The Omaha City Council listened to comment Tuesday on a proposed development near 124th and Dodge.
The vacant land next to Costco is in the eye of developers who are asking for permission to alter an entrance/exit. It’s property with plenty of history.
The Nebraska Furniture Mart’s Bob Batt, grandson of Mart founder Rose Blumkin, said, "In 1954, she was driving down Dodge Street when it was a two-lane brick road. She said 'that is really beautiful. The family should buy it. A lot of people will live out here one day.' And many people just shook their heads. She said ‘I know better than you do.’"
Based on Mrs. B’s insight, it began as a 300 acre acquisition. The Blumkin family is selling the remaining parcels to a developer who wants to put in apartments and office buildings.
Attorney Larry Jobeun told the city council, "Neighbors have been very cooperative. I think they want the project to occur."
They said as much during a public hearing with one caveat: they don't want the back entrance to come out on Burt Street and into the Candlewood neighborhood, believing drivers will use it as a Costco shortcut.
Candlewood homeowner Dorothy Beer told the council, "We understand the benefits of commercial development and tax revenues attached to that. What we are concerned about is the access road as it's presented now."
Paul Peters said, "As a resident of Candlewood, I suggest this is a serious mistake. There's already a serious problem. This is compounding a serious mistake."
The fate of last of the land on the historic farm will wait a week so developers can talk with neighbors. They plan to meet with Candlewood residents on Monday night.