A Seattle radio station called Omaha 'crappy.' We beg to differ (and yet we kind of get it) (copy)

Holiday lights cover the trees in Midtown Crossing’s Turner Park, which overlooks Omaha’s downtown skyline.

Omaha is fortunate to benefit from well-designed redevelopments in various parts of the city. These investments spur employment, create entrepreneurial opportunity and invigorate neighborhoods. A new report about the economic impact of Midtown Crossing provides an encouraging illustration.

The 15-acre retail and residential campus marks its 10th anniversary this year. Mutual of Omaha’s forward-looking vision for the area has spurred remarkable benefits.

The mixed-use development has had a total $928.9 million infusion into the local economy through sales, wages and “spillover” impacts. Midtown Crossing generates an average of 1,200 jobs annually both on the campus and in indirect positions elsewhere, according to the study by Goss & Associates.

Spillover effects also include 29 area building projects encouraged by Midtown Crossing, plus an increase in the number of young people ages 20 to 34 in the area, the consultants said. “Attraction and retention of millennials serves the long-term growth prospects of the metropolitan area,” the study noted.

Omaha is benefiting from other soundly developed projects. Among the examples is the Capitol District, which has added energy to the north downtown area through residential, retail and office growth, with new investment this year creating even more opportunity. Just to the north, construction of the new headquarters for Kiewit Corp. is opening up new possibilities for growth. Kiewit is to be congratulated for making this landmark corporate investment downtown.

Other achievements around Omaha include Aksarben Village, a stellar example of innovative redevelopment. The addition of the HDR headquarters has added to the area’s dynamism, with associated economic development now extending to the south of Center Street.

West Omaha is the site of two ambitious, creative projects: the 500-acre Heartwood Preserve redevelopment site near Boys Town, and Avenue One at 192nd Street and West Dodge Road. In North Omaha, positive steps include the Forever North and 75 North initiatives. At the same time, Omaha has major challenges that must be tackled. Key examples: Crossroads Mall, the former Civic Auditorium site and the former Union Pacific headquarters property.

Development vision is bringing major benefits to Omaha. Let’s build on the current progress for even greater gains.

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