Greater OKC Chamber President comments on MAPS 4 projects packagePublished: Friday, August 23, 2019 By: Chamber Staff Source: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is pleased to see the inclusive MAPS 4 projects list that will be considered by the city council for a public vote.
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President and CEO Roy Williams said the package of projects is the right combination of what the city needs to keep moving forward.
“When Mayor David Holt asked the residents to dream big, they certainly did. Now we have a package of incredible projects that will improve the lives of everyone in this city and ultimately the region,” he said.
The city council held four public meetings to hear the proposals from their respective supporters. The list was a mix of traditional MAPS-like capital projects and social services-type projects that will stimulate the economy, improve connectivity, create jobs, add amenities and ultimately help all Oklahoma City residents. The project list includes a multi-purpose outdoor stadium, a mental health treatment center, a family justice center; and additional money to build affordable houses, expand bus transportation and help fund a new pavilion at State Fair Park.
Williams said he was very appreciative of the council taking the time to listen to the supporters’ concerns and hear the needs in our community.
“This package addresses many of the needs in our city and sends a great message that Oklahoma City residents care about our neighbors,” he said. “We hear that a lot when talking to our businesses: Everyone here is so helpful.”
Williams said he was especially pleased that the Innovation District projects were included. The Chamber and several partners requested funding to implement impactful parts of a land use and strategic development study for the area, which will be used to construct Innovation Hall and expand the 10th Street Bridge over Interstate 235, as well as renovate the Henrietta B. Foster Center and update Booker T. Washington Park. The request also included money for programming at the Foster Center and Innovation Hall.
He said the improvements made at the Innovation District will be a boon for Ward 7, but also help create a place that’s attractive to new companies wanting to do life-changing work. He said cities like Boston and St. Louis are already reaping the benefits of having a planned and programmed innovation district, so it’s time for Oklahoma City to improve upon the assets we have to strengthen its standing as a research destination.
Williams said when the MAPS 4 projects are completed, people will look back at this vote in December and see it as another turning point in Oklahoma City’s history.
“This package will make life better for every resident,” he said. “And when we help our residents, that sends a beautiful message to the rest of the country – well, even the world – that Oklahoma City is a place where you won’t feel left behind.”