals who play at Rosenblatt Stadium. The home of the College World Series.

Fireworks are a big deal in Omaha. Even though they are illegal to launch in the city I've never seen people get as into fireworks as I have in Omaha. Everyone shoots them off around the 4th of July.

From 2007 New Years

If you're a more urban person Omaha has enough to offer. You can still get an affordable rental DT but owning is becoming popular. I own my own condo DT. I can walk to the grocery stores, to anything DT, and I can hop on the bus to work. The walks not bad either.

1600 Farnam

From my place

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Old 01-22-2007, 08:30 PM
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,200,617 times
Reputation: 526
Hopefully this opened up some of your eyes that Omaha isn't just some run of the mill midwestern city. I have friends who thought the grass was greener in Chicago, Atlanta, or LA. Now many of them are trying to find ways to get back to Omaha. They didn't realize how good they had it and how much better it's getting.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:59 PM
Location: Omaha Nebraska
171 posts, read 491,202 times
Reputation: 108
Great Work Dto !

Last edited by Yac; 01-23-2007 at 09:44 AM.. Reason: no soliciting please - read forum rules
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:41 AM
Location: Omaha, NE
1,119 posts, read 3,819,100 times
Reputation: 405
Default Thanks DTO!!

I was hoping that you would come to the rescue!!
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:28 AM
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska (moving to Ohio)
673 posts, read 3,752,987 times
Reputation: 474
The picture of the lack of people in the picturesspeak for themselves!

10th to 16th where those pictures were taken have nice architecture and amenities I am sure, but it doesnt translate into a vibrant downtown. Most people living in those devolopments park the car in the garage, run outstairs and spend their evening in their apartment. Not enjoying the urban environment like alot of cities, even ones smaller then Omaha have MUCH more vibrant downtowns.

I am wondering do those pictures represent the most pedestrian traffic out of all the photographs you have. Usually, I see very few people (besides homeless) in the two downtown parks. Even in those pictures as I far as I can tell no body is walking or dining in the Old Market passageway which is what links alot of its restaurants.

I have to admit being that I have lived in two medium sized cities (Denver and Columbus, Ohio) Omaha's pedestrian traffic and vibracy of downtown is depressing. I dont enjoy going to the few coffee shops in downtown Omaha
and being the only customer in there.

Ive always wanted to know since the volume of people in the places in the Old Market do is quite low, with the exception of during June baseball time if they its mainly just the powerful movers and shakers spouses who are very, very well off who run the places and dont need the level of volume and profits that Denver or other cities need to stay in business?

The Old Market appears to do the best business of the day during Lunch because the several restaurants (not hundreds like alot of cities have in their downtown) seem to cater to hosting lunches for people in Omaha on business. The nightlife is awful down there, I remember when I lived in Omaha a few years ago I would go down there to Howard Street and see so few people around I would shake my head and go home.

Seriously, if people are going to buy or rent down there why dont they enjoy the environment they pay a very high price premium too enjoy?

Anyway, I admit the architecture between 10th and 16th is very nice and they have a dozen or so loft and condo buildings. But it seems like in Omaha people rent or buy these units based on architecture and amenities alone. Its not for the urban environment.

Last edited by MattDen; 01-23-2007 at 09:37 AM..
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:20 AM
Location: Omaha, NE
1,119 posts, read 3,819,100 times
Reputation: 405
MattDen both Columbus and Denver have a much bigger metro, Omaha is growing and in the right direction and more and more people are coming back to dowtown, there are more projects still even yet that are going ot be developed, Omaha is and has been on a major move for about 10years. The downtown arts, bar, population, amendities etc... are on the rise all the time...
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:24 AM
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,200,617 times
Reputation: 526
I think the pedestrian traffic DT is respectable. Very few places are going to be 5th Avenue or the Mag Mile. I walk all over DT to shop and go out and I'm a bit further from the action than some people are. My neighbor in my building and another friend of mine from down the street walk to hockey games at the Civic, from the Old Market to the Qwest Center for basketball. I don't even have a car so I walk to where I need to go quite a bit. Even on days when there isn't a big event DT I've noticed more people walking in areas outside of the Old Market.

To defend my Passaeway picture the day I took it was on a Sunday and it was the first big snow of the year so not as many people would be out. Even then there were still many people out in the snow. I can actually show you those pictures when I get home.

Omaha nightlife is fine. I don't know where on Howard St. you'd be going to but I can think of tons of places to go out just in Downtown and Midtown but it would depend on your preference where you want to go.
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