Young Republicans from all over the United States organized a panel discussion about the upcoming Riverfront project in Omaha. A number of Omaha officials faced questions about the $290 million public-private project that would change the face of downtown Omaha for good.
The thing that bothered this aspiring group the most is how this tremendous real estate project goes in line with the Republican idea of limited government accompanied by lower taxes.
The plan is that the Omaha city administration invests an initial $50 million into a complex that is going to surround the Gene Leahy Mall, the Heartland of America Park and Lewis and Clark landing. The city is going to use its funds and influx an additional $3 million every year for the following ten years into this impressive makeover.
The rest of the money is to be attracted from the private donors led by Ken Stinson, a former executive at the mighty corporation. He also attended this panel and stated that the infusion of private money would bring relief to taxes.
Another participant in this discussion was Tom D’Arcy, the general manager of a globally successful real estate company “Hines.” He said that the completion of such an ambitious project is going to incite the development of the entire area. He continued by calling this undertaking as something that is rarely seen in America.
He emphasized that projects like this are rarely financed by the private sector. Private investors are already paying the $30 million current expenses.
The member of Omaha City Council who also moderated this panel discussion stated that the city hadn’t raised the taxes to support this impressive project financially. The crowd welcomed this statement with cheers.
Many Omaha citizens have been wondering whether the city could apply the same shared funding model to build the roads. When asked this question at the panel, Stinson replied “No” adding that “there are no free roads.”