2022’s Top Economic Successes
Oklahoma City had many significant economic development projects in 2022 deserving of recognition. The list is so long that this will be a two-part column, with more accomplishments coming next week.
The Oklahoma Industries Authority supported Tinker Air Force Base by acquiring 220 acres of land on the east side of Douglas Boulevard and allocating funds to make infrastructure improvements to the site to ready it for development.
The OIA also compiled a large urban parcel at Interstate 240 and Eastern, received $8 million in ARPA funds to make water and wastewater infrastructure improvements and selected a developer for the site. The OKC 577 project will consist of approximately 7.2 million square feet of manufacturing, distribution and retail space and is expected to generate approximately $1 billion of capital investment over the next 10 years.
There were several significant downtown developments. The First National Center reopened in April after extensive renovations to nearly 1 million square feet, and throughout the year more restaurants and retail have opened and announced they’re coming soon to this historic space.
Griffin and Public Strategies relocated to the downtown area and developers announced plans for the Citizen, a 12-story, 160,000-square-foot, multi-use office space across from the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The Nova Project by Urban Agrarian will bring a full-service grocery store, 20 urban-loft apartments, a parking garage and a rooftop greenhouse to NW Sixth and Broadway and was recently approved to receive $765,000 in TIF funding.
Convergence broke ground last week on a 230,000-square-foot, eight-story office building at the core of the Innovation District, following the announcement of $18.75 million in public investment through the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority. Convergence is a key piece of business attraction for MAPS 4 projects, including the MAPS 4 Innovation Hall, a central place where entrepreneurs, startups and business owners can find space, resources and connections.
In the background of these and many other projects, we’ve navigated staff changes, adding Kimberly Statum Francisco as the executive director of Progress OKC and transitioning Daisy Muñoz as a project manager for the Alliance. I assumed the role of president of the Alliance in March and have appreciated even more the importance of collaboration among our many city resources, chambers, developers and investors as we’ve worked together on these very significant projects over the past nine months.