Omaha business owners see growth potential in Leavenworth corridor

Omaha, Nebraska (WOWT) – For decades, a stretch of road along the eastern end of the Leavenworth Street Corridor has been marked as dilapidated, underserved and challenging.

But now some business owners see the community as an opportunity to grow their business.

About a year ago, Wendy Pivonka moved her legendary Comics and Coffee to 31st and Leavenworth. Wendy has seen the area grow, and she hopes the growth and cleanup won’t drive people who live here out of the community.

“There’s potential, especially with the development of the Western Medical Center, I see the potential differently, but I don’t want it to affect the residential areas around here because it expands and people start losing their homes,” he said. Wendy said.

Steve Basilico recently purchased a large building near 25th and Leavenworth. He plans to open an antiques store here.

“What I want to do is provide space for more curated items, where people learn about their history, where they come from, and what they really are,” Steve said. “Come back from a different era, when things were created more organically with the mind, rather than computationally.”

Steve collected furniture and knick-knacks from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Steve is excited about the possibilities in this community.

“Since I’ve been here, a few different buildings have been purchased. The company next to us is expanding into the building next to it, so the growth is palpable and the renaissance that’s happening is great.”

“What we’re trying to do is bring more activity to the space and help other businesses around.”

Steve hoped that the growth and downtown development sparked by Nebraska Medicine and UNMC on the other side of Leavenworth would have an impact in his Leavenworth Street neighborhood.

“With the development of downtown malls, I mean that progress has to keep spilling into the city.”

Several business owners in the area have told us they have heard more properties changing hands in the area and they believe more new businesses are heading to the area.

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