A Guide to Midtown Omaha

By: Ryan Renner, Realtor
By: Ryan Renner, Realtor

Ryan has helped many families moving to Omaha. Contact him if you have any questions about the Omaha area or need help buying a home.

Midtown is Omaha’s cultural hub. From art and music to dining and historic neighborhoods, Midtown is where locals come to be entertained. There are five key areas that make up Midtown; from north to south they are: Benson, Dundee, Midtown Crossing, Blackstone and Aksarben.

In the midst of it all you will find Omaha’s most prestigious private schools, a trailblazing University, and vintage homes preferred by Academy Award winning directors and billionaires. From every corner, Midtown is overflowing with much of the city’s most noteworthy and charming characteristics.

There are a lot of opinions on the exact boundaries of “midtown” Omaha.

For our sake, we will use these boundaries… east of 72nd and west of 30th/I480 as well as north of Center and south of Cuming/NW Radial.

If you don’t live here, those streets don’t mean anything so I made a map below.

Dundee

I lived in Dundee for over 10 years and in my opinion it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Omaha

You have a vibrant downtown district that has restaurants and bars like Dario’s and Pitch. And it also has other hair salons, a florist, and other businesses.

Dundee is walking distance to Memorial Park where you can walk your dog, play ultimate frisbee, or fly a kite.

Homes in Dundee range in price from $200k to over $1 million. The homes will be older but have a lot of charm. Since it’s a walkable neighborhood, don’t expect to have huge lots.

If you are looking to rent in Dundee, there are a bunch of options. There are duplexes, single family homes, and even newer apartment complexes such as The Duke and Dundee Flats.

Blackstone

Blackstone has gone through a huge renaissance in the past few years. If you asked a local 10 years ago where Blackstone was, they couldn’t even tell you.

Today, it is home to one of the most vibrant and hip neighborhoods in Omaha.

The recently completed Cottonwood Hotel has become a popular staycation destination for locals. You will also find numerous restaurants as well as Coneflower Creamery which is a personal favorite with my family.

Blackstone is right next to UNMC (and not too far from Creighton and UNO) so it’s a popular location for medical students, college students, and young professionals.

If you want to live in the Blackstone neighborhood, you will probably have to rent. GreenSlate Development has built, renovated, and currently manages a lot of the properties in the area. But there are other rentals available whether you are looking for a brand new building or something older and a little less expensive.

If you get a little farther away from the heart of Blackstone, you will find places you can buy. Midtown Crossing offers rentals as well as condos you can buy. Field Club is also nearby.

The Blackstone District is another one of Omaha’s recently revitalized neighborhoods. The perfect getaway for medical students, nurses and doctors, Blackstone is lined with great restaurants and bars for winding down or an evening out. Directly east of the Nebraska Medical Center, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) a majority of district’s trending businesses are lined along Farnam Street.

Parks/Rec: Nearby – Hanscom, Turner, Memorial and Elmwood Parks.

Restaurants/Bars: Noli’s Pizzaria, Sullivan’s, Mula, Scriptown Brewing Company, Nite Owl, Brothers Lounge, Corkscrew Wine & Cheese

Aksarben

Aksarben Farmers Market with Baxter Arena in the Distance

The boundaries of Aksarben (Nebraska spelled backward) can be found below. It is east of 72nd, north of Center, west of Saddle Creek, and south of Pacific/Leavenworth.

Map of Aksarben

The Aksarben neighborhood used to be anchored by an arena and horse racing complex. It shut down in 1995 and in 2005 it was demolished to give way to a mixed-use development. This development is called Aksarben Village.

Since it first broke ground, Aksarben Village has been slowly growing into a business and entertainment destination. Many businesses have found a home here including Pacific Life, Microsoft, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, DLR Group, HDR, and more.

As for entertainment, there is a movie theatre, lots of restaurants, a weekly farmer’s market in the summer, and Stinson Park which hosts many events including MAHA (an annual music festival).

And just to the south of Aksarben Village is Baxter Arena, the sports home of the University of Nebraska – Omaha. You can see the hockey, basketball, and volleyball teams play there. And UNO just recently opened a brand new baseball-softball complex next to the arena.

Just to the north of Aksarben Village is UNO’s Scott Campus. This area has exploded over the past 10 years and features a lot of on-campus housing as well buildings for the school’s business and engineering programs.

As you venture outside Aksarben Village, you will encounter homes that were built between 1920-1950.

Living in Aksarben

Buying a Home

If you are looking to buy a home, expect to spend between $150k – $350k. On the low end, homes usually have 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and around 1,000 square feet. On the high end, 3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, and around 2k square feet. Most homes in Aksarben only have 1 car garage.

Renting

Aksarben Village has a lot of newer apartments including Broadmoor, Cue, Pinhook Flats, and many more.

Since Aksarben is so close to the university, there are a lot of single family homes available for rent as well.

Additional Aksarben Resources

Parks/Rec: Elmwood Park, Stinson Park

Restaurants/Bars: Jones Bros Cupcakes, Spirit World, Voodoo Taco, DJs Dugout, Ponzu Sushi, Dudley’s Pizza, Pickleman’s Café, Liv Lounge

Shops: Togs, Lovebird Boutique, Backwoods

Entertainment / Events: Stinson Concert Series, Omaha Beer Fest, ArtSarben, Omaha Farmer’s Market, Maha Music Festival, Kidchella

Benson

Historic Benson sign on side of building in Omaha

Benson has been a low-key destination for underground music and dive bars for a while, but only recently has revived itself as a go-to destination for art, entertainment and great restaurants. According to Experience Benson, In 2015 Benson began a streetscape project which included the widening and replacement of all sidewalks, new curbs, new public plazas, traffic calming at several intersections, new landscaping, benches and bike racks from 59th to 63rd and Maple Streets, and a special event space along Military Avenue from Maple to Binney streets.

Schools: Montessori Co-Op, Benson High School, Benson West Elementary, Central Park Elementary, Pinewood Elementary, St. Bernard’s School, Rose Hill Elementary, Fontenelle Elementary, Holy Name Elementary, St. Pius X/St. Leo Elementary. Nearby: Roncalli Catholic, Northwest High School, Marian High School, Creighton Prepatory High School

Parks/Rec: Fontenelle Park, Benson Park & Dill Softball Complex

Safety: The main street in Benson (59th to 63rd and Maple Streets) is relatively safe. However, urban Benson has a history of crime and venturing away from the main area can be unpredictable. Benson natives take great pride in their space, and cared about the area before it became popular, so being respectful and practicing common sense will insure a great experience and likely make you some new friends.

Restaurants: Lot 2, 1912, Benson Brewery, España Tapas Bar, Taita, The Pizza Shoppe

Bars: Jake’s Cigars & Spirits, The Sydney, Barley Street Tavern, The Waiting Room Lounge, Benson Brewery, Beercade

Entertainment: The Waiting Room, 402 Arts Collective, Beercade

Events: First Fridays

Midtown Crossing

Midtown Crossing is one of the newest developments in the eastern part of Omaha. It has a more polished and corporate aesthetic than it’s Dundee and Blackstone neighbors. Fortune 500 company, Mutual of Omaha resides here as well as many other Omaha-born establishments including: Brix Wine & Spirits, Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery & Deli, The Afternoon, and The Grey Plume – recognized as America’s greenest restaurant.

Living: Midtown Crossing is a popular area for college students and business-folks alike. While the Midtown Crossing is ideal for luxury condos in Omaha, the area is set right between the Creighton University and University of Nebraska – Omaha campuses, and also serves as home to some Greek housing.

Parks/Rec: Turner Park regularly hosts recreational events including Yoga Rocks the Park, bocce ball tournaments, and various charitable runs/walks. Dewey Park and Gifford Park are also nearby.

Noteworthy Restaurants/Bars: The Grey Plume, GRANE, Delice, Cantina Laredo, Brix, Black Oak Grill, Crave and The Chicago Dawg House

Entertainment/Events: Midtown Car Show, Miracle at Midtown, Monday Night at the Movies, Jazz on the Green, End of Summer Concert Series

Cons

Garage Space – If you looking for a spacious 3 car garage, head west. A 2 car garage is a luxury in Midtown, and many homes have a one-car garage that can’t fit an SUV.

Yard Size – Don’t expect a big acreage.

Age of Homes – If you are looking for a home built within the last 50 years, then you won’t have very many options in Midtown.