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Builder's District plan approved amid concern

Posted: 5:22 PM, Oct 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-31 22:31:31Z

The Builder's District at NoDo plan has been approved by the city council, but one family and business is worried about being forced out.

The Omaha City Council approved the plan so the city will use up to $20 million for demolition, relocation, or acquiring property through Eminent Domain.  The new construction is anchored by the Kiewit Headquarters and the area is expanding quickly for development between Cass to Cuming Streets and 14th to 22nd Streets.  The estimated $300 million investment would add office and retail space, residential, and expand Creighton University.

"We've got a major investment centered around the Kiewit Headquarters into the area with some periphery development that is underutilized, vacant, or otherwise blighted," said Kevin Andersen Mayor Stothert's Deputy Chief of Staff.

At 17th and Cuming Streets, Julie Prescott-Burgess and her family has owned Automatic Printing Co. since the 1930's and recently she says she put $1 million into renovating part of the building for she and her husband to retire in.  But when she saw the Builder's District renderings it showed a Creighton athletic facility on top of their family's building.  She's worried it will now be taken by Eminent Domain.

"Our family is the typical family that has worked here, that has lived here, has served here, and has grown here.  And you wipe that off the map like we didn't even exist.  I'm devastated by it," Prescott-Burgess explained.

Burgess says Creighton University unsuccessfully tried to buy their building 12 years ago.

Jay Noddle, the developer with Noddle Companies, says he's had good conversations with all business owners but Burgess says they've never gotten to sit down with him.

The Omaha City Council would still need to approve a redevelopment agreement before they could move forward but developers say if that happens they could start immediately.