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Omaha developer hopes to create new entertainment district along NW Radial Highway

Plans are in the works to redevelop several properties along Northwest Radial Highway.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Plans are in the works to create Omaha’s newest entertainment and living district and to permanently close a portion of North Saddle Creek Road.

The proposed plan, created by lead developer Joshuwa Hannum, will have its first reading at city council on Tuesday.

Hannum says the area, the corner of Northwest Radial Highway and Hamilton Streets, could be the next Blackstone or Dundee.

“We’ve seen how well Blackstone, and Aksarben Village and all those, we said why not North Omaha? North of Cuming Street? I think this is kind of a neglected area, a lot of big developers don’t really come this way, they don’t see a lot of value north of Cuming Street so we figured, why not here?”

The first phase of Hannum’s development plans includes building a 161-unit apartment complex on the southeast portion of North Saddle Creek Road. It will include 7,500 square feet of amenities and 7,500 square feet of retail space for coffee shops, bars, and restaurants.

The road would be permanently closed from NW Radial to Hamilton Street at the five-way intersection, making it a four-way instead.

“I think it’ll revitalize [the area] significantly, it’ll bring more shopping experiences, more restaurant experiences, for the people in the neighborhood to the west, the north and south and even east, this will be kind of a gathering place similar to Dundee, similar to Benson.”

The vision for the area is to make it a walkable, pedestrian-friendly district.

Hannum says the response from neighboring businesses and residents has been positive.

“It’s great,” says Terry Finkle, the owner of the famous Homy Inn.

The Homy Inn has been in the same spot along North Saddle Creek Road for more than 60 years.

“Hopefully revitalize it, bring more people into the neighborhood like the other districts, we’re kinda always left behind down here so hopefully it’ll be a good thing,’ he says.

New apartments mean new business.

“Brings more people to Midtown and hopefully, you know, will be affordable for everybody because housing is a little short around here.”

Hannum hopes to create a Business Improvement District for the area following approval from city council.

Besides approval from city leaders, sewer lines in the area will need to be moved before construction on the building begins. That project alone will cost $3.5 million and Hannum says it’s been hard to find a contractor to do the work.

Hannum hopes to begin that construction, and close down the portion of North Saddle Creek, by October of this year.

If it works out, he says, construction on the new apartment complex would begin in February of 2023 and finish in two years.

After that, more redevelopment is planned moving west along North Saddle Creek Road.

“Rising tides lifts all ships, and we’ll see a lot of economic development in this area over the next 10-15 years,” Hannum says.

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