May 5, 2016

The Oklahoma City Council voted Tuesday to approve the conceptual design for theMAPS 3 Downtown Convention Center, moving forward with a vision to create OKC’s “living room” on the edge of the MAPS 3 Downtown Public Park.

The conceptual design, created by consultants at Populous, calls for a multi-level building with a ballroom on the top floor featuring expansive views of the park and OKC’s urban core, leading designers to liken it to the community’s living room. The center will be on the park’s east edge, a block south of Chesapeake Energy Arena.

May 3, 2016

by Cathy O'Connor via The Journal Record: May 3, 2016

From a city planning and economic development perspective, the word “density” has a few different meanings and measurements.

Density may refer to the number of people who live within a certain amount of space, the size of the buildings on a particular site or the number of homes located within a particular area.

April 26, 2016

by Cathy O'Connor via The Journal Record: April 26, 2016

As the days get warmer, festivals and neighborhood events begin to spring up throughout Oklahoma City. These events foster a sense of community, which is one of the goals of an upcoming event in northeast Oklahoma City. The “oNE OKC: A Northeast Renaissance” event will be held this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Moses F. Miller Stadium at Douglass High School.

The free event welcomes local visitors from around Oklahoma City to the area and features a community mural, visual and performing arts, local food trucks, and activities for the whole family, including wellness and education. For its inaugural year, organizers hope the event will illustrate the fun, culturally rich, economically vibrant, and socially inclusive atmosphere that summarizes the future of northeast Oklahoma City. By creating positive energy and awareness around the northeast renaissance, this area is making strides to engage the youth and young professionals.

The organizers oNE OKC hope to inspire additional collaborative events in the area. Events such as these highlight the positive energy and forward momentum taking place. As development continues to progress, interest increases from local and outside businesses as a potential spot for new locations. Continued community involvement shows further support for the improvements going into the area.

It takes multiple efforts to improve any area of the city, and northeast Oklahoma City has many people devoted to its future. The oNE OKC event is a collaborative effort that includes the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee, Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class XI, the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City and the many sponsors of this event.

Read the full article here in the April 26th edition of The Journal Record.

April 19, 2016

by Cathy O'Connor via The Journal Record: April 19, 2016

Recent construction of single-family homes and multifamily developments have increased the residential offerings in the Oklahoma City area, but it’s also important to maintain and rehabilitate the existing housing stock in neighborhoods. Several programs and organizations are assisting residents with the repairs and upkeep necessary to keep their homes safe and attractive.

Most recently, Rebuilding Together OKC hosted a Rebuilding Day in the Culbertson’s East Highland neighborhood of northeast Oklahoma City, in which more than 1,000 volunteers from various companies and organizations made repairs to 27 houses in the area. The project was a collaboration of Rebuilding Together OKC, Oklahoma City’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma and the Culbertson’s East Highland Neighborhood Association. Rehabilitation of existing homes adds much needed value for homeowners and the surrounding neighborhood.

April 13, 2016

by Cathy O'Connor via The Journal Record: April 13, 2016

Historic tax credits have been a critical element in the financing structure of many important redevelopment projects in Oklahoma. The tax credit is typically a necessary piece of the financial equation, meaning the project would not be financially feasible and would not happen without the availability of the tax credits.

These projects breathe new life into structures with great historic significance to our communities. The buildings are often vacant and dilapidated before the redevelopment, contributing to crime and blight in the neighborhoods in which they are located. While the projects are in progress, work is created for architects and laborers. After the projects are complete, not only have these important pieces of architecture been saved, but jobs have been created, new rents are coming in, and property values and corresponding tax revenues have increased.