Metro Jacksonville takes a visit to one of the more successful downtown revitalization scenes in the country: Omaha, Nebraska.
North Downtown (NoDo)
CenturyLink Center is an arena and convention center facility in North Downtown. The 1.1 million-ft² facility has an 18,975-seat arena, a 194,000-ft² exhibition hall and 62,000 ft² of meeting space.
The $291 million facility was completed in 2003.
A new mixed-use development, North Downtown extends 80 blocks, from the campus of Creighton University to the CenturyLink Center and new developments along the Missouri River. The boundaries are Seward Street on the north, I-480 on the south, 17th Street to the west and Riverfront Drive on the east.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downtown_Omaha
The area comprising NoDo is central to the history of Omaha. Along the river, Miller's Landing was the site where the Lone Tree Ferry brought settlers from Iowa. The early Territorial Legislature platted Scriptown in the area. The historic neighborhood of Squatter's Row and the city's notorious prostitution alleyway, The Cribs, were located here.
Today the area includes the new Slowdown venue. The new TD Ameritrade Park opened in April 2011 near CenturyLink Center as the new home of the College World Series and Creighton University baseball. The area also includes national retail such as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel and several restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. The Hot Shops Art Center is located here where local artists have work on display. Three new hotels have recently[when?] opened; Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites, and a Hampton Inn & Suites; these are in addition to the Hilton Omaha already located across from the Qwest Center. Several buildings have also been renovated into apartments and condos. The Missouri River riverfront is the eastern boundary of NoDo where millions in redevelopment has taken place in recent years. The city has created a new boardwalk, walking trails, and the Lewis & Clark Landing which connect to the Heartland of America Park and, in-conjunction, host several of Omaha's annual festivals, like the Taste of Omaha.
A city marina has opened for Missouri River boaters and Rick's Boatyard is a nautical theme restaurant that opened on the boardwalk in November 2002. Buildings along the riverfront include the National Park Service Midwest Regional Office and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail visitors center, The Gallup Organization operational headquarters, Gallup University Campus, and two residential towers, RiverFront Place Condos. Near these buildings is the 3,000 ft footbridge, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
The movement in Omaha to reintroduce street cars is led by former mayor Hal Daub. The proposed streetcars would cost $55 million and run in a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) loop through Downtown Omaha and NoDo. The system would cost about $2 million per year to operate and would serve almost 7,000 passengers in its first year. One route would run the cars from Creighton University near 20th and Webster streets, proceeding east to 10th Street, passing by the CenturyLink Center and moving south to Jackson Street in the Old Market. After that it would then move west to 16th Street and then north to Farnam before returning to 10th Street.