Omaha Residents Celebrate Reopening of Gene Leahy Park

July 1, 2022, 5 p.m. ·

Omaha Residents at Reopening of Leahy Mall
Omaha residents visit the Gene Leahy Mall on the first day of it's reopening. (Photo by Tanner Dykstra, Nebraska Public Media)

Omaha will be celebrating the opening of the newly renovated Gene Leahy Mall this weekend.

After 3 years of construction, the Gene Leahy Mall in Omaha is ready to welcome back visitors. The 50,000 square foot area is part of a $325 million downtown overhaul project. One visitor, Kara Spitzenberger, said the park is a big step forward for the city.

“People of all ages can use it, and you can eventually get all the way to the river. It’s a healthy thing for the city,” she said.

Jamie Vandament brought her four children to the opening on Friday. She said the park is a welcoming place for her family.

“It’s nice and clean, colorful, looks safe. Looks good for all ages, I have 6 to newborn. It looks like it’ll be lots of fun, we’ll be coming here a lot,” she said.

Another visitor, Yuridia Igbokwe, said the area is a great way to invite Omaha residents to be active in their community.

“It’s almost impossible to come here and not do something. You can have lunch in here, walk, and then even like the music. I hope we get more of this and I thank the city for doing stuff like this,” she said.

A big difference in the new mall is that almost all of it is at street level. The old mall sat mostly below street level.

The newly-opened area will have a packed weekend of events, including nightly music performances through Monday.