Housing And Community Development On Its Way To North Omaha

By: Leah Uko

OMAHA (KPTM) - A company plansto break ground at the end of the year or the beginning of next year on a $76million community development project that will bring a new apartment complex,individual housing and an enrichment center to the area.

North 75's executive director,Othello Meadows said the goal of the project is to boost the neighborhood'seconomy and morale.

The area, near 30thand Parker Street, has taken up about 36 acres of land since 2008 when the oldPleasant View Apartments were torn down. Before North 75 purchased the land, itwas owned by Omaha Housing Authority.

Resident, Donald Jenningssaid he was glad there are plans to revitalize the area, but feared newlow-income housing would attract a crime-stricken crowd.

"My house has been broken intoand stuff has been stolen," Jennings to FOX 42 News. "And that's been torn downso it's still, you know, bad in some areas and it just depends on thepeople."

Meadows said the plan was notto "recreate the projects", but provide needs the community is currently notgetting in that area.

The "Highlander Project" willinclude 182 to 200 apartment units for renting, 96 single-family homes, rowhouses and town homes for purchase and centers for urban farming, music, artsand technology.

Meadows said prices forhousing had not been determined yet, but would cater to people who earn low andmoderate incomes.

A plethora of communitypartners support the development including Omaha Public Schools, Urban Leagueof Nebraska, Charles Drew Health Center, Salem Baptist Church and the SherwoodFoundation.

The project is set to startby the fourth quarter of 2014 or first quarter of 2015.

Meadows said funding for theproject would come from public money, philanthropic sources, structured debtand tax credit funding. He added that no tax payer money would fund theproject.