Mayor Stothert shares progress of downtown Omaha projects


In Omaha, many people express opinions about public land, parking, and public transportation, including a streetcar. The city’s biggest development advocate, Mayor Jean Stothert, spoke about the ongoing projects at a forum hosted by the Omaha Press Club.

On Thursday, downtown residents said more transport, people and buildings were a good thing.

“You have a great base to work from. I think a revival is probably needed,” Seth Finkel said.

“I think it’s a great idea. I think it allows us to all commute together. It’s better for the environment, in my opinion, and I think it will attract more people who want to see the sites if they can’t,” Kenna Strong said.

“I walk downtown a lot. It’s pretty empty most of the time, so having more people, more things to do, is a good thing,” Jackson Weidenfeller said.

Stothert is accelerated development.

“We’re basically building a new downtown,” Stothert said.

It seems more likely that Omaha Mutual will begin construction of its new headquarters – on the site of the Dale Clark Library – by constructing a 45-50 story skyscraper. In the meantime, the downtown library is moving to a historic building on 14th and Jones streets.

Still under consideration is a library at 72nd and Dodge Streets. During the forum, Stothert was asked if this library would also be named after Dale Clark.

“No. I will say that the new central library at 72nd and Dodge will not be called the Dale Clark Library,” Stothert said.

Stothert also wants a streetcar connecting downtown to near Nebraska Medicine. He was asked, “why now?”

“This tram will connect everything together. Mutuelle [of Omaha]The plan of is the first example of what is possible if we have the tramway. Mutual wouldn’t be building downtown if we didn’t have this tram,” Stothert said.

As Stothert builds his vision, some find it difficult to accept all the changes.

“It’s a bit overwhelming. I feel like we’re becoming an even bigger city than we already are,” Stothert said.

Stothert was also asked if she was interested in running for a fourth term. She’s not sure but says she has no aspirations to run for Congress.

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