Blackstone District coming to life

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 15:36:47-04

For the past three years, the Blackstone District near Midtown in Omaha has undergone a transformation with dozens of new businesses opening up.

Erin Luong has owned Pulp Boutique in the Blackstone District for two and a half years and says the area is booming.

"We've just seen it expand and grow and lots of new local business owners coming in," she said. "We've had a lot of construction going on and you can just kind of see day by day the new changes and everything that's going on."

Luong's business sits across Farnam Street from the construction of Blackstone Knoll. The former vacant lot will soon be transformed into a 2-story building with room for businesses on the bottom and loft-style apartments on the top.

Matt Dwyer, a principal of GreenSlate, and Tom McLeay of Clarity Development are behind the construction of Blackstone Knoll and a few other projects.

"The jobs are already here," McLeay said. "The people were here working here, and they really were looking for an opportunity to live nearby"

Just down the block, Scriptown Brewing Company co-owner John Fahrer says development in the area has made all the difference to his business.

"It was like last quarter of last year the light switch got flipped and that's when all of the apartment buildings in the neighborhood not built out and leased up," he said.

Both Fahrer and Luong say the area looks different for the better.

But Luong says she hopes to maintain the area's history

"I think that the developers are being careful with that and kind of maintaining that flavor," she said. "Ultimately they're taking an area that was really run down in Omaha for a long time so there's going to be some ups and downs."