Scissortail Park the hub of new development

Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record

Scissortail Park, Oklahoma City’s new urban oasis, had a successful opening weekend. Crowds enjoyed concerts, fireworks, food trucks, family activities and strolling through the great lawn. The park is the centerpiece that connects downtown to the shore of the Oklahoma River and brings residents, visitors and downtown workers to relax, grab a bite to eat, connect and enjoy our city.

Besides being a key gathering, recreational, entertainment and outdoor space, Scissortail Park is also a transformational economic development asset. One of the final MAPS 3 projects, it’s the catalyst for a nearly $1 billion investment in private and public development projects all coming online within a two-year window around the park.

The park and surrounding developments will have several food and beverage options. Social Capital just opened on the west side of the park and more dining options are close behind. The Omni Oklahoma City hotel will include seven food and beverage destinations.

Housing is a critical component in the successful development of the area. Boulevard Place will be an eight-story, mixed-use development on the southwest corner of Oklahoma City Boulevard and Shields Boulevard. It will feature 241 residential units, including an affordable housing component. The development will also have ground-floor retail space and a day care, important for working families and the growing demand for child care in the urban core.

Although they aren’t typically the most exciting component of development projects, a new public parking garage east of the Omni Hotel will be key to supporting the surrounding projects. The 1,100-space garage will offer parking for residents and visitors of Boulevard Place, guests of the convention center and hotel, and those catching a Thunder game or concert at Chesapeake Energy Arena or simply enjoying Scissortail Park.

There will soon be additional development opportunities in the area. The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority will be issuing requests for proposals for development to continue the high-density, high-quality, mixed-use urban district. The former Goodwill site has almost 3 acres and frontage on both the park and the new boulevard. Future development on the site just south of the convention center could create synergy with the park, hotel, convention center and Boulevard Place.

Scissortail Park is reshaping downtown Oklahoma City’s future and giving us the opportunity to continue to define our city and reward our citizens’ investments through the MAPS program.

Cathy O’Connor is the president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.

Read the story on JournalRecord.com.

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