Breaking New Ground: How the Highlander Accelerator and 75 North are Reshaping Omaha’s Community

 Breaking New Ground: How the Highlander Accelerator and 75 North are Reshaping Omaha’s Community

Breaking New Ground: How the Highlander Accelerator and 75 North are Reshaping Omaha’s Community

By a UNOmaha Student as part of Heather Nelson’s Service Learning Academy. class

The 75 North Development and the Highlander Accelerator in Omaha are two intertwined projects that are transforming the landscape of North Omaha. The 75 North Development is a nonprofit organization that focuses on community development and revitalization in the area, while the Highlander is a mixed-income housing development that is part of the larger 75 North project. These projects aim to improve the quality of life for residents in North Omaha, which has historically been a neglected and marginalized area of the city.

A Vision for the Future

The 75 North Development was founded in 2011 with the goal of transforming the Highlander neighborhood in North Omaha. The nonprofit works with community members, local organizations, and government agencies to create a comprehensive plan for revitalizing the neighborhood.

The Highlander is a key component of this plan. It is a mixed-income housing development that offers a range of housing options, including affordable apartments and market-rate townhomes. The development also includes a fitness center, a playground, and a community garden. The goal of the Highlander is to create a diverse and inclusive community that serves as a model for other neighborhoods in North Omaha. At the heart of the Highlander lies the Highlander Accelerator. The Accelerator boasts an impressive roster of organizations and businesses housed within. The Dining Room is a community food hall there that offers Omaha an opportunity to experience quality culinary choices from trusted, local vendors including Best Burger, Dena’s Place, and Big Mama’s Kitchen—a beloved fixture for soul food since 2007. The Highlander neighborhood also operates as the headquarters for, locally-owned, Hardy Coffee Co. The space houses a coffee shop, commercial bakery, and roasting facility. The cafe is open seven days a week from 7am to 10pm to accommodate a variety of guests.

Meeting Community Needs

The development of the Highlander was not without controversy. Some residents of the neighborhood were skeptical of the project and expressed concerns about displacement and gentrification. The 75 North Development responded to these concerns by engaging in a robust community engagement process and working closely with neighborhood leaders to ensure that the project was responsive to the needs of the community.

Environmental Harmony

One of the key features of the Highlander is its focus on sustainability. The development is designed to be energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, with features such as green roofs, rain gardens, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. The development has received numerous awards for its sustainability efforts, including a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Community and Education

The Highlander also has a strong focus on education. The community center includes a computer lab and a library, and the development has partnerships with local schools to provide after-school programs and other educational opportunities for children. The goal is to create a community that supports education and provides opportunities for children to succeed.

Moving Forward

The Highlander is just one part of the larger 75 North Development project. The nonprofit organization is also working on other initiatives in the area, including the creation of a grocery store, a health clinic, and a job training center. These projects are designed to address some of the key challenges facing North Omaha, including access to healthy food, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

The 75 North Development has already had a significant impact on the Highlander neighborhood and North Omaha as a whole. The development has created new housing options for residents and has helped to revitalize the community. It has also sparked a renewed sense of hope and optimism among residents, who see the project as a sign that their neighborhood is finally getting the attention and resources it deserves.


About the accelerator. Highlander Accelerator. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from

Highlander Apartments. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from

Seventy five north. Seventy Five North. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from

Omaha / seventy five north revitalization corp.. Purpose Built Communities. (2020, September 14). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from

  • About Freedomtainment.:Freedomtainment is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Omaha, Nebraska established to educate, empower and entertain the Omaha Nebraska community about North Omaha Culture while bringing awareness to local, social and business resources.  It hosts the Omaha Freedom Festival to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday and the Level Up Career & Housing Fair on Labor Day Weekend.
  • About Omaha Freedom Festival.:The 2023 Omaha Freedom Festival is taking place on June 17th at the Malcolm X Outside Event Plaza to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday from 12noon – 12midnight to honor the emancipation of those enslaved in the United States.  See website for event schedule and how to obtain tickets.