North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan
Located immediately north of Downtown Omaha and Creighton University, North Omaha is a neighborhood that has historically played a defining role in the evolution of the city. North Omaha suffered decades of decline and disinvestment from the 1970s until the 1990s. The Village Revitalization Plan of North Omaha is important to the continuation of the overall city revitalization, and the grassroots efforts of the past few decades. The objective of the Village Revitalization Plan is to create a plan that outlines a viable strategy for community revitalization. The plan contains urban design plans for three nodes within the North Omaha community: 24th & Lake Cultural Arts District, 16th & Cuming Sports & Entertainment District, and Lake & 30th Street Urban Village. The design plans include streetscape and public realm design and improvements, transportation and economic development strategies, community imaging, a variety of new development and redevelopment projects supported by market analysis, and an implementation strategy and phased implementation plans. The plans align the communities’ aspirations and vision with the reality of the development potential, and employ public involvement processes to define and refine the concepts developed.
The design intent of Festival/Market Square is to create a new, central gathering space with a variety of spaces and uses for all ages during all seasons.
It is intended that the square contain a number of permanent activites for daily use, as well as operate as the primary special events and gathering place for the community. The square will be authentic to the nature of North Omaha, and it will become a symbolic space for the Cultural Arts District with its unique design and prominent, surrounding iconic buildings.
Key Redevelopment Initiatives
A. Create a new front door to North Omaha at Cuming Street.
B. Embrace the North Freeway corridor as new entrance to North Omaha.
C. Develop 16th Street as a new green edge and open space amenity.
D. Create a new heart for North Omaha at 24/Lake Street
E. Celebrate the Malcolm X Memorial Birthplace and International Center as a nationally-significant destination.
F. Celebrate Adams Park as major neighborhood amenity.
G. Create a new cultural spine along Lake Street and 24th Street.
H. Enhancing existing bridge connections between East and West Village.
I. Connect north to 30/Ames-Metro South commercial district, Fort Omaha, and Prospect Hill Cemetery.
J. Build new affordable and market rate infill housing with a diversity of housing types
Throughout the neighborhoods surrounding the Cultural Arts District, we have recommended infill strategy based on specific typologies of buildings, along with several key characteristics that should be employed when designing these buildings. Both commercial and residential building typologies alike should be of the highest quality construction and urban in nature. Some of the characteristics of these building typologies are as follows:
- Mix of new iconic building types and new infill buildings
- Buildings that strengthen the existing successful typologies and relate to the remaining historic buildings in scale, materials, fenestration, forms and textures.
- Mixed-use, multi-story buildings that maintain the urban density
- Relationships and dialoges between buildings and public gathering spaces
- Pedestrian-friendly streetscapes
- Access to safe and functional parking zones
- Ground floor transparency with flexible commercial bays
- Shared amenities within commercial and residential buildings.
Key streets are redesigned to function at all times to accommodate a diverse, multi-generational community.
The surrounding buildings will create active soft edges and will provide continual eyes-on-the-square to create a safe, vibrant, animated space for nighttime events such as a jazz festival, movie showing, arts fair, and markets. Daytime uses will include places for walking, standing, sitting, and collecting in small and large groups; informal recreation; a restaurant; spray fountains; and temporary uses such as a Saturday morning farmer’s market. Festival Market Square will be seamlessly integrated with the neighborhood structure and new transportation to slow traffic, and increase multi-modal access.
The square will consist of a variety of materials from the robust to the soft landscape; include open and tree’d spaces and a great variety of native groundcover landscaping, organized into multiple space types with inherent flexibility. Festival/Markett Square will be the new “Heart of the Community,” providing the residents with a unique place to exhibit and enhance the authentic histories, cultures, arts, and social qualities of the North Omaha Community.