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Omaha growing while saving history

Posted at 10:39 PM, Mar 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-03 23:39:07-05

The old Blackstone area is now one of Omaha's newest business districts.

"It's got a very historic vibe to it," said Matthew James.

That history is what some say is attracting both people and business.

"Research tells us that people love old buildings, and they love those businesses that go into old building," said Nicole Malone.

"They are frequenting those businesses more that go into old buildings," said Malone.

Restoration Exchange Omaha's Nicole Malone says preserving and renovating makes good economic sense.

"If a developer can find a use for an existing building we are hoping that fabric of the neighborhood can stay in tact, instead of tearing it down for a new building," said Malone.

Like the restaurant Stirnella, the owner saw the advantages of moving into an older building near 38th and Farnam.

Malone says customers appreciate that.

"People get excited about the built environment in Omaha and want to save our older homes and structures instead of wanting to tear them down," said Malone.

The trick is finding the right balance between old and new.

"Areas like The Capital District and Aksarben, there is so much building and new construction," said James.

"We don't really use a lot of historic landmarks that we have here.

In return, saving neighborhoods and parts of the past.

"Every one of these buildings I don't know how long they have been here, but they are apart of history and I think that's important," said James.