Economic development rings in a prosperous 2019Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record
Looking back at 2018, there were many reasons to celebrate the economic growth and development in Oklahoma City. This year we can expect to build upon those successes and continue our city’s transformative momentum.
In 2019 we will see further development in the Core to Shore area, particularly with continued construction of the new convention center and the Omni Oklahoma City Hotel. The north section of the beautiful Scissortail Park will be completed and will open in the summer. The Boulevard Place mixed-use project just east of the Omni will be in design this year, which when completed will bring a mix of market-rate and affordable housing to the area. The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority has several requests for proposals due in the new year for redevelopment in Core to Shore, including along the Oklahoma City Boulevard and around the park.
Downtown will see continued progress as well in 2019, with the completion of the West Village development and design progressing on a housing development at Fourth and Shartel.
Several redevelopment projects are underway in northeast Oklahoma City that offer economic revitalization. OCURA has several parcels of land available for redevelopment located along and adjacent to the NE 23rd Street commercial corridor. OCURA will be working with builders on more than 75 residential lots near NE 16th Street and MLK Avenue to encourage homeownership and neighborhood reinvestment.
Oklahoma City was one of three cities selected nationally by Accelerator for America to pilot a program using Opportunity Zones to help revitalize areas with lower median incomes. Several Opportunity Zones have been designated in the Oklahoma City area that have great development potential, and we will market these key areas in 2019.
Of course, we can’t forecast economic development without mentioning the OKC Streetcar. Before service launched, we were already seeing increased public and private investment and higher market value along the route. We can expect even more in 2019, including higher sales tax revenue from riders who shop and eat along the streetcar route.
The end of 2018 brought significant changes in leadership at the local government level, with Mayor David Holt and City Manager Craig Freeman taking the helm. I look forward to working together as we continue the transformation of Oklahoma City in 2019.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.