One of the oldest neighborhoods in Omaha, which boasts of being the state capital for a month, is in phase two of a $500,000 revitalization project.
With a lot of open real estate, breaking ground on a major part of its long-range plan is welcome news to Florence residents and business owners.
Nancy Bohnenkamp owns the restaurant her grandfather opened, Harold’s on 30th St., more than 50 years ago.
"It's a feeling of elation and pride because we love our end of town and we want to upgrade it and make it comfortable for everybody to come and enjoy it,” Bohnenkamp said. “It’s a new gem.”
Bohnenkamp watches each day as crews tear at the concrete outside of her locally famed restaurant.
The third generation Florence merchant says watching revitalization unfold is “pure love.”
"It's a new vibe that we have down here,” Bohnenkamp said. “That's why you'd want to come here. You've seen the other parts of the city, Florence is now going to be up and coming next."
Molly Sedlacek’s roots are in the far northern neighborhood too.
The mother of two says she left for a while and returned like everyone else does.
"It's awesome,” Sadlacek said. “We get a bad rap being in north Omaha, since it's developing and up in coming, it's a family community.”
While Sadlacek says the small town charm of Florence is enough to win her heart, she says city money spent on her neighborhood is added benefits.
“It’s great,” she said. “The food (here) is phenomenal. It is bringing people from places who would have never thought to come down here. People travel from all over to come to Mouth of the South and Enzo's. It's wonderful."
Omaha Councilmember Pete Festersen leads the project from downtown.
He says the long-range plan is funded by transportation bonds.