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  • Cathy O'Connor

economic development discussed at ward 7 town hall

Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis held a town hall meeting at the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church in northeast Oklahoma City on Sept. 29. The meeting updated Northeast Oklahoma City residents on the area's ongoing economic development projects. Several presentations were given discussing these projects, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

The church quickly became standing room only as the community filled the pews. Councilman Pettis introduced the town hall's presenters while talking about the need for growth and economic development in Ward 7.

Cathy O'Connor, president of the Alliance for Economic Development of OKC, began the program by discussing the Northeast Renaissance Redevelopment Project Plan. She explained how tax increment finance (TIF) can be used as an economic development tool to revitalize the northeast community, especially the commercial corridors.

Michael Owens, Community Development Director for the Alliance, and Greg Jones, CEO of the Minority Business Resource Network, spoke regarding the Northeast Renaissance Stakeholders Committee and the importance of providing small business resources to the community.

Susan Binkowski, developer of Kings Crossing, and Rick Brown, developer of the Northeast Shopping Center, presented information on their development projects. When complete, both projects will provide much needed amenities to northeast Oklahoma City neighborhoods.

Gina Sofola, Project Manager on the Page Woodson project, discussed how the renovation of the school and new development surrounding the school will provide new rental property and a community hub to northeast Oklahoma City.

The Q&A session following the presentations allowed community members to voice their encouragement, concerns and suggestions to the group. The town hall gave Northeast Oklahoma City residents the opportunity to hear updates about new growth and development happening in their community and get contact information from the presenters and developers.

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