Planning board approves new Blackstone condos; residents still not happy

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Plans for a condo building on 38th and Dewey streets will move forward after a unanimous vote from the City Planning Board on Wednesday afternoon.

The project had been laid off for over a month for changes.

Blackstone residents' biggest concern was the size of the building and how it fits in with their neighborhood.

Wednesday, developer Jay Noddle showed the new changes. They involve updates to the style and character of the building.

The new plans now show a 13-unit building instead of 15 units.

“I feel good about it, we worked hard at listening and thinking carefully about what we could do that made sense for everybody to change the architecture and the materials,” Noddle said.

However, people who live in the neighborhood are still unhappy about the outcome.

“I’m very disappointed," said Rhonda Stuberg with the Blackstone Neighborhood Association. "I guess I’m not surprised. I mean, we came back, we gave them the information that we felt was important as far as saving the historical neighborhood and making it a classic look."

The project now goes on to the city council and, if approved, could start construction next year.

38th and Dewey isn't the only area having developers move in, a plan for a 21 unit building in the Dundee neighborhood is in the works. Neighbors there are also fighting to keep the historical feel.

"We need progress but we also need to maintain our traditions, it might be fine for west Omaha but not for Dundee which is a neighborhood," said Mike Saku.

The planning board has delayed talk on that project for another month. Board members say there's a demand for multi housing units and each project is different.

"Some might fill a design element that exist already in the community and some might be a little bit out of the box and that's ok, but we need to know they conform with the city standards and the city master plan as well," said Mike Pate, city planning board member.