The Maple Street Corridor Project

The next chapter of Benson’s storied history has begun.

The Maple Street Corridor Project, launched in August 2008, is a collaborative formed to revitalize Maple Street in downtown Benson from Northwest Radial Highway to 64th Street. The project, which also focuses on Military Avenue from Maple Street to Northwest Radial Highway, is a partnership of the Benson-Ames Alliance, the Benson Business Association, the Benson Neighborhood Association, the City of Omaha Departments of Planning and Public Works, and Omaha by Design – which serves as the alliance’s project manager.

The Benson-Ames Alliance, formed in 2005 to help plan for and implement the revitalization of the city’s Benson-Ames sector, selected downtown Benson as its first priority area. The project focuses on three components – a new streetscape design, a housing and retail market analysis, and a community branding initiative designed to spark civic pride and investment in redevelopment opportunities.

Streetscape Design

Downtown Benson Streetscape Improvements covers four areas – the street itself, public space, gateways and entrances, and sustainability. It calls for a newly created public square, a renovated community center plaza, an expanded pedestrian zone at the intersection of Military and Maple, and expanded street nodes along the corridor. The first component of the project slated for implementation is the creation of an east gateway to the district where Maple Street diverges from Northwest Radial Highway. The goal is to create improved traffic movements, enhance pedestrian accessiblilty and mobility, and develop landscaped spaces appropriate to a high quality urban district.

Housing and Retail Market Analysis

The urban character of downtown Benson sets it apart from other sectors of the city. It’s developing into an arts and entertainment destination, and the resulting synergy has created a platform for future development. Among the findings in the downtown benson final report is the identification of three opportunity sites in the study area large enough to support mixed-use development.

Funding for the project to date has been provided by the City of Omaha, the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, the Gifford Foundation, the Adah and Leon Millard Foundation, Bluestone Development and the City Weekly.

For more information about The Maple Street Corridor Project, call 402.934.7055 or email info@omahabydesign.org.

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