Contractors Breathe New Life into Old Commercial Buildings on Historic North 24th Street | national news

OMAHA – A newly renovated building at 24th and Lake streets was the right space in the right place at the right time for entrepreneurs Theardis “Teddy” Young and CharDale Barnes to continue growing their own business while helping other small businesses and North Omaha to grow, too.

Young and Barnes recently moved the main office of their marketing, branding and web services firm, Stable Gray, to retail space at 2520 N. 24th St. It is part of Fabric, a five-storey urban development. commercial spaces and three apartments on the west side of 24th Street, just north of the lake.

Stable Gray’s move brings another black-owned, for-profit local business to the historic North 24th Street business district, which is being revitalized.


“It’s exciting to be a part of it,” Young said amid a hubbub of joyful conversations among about 50 people at Stable Gray’s opening festivities last week. “Just with the energy that’s happening here, and the synergy. There’s so many organizations and businesses working hard to get 24th Street back to where it was. It’s happening. We’re just a part of that.

Young, 39, and Barnes, 38, were born and raised in North Omaha. Young graduated from Benson High School and Barnes from North High. They first met in a church where they worked on different aspects of the production. Young was freelancing in graphic design and marketing at the time. Barnes had a background in sound engineering, photography and video but was preparing to go to Omaha Code School.


CharDale Barnes poses for a portrait Tuesday next to her business, Stable Gray, at 2520 N. 24th St.

After Barnes graduated from coding courses, they launched their business in 2015. They started with a few basic media services, aimed at helping businesses build strong brands at affordable prices. In their first seven years, they grew to offer multiple services including brand photography, custom websites, graphic design and corporate video production.

The North 24th Street space will be their headquarters. Barnes hopes to grow the company from its current four employees, including him and Young, to a six-figure workforce of eight to 10 people. They keep their old space, at 3223 N. 45th St., as a dedicated photo and video studio and for rental.

Stable Gray has worked for various companies and organizations including Union Pacific Railroad, 75 North, Charles Drew Health Center, Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering, First State Bank, Scooter’s Coffee, Omaha Star, Two Girls Cleaning, and Jadomte’ Mobile. Nail bar.

“Our company helps businesses create the brand of their dreams,” Young said.

This includes specialties to help organizations reach diverse audiences and to help small businesses grow. This includes businesses owned by Blacks and other minorities, which is part of what made the North 24th Street location attractive.

“We wanted to have a business in North Omaha,” Young said. “It’s an essential service that businesses need to grow. Having that here is a matter of access.

But minority-owned businesses generally have less access to branding and marketing services, he said.

“A lot of minority businesses have to start, and if you start, you usually don’t have enough margin to market,” Young said. “So we’re also making it affordable.”

Stable Gray’s new neighbors in the Fabric development include longtime neighborhood stalwart, Styles of Evolution. Owned by founders Don and Yvonne McPherson for 16 years, the clothing store has temporarily moved from its corner at 2522 N. 24th Street and will return there once renovations are complete. The Fabric Lab, an urban design and community center space, is at 2514 N. 24th St. North End Teleservices has another storefront in the complex and has done a few pop-ups there.


A newly renovated building on 24th Street is part of the historic North 24th Street business district which is being revitalized.

The Fabric development connects 24th and Ohio streets at one end of the North Omaha Trail, a bicycle and pedestrian path under construction. Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church is to the north. To the south, North Omaha Music & Arts will occupy the former event and exhibition space of Love’s Jazz and Art Center.

Across 24th Street to the east, North End Teleservices is planning a mixed-use development with its new headquarters as well as housing, food services and daycare. The Carver Heritage Center recently opened on the west corner. The Union for Contemporary Art, southeast of 24th and the lake, is renovating another old building in the Shirley Tiree Theater. As Young and Barnes cut the ribbon for their company last week, workers were working on a construction fence for the theater.

“It’s an exciting time,” Young said.

Manne Cook, a former city planner who is leading the development of Fabric and the North Omaha Trail, among other efforts, said there is a lot of potential and opportunity in the area, and a lot of positive growth will emerge over the course of the year. of the next year. There are discussions, he said, about whether this stretch of North 24th Street is being redeveloped into a business district, a cultural district, an innovation district or a historic district.

“In my opinion, it’s all of those things,” Cook said.