Private vs Public City Planning

Both private and public developers make judgments about the future market for their projects. When private developers’ judgments turn out to be wrong, they lose their money. When public developers’ judgments turn out to be wrong, they lose your money.

The Omaha By Design plan adopted by the City of Omaha envisions 72nd and Dodge framed with eight 10-story buildings and other taller structures stretching to a large residential complex at 76th Street. The drawings don’t resemble Bourn’s strip malls.
Wilke said he has seen the plan.
“That kind of visionary thinking is fun to engage in, but I don’t think it’s market-based,” he said. Another developer might see that as possible, he said, and Bourn Partners likes to do that kind of high-density, mixed-use development, but the company doesn’t see this part of the Omaha market as ready for that yet.
“We think the suburban scale is still what the market wants in that area,” Wilke said. (p. 2D)

DEBORAH SHANAHAN. Market drives projects around 72nd and Dodge.” Omaha World-Herald (Tuesday, August 9, 2005): 1D-2D.

Business at the city-owned Hilton Omaha is expected next year to fall $2 million short of generating the cash needed to cover its costs.

When the city built the hotel, predictions assumed that hotel revenues – not tax dollars – would be sufficient to pay it off.

C. DAVID KOTOK. City expects its Hilton to come up shy. Omaha World-Herald (Tuesday, August 9, 2005) online edition.

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