Area Near 48th and O Streets May be Declared “Blighted”

You probably pass it several times a week, on the way to the mall, or heading downtown. The area surrounding 48th and O has become an eyesore in recent years. It used to house several businesses, car dealerships, and a gas station. Now, the area is mostly boarded-up buildings and deteriorating sidewalks. But the city council will soon be receiving a recommendation that could change all that.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission has recommended that the area near 48th and O be declared “blighted”. Now, that sounds like a negative thing, but city officials say it would give them new options for improving the area. That would give the city the ability to use tax dollars from improved buildings to pay for improvement to the area, all in hopes of attracting new businesses.

The strategy has been successful in the past. City officials point to an area of north 27th, which was declared blighted a few years ago.

Urban Development officials expect the recommendation to go before the city council this month. It has already been approved by the Planning Commission.