Omaha, NE. The key to revitalizing some neighborhoods is to attract new business.
But sometimes, business owners need financial help to get started.
The Omaha City Council is considering a plan to breathe some new life into a long-neglected area.
Scott Neal took a chance 32 years ago opening Complete Automotive Service on the corner of Ames Avenue and Florence Boulevard.
“When I came in here, I tried to borrow money to buy this building. I couldn't borrow a dime…they wouldn't loan…not in this area…nobody,” he said.
Neal has seen a lot of businesses come and go, and the area age over the years.
“Nobody wants to go to a business that looks like it’s all run-down,” he said.
But he's hoping to see that change...right next door...at the Bloom Monument works building.
A local construction company is buying the property.
They plan to demolish the fire-damaged warehouse, revitalize the brick buildings that are in dire need of repair, and move the company there.
It's a $2 million project.
The developer is asking the city for nearly $300,000 through tax incremental financing or TIF to develop the project.
“I'm thrilled that somebody's going to come in here and renovate that and make it productive because it will only help me,” Neal said.
And that's the intention of TIF: create investment and help existing businesses grow.
“There's a lot of revitalization going on in the community,” Terrence Coleman of the Urban League of Omaha said. “People are actually wanting to come back to this part of the city because it's growing. It's revitalized. I think any efforts that goes towards that would be a great idea.”
Scott Neal agrees.
“I'm really excited that this is happening next door and I'd like to see more of it,” he said.
Bringing back one of the city's oldest neighborhoods.
Plans call for a building for the construction business along with two bays in the brick buildings that could be leased to other construction companies.
They believe it will create some jobs — another need for the area.
The City Council votes on approving the project next Tuesday.