Report highlights transformative projectsPublished: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record
For nearly six decades, the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority has been working with city planners, private developers and residents to revitalize Oklahoma City. OCURA’s recent annual report highlights some of the most visible transformations in the Core to Shore Project Area.
The Omni Oklahoma City Hotel recently broke ground on its 605-room, AAA Four-Diamond hotel adjacent to the new OKC Convention Center. OCURA acquired the land, helped to facilitate private and public participation and coordinated the design review. The hotel will offer luxury amenities for guests and several restaurants that are accessible to park patrons and the public.
Several new hotels in or near the Core to Shore area have added room inventory to accommodate the expected increase in visitors. Two hotels in Bricktown, the AC Hotel by Marriott and Hyatt Place, were built on OCURA-purchased land that had been underutilized. The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is under construction west of Shields Boulevard near SW Fifth Street. These projects combined will add more than 400 hotel rooms.
OCURA has acquired several parcels of land surrounding the north and south sections of Scissortail Park to spur private commercial and residential development. Requests for proposals are now active on some of these parcels, and established policies will encourage good urban design and appropriate development density.
We are in process of another Oklahoma City transformation with the Innovation District. OCURA is working with city leaders, The Alliance for Economic Development and Oklahoma Health Center partners to create a technology-based and entrepreneurial revitalization. Based on research from the Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces, goals for the district include more connections and collaboration among innovation businesses, greater connectivity with surrounding neighborhoods and funding for workforce development and other programs.
Our first step toward the implementation of the Brookings study is the creation of a Land Use and Strategic Development Plan. We began this process with national planning consultant Perkins & Will last year and expect to receive their recommendations in the spring.
These are just a few of OCURA’s projects over the past year – projects that improve land use and value, complement the neighboring businesses and amenities and create economic development. Visit the OCURA website to learn about more revitalization efforts across Oklahoma City.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.