Leavenworth Street corridor seeing solid business growth

Elmwood Pharmacy staying in the neighborhood, anticipates further growth
A stretch of Leavenworth Street near Elmwood Park is seeing some revitalization with businesses returning to the area.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 6:49 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Elmwood Pharmacy is, in a way, back to where it started 25 years ago.

The pharmacy started in the back of the old Wohlner’s grocery store -- then it moved around the corner, sharing space with the medical clinic.

“The opportunity to come back to the building and have it renovated to the pharmacy was something that took a long process to get there, but it was something that we had really outgrown the space we were at for the previous 10 or 12 years,” said Jeff Kilborn with Elmwood Pharmacy.

Now, Kilborn and his pharmacy have plenty of room. And not only has his pharmacy grown -- the neighborhood itself is also starting to grow. There’s a pizza parlor coming right next door, and there’s construction work going on to build more housing along Leavenworth Street near Elmwood Park.

“It’s row housing, 20 units,” said Joe Recker, superintendent with Brester Construction. “They’re not a rental, they’re for sale...two-bedroom units on three floors.”

The new housing and the new business helped Jeff make his decision to stay in the neighborhood.

“Knowing that The Noddle Group was going to develop something to the west, knowing that UNMC is growing to the east, we felt it would be a good opportunity for us to continue to be an independent community pharmacy and having a corner presence, which I never had previously,” Kilborn said.

Jeff is also hoping more businesses will move into the area -- perhaps something to replace the landmark restaurant, Gerda’s Bakery, across the street.

He says so far customer traffic in the pharmacy has been good. He’s hoping business continues to grow in the neighborhood, and at his pharmacy that’s been around for a quarter-century.

There’s more growth coming to the east end of Leavenworth as well. Omaha City Council recently gave its approval to tear down a building near 30th and Leavenworth to build a four-story apartment building.