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  • Cathy O’Connor

Two honored for urban revitalization

Oklahoma City has been blessed with a handful of visionary leaders whose big dreams and unique talents have brought to life some of our largest development projects and transformed our city into the place we enjoy today.

Two of those leaders, a team I depend on for perspective and strategy, Leslie Batchelor and her father, Dan Batchelor, were honored Tuesday with the 15th annual Urban Pioneer Award for exemplifying Oklahoma’s pioneering spirit with their leadership and commitment to urban revitalization.

I first met Dan Batchelor over 20 years ago when we were working to create the Downtown TIF district. Dan is the author of most of the state’s statutes and constitutional provisions about tax increment financing. He crafted the provisions in the Downtown TIF that share a part of the revenues with the school districts, county and other entities that receive property tax revenues.

We also worked closely on Bass Pro Shops and Lower Bricktown, both catalytic projects that led to so much other investment in Bricktown. I think Dan may be most proud of his work to create the Oklahoma Health Center and the Innovation District. He and Stanton Young were the early pioneers who saw the need for a world-class research center. In the past few years he has worked to restructure the Innovation District TIF to support the new goals outlined in the Brookings Institution study and create a modern Innovation District.

Read the full article at The Journal Record

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