- Cathy O’Connor
Revitalization Across Oklahoma City
Once an empty, expansive parking lot, the northeast corner of Couch Drive and Lee Avenue is now occupied by residents living in The Civic. Built on land purchased from the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, the development not only gives people another choice for urban living, it also improves the look and feel of the central business district.
The Civic is just one example in OCURA’s 56th-annual report, which highlights the authority’s efforts over the past year. The organization is charged with the revitalization of the city's urban neighborhoods, which encourages economic growth and improves the quality of life.
Also on a previous parking lot is the new Oklahoma City Municipal Courts Building, which houses municipal court operations for the city. A ribbon cutting for the 70,602 square-feet, 3-level building was recently held.
The GE Global Research Oil and Gas Technology Center opened last fall. The facility serves as a central hub for GE scientists and engineers to closely collaborate with the oil and gas industry on cutting-edge digital and hardware solutions to advance the industry. The 5-story, 125,000 square foot center includes lab and office space, 400-foot and 60-foot deep test wells, and two 30-ton overhead cranes for moving large testing equipment.
"Home ownership strengthens neighborhoods by creating a place where people want to live, raise a family and spend their dollars supporting their community."
Several new developments are bringing additional residential housing near downtown. The Hill at Bricktown completed 80 new townhomes with more under construction and planned. The redeveloped Page Woodson School, renamed The Douglass and The Douglass Next Door, offers affordable housing with 136 apartments. Market-rate housing is available at The Seven, just north of the redeveloped school property.
In the Northeast Renaissance area, the Northeast Shopping Center project is well underway. The retail space is planned to include a much-needed grocery store and other tenants, providing residents with access to fresh groceries and other needed services.
One way OCURA helps revitalize an area is to develop vacant lots in depressed areas with well-designed infill homes. By the end of this summer, more than 30 single-family homes have been built or are planned for construction in the John F. Kennedy project area in northeast Oklahoma City. Home ownership strengthens neighborhoods by creating a place where people want to live, raise a family and spend their dollars supporting their community.
Photo: Picture of Oklahoma City Municipal Building, credit City of Oklahoma City