Visitors to Omaha will notice a big difference in the years ahead to the downtown and riverfront area. This is part of a $290 million plan to revitalize that area including the Gene Mall at 13th and Douglas Street. Ken Stinson is the co-chairman of the Riverfront Revitalization Committee and says they are draining the lagoon and bringing the sunken park up to street level. He says much of the park cannot be used.
Stinson says, “Thirty-some-percent of the Leahy Mall is water and nothing happens on the water. A good portion of the rest of it is slopes that are 3 to 1, 30%, something like that and very little happens on them.” He says it is a nice place to take a walk but if you wanted to hold an event or activity there is no place to do it.
Stinson says there is also a safety factor. He says. “There are 60 some barriers to views down there where you can be someplace and can’t be seen.”
It was on June 2nd that 21 year old Jasmine Harris was shot and killed near the Mall. Six others were injured when gunfire broke out between what police believe was a gang-related incident.
The committee is coming up with a master plan for the Mall, Heartland of America Park and the Lewis and Clark Landing.