Research combined by Venicia M., Robin S., and Nolan M.
The Central Park neighborhood stretches from North 33rd to North 48th and Ames Avenue to Sorenson Parkway. This area, which was considered an early suburb, was settled in the 1870s and originally named West Saratoga. It was comprised of a schoolhouse, a mercantile store, and several houses occupied by white working-class families. West Saratoga school was built in 1885 and the area was then known as the Cherry Hill neighborhood. After the school was rebuilt in 1912 it was called by its current name, Central Park. The Central Park Improvement Club became active in the 1890s and advocated for positive changes in the neighborhood, like graded streets, streetlights, and the extension of the streetcar line to the neighborhood in 1920. The intersection of 42nd and Grand was a line of businesses that included Central Park Pharmacy, a doctor’s office, Central Park Congregational Church, a Jewish cemetery, and a long history of grocery stores like Hinky Dinky and Hadley’s. Over time, car culture increasingly displaced the public transportation system. Starting in the 1970s, many of the traditional white ethnic residents began to move from the neighborhood to outlying suburban areas, following a national trend of white flight from central cities and first-ring suburbs like Central Park. As white residents left, tax revenues and economic development declined and political power shifted toward the expanding, more affluent edges of the city. This left the new, largely working-class African American residents of Central Park facing a host of difficult challenges, from higher rates of unemployment to struggling schools, absentee landlords, pollution, and social instability.
I propose that 4130 Grand Ave should be a social hall called Venicia’s Venue. It will be a social hall that would provide a place for people to get together, celebrate life events, have meetings, hangout, and more. Businesses could come here to discuss agendas over catered luncheons. I will have a great customer base because many of the people in the Central Park Neighborhood have high school diplomas, have young families and Venicia’s Venue would provide them a place to have their celebrations. I believe that this could also bring the community together because I could propose neighborhood meetings, clubs, and activities. My business will add to the fabric of the Central Park Community in a way that will improve the feeling of community between people of the neighborhood.
Basement Books’ mission is to provide affordable books about minorities and under-represented groups to the people of the Central Park neighborhood, as well as the rest of Omaha. We will be located at 4907 N 42nd St., across from a diverse elementary (Central Park Elementary) with low reading scores comparative to other OPS schools. Adding a bookstore in this area will hopefully raise reading scores by donating books to the school and encouraging our youth to learn, read, and grow. The Central Park neighborhood is also home to large amounts of people in their 20’s and 30’s, people at that college level and in need of a variant of brain stimulators, and what better way to do that than read a book? Books are something that everyone can enjoy, but not everyone has access to them. So why not provide that wonderous opportunity?
My building is on 4135 Grand Avenue. My business is The Grand Central Thrift Shop. This business plan includes a thrift stop inside the building along with a mini food pantry. This building will provide the community a cheap way to buy second hand necessities and other desired second hand items. We will also have a mini food pantry that is ran by donation that customers can visit once a month as they have a need. My community has a large percentage low income families that would benefit from my business. My thrift shop will also be able to give back to the community in attempt to revitalize the neighborhood and make it better place for all the community. Some examples of this will be donating money for community projects like new bus benches, school supplies for Central Park Elementary, and new parks. Our mission statement says we care about our community and the people in it. We strive to give back and make our community a safer place for all for all religions, races, gender identities and sexualities. My business matters because it has meaning. It is something that is important because we are not here to just make money, we are here to change our world and community.