Optimism Starting To Build In Omaha

Numbers from City Hall indicate that about four times as many building permits have been issued this year compared to this same time last year.

You can see some of that new construction going on around town and developers say it's because Omaha's economic future looks bright.

All along the campaign trial, Mayor Jean Stothert criticized the slow growth of business in the Omaha community. "I get tired of hearing from developers who say they are tired of doing business in Omaha and they'll develop in another city or Sarpy County," she said in May. “We don't want that to happen anymore."

Business investor Dr. Bob Cox agrees. He is helping to build a Dunkin' Donuts shop near 144th and Pacific, set to open in mid-August. He says the process was difficult under the previous city administration. "It was very slow going. It was very difficult in regards to getting the permits, getting the waivers, but the city was good, they worked with us."

Dr. Cox says the improving economy plays a role in the growing number of building permits issued in Omaha and he believes the city's new mayor also adds to the optimism. “I think the new mayor will begin to expedite building applications and so on so that not everything going to other counties and Douglas County can get back to some growth."

Dr. Cox says the new construction represents more than a new building. It represents dollars for Omaha and could mean property tax savings for its citizens.

“We need tax dollars. One way to get tax dollars is to support new business. This small little building that we're building is going to produce a substantial amount of property tax and the new jobs and the sales tax they're going to pay."

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