- Cathy O’Connor
Investment renaissance emerging in NE OKC
It’s an exciting period for northeast Oklahoma City as new housing and development is ripe for growth and investment. It’s fueled by the combination of an emerging renaissance in northeast Oklahoma City, visionary developers and investors and strategic public incentives to encourage homeownership and development.
In 2018 the City Council designated the Capitol View neighborhood, between Lincoln Boulevard and Kelley Avenue and NE 23rd and 36th streets, as a Strong Neighborhoods Initiative area to incentivize neighborhood revitalization and new homes. In just two years, the city’s $887,364 investment attracted private investment and grants of $2.39 million. Since then, many residents have made housing improvements and built new homes in the area.
The SNI has been used successfully in several other neighborhoods across Oklahoma City, including Culbertson’s East Highland. Progress OKC partnered with the city’s Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) to redevelop an entire block in the neighborhood, building seven quality single-family homes for income-eligible individuals or families and two market-rate homes. The neighborhood has added 10 blocks of new sidewalks, 31 housing renovations and the renovation of JFK Park and seen property values enhanced.
And we are experiencing more residential development. The most popular page on the Alliance website is where we post requests for proposals for development projects. Currently open are two RFPs for construction of single-family homes and duplexes on vacant lots in northeast Oklahoma City owned by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. OCURA is actively working to reestablish owner occupancy of high-quality homes in the John F. Kennedy and Northeast Renaissance urban renewal areas. The RFPs have attracted several individuals and families wishing to build their own home as well as developers looking to attract prospective homebuyers.
New homes and residential revitalization play a critical role in our city’s vitality. After all, the proximity to potential customers attracts retail and other economic activity. Councilwoman Nikki Nice champions developers and business reinvestment in Ward 7. Just last week, the city celebrated the opening of The Market at EastPoint, a full-service grocery store with produce supplied from the nearby RestoreOKC urban farm. The new housing adds to the business attraction.
It’s rewarding to witness city leaders working with citizens to improve opportunities and quality of life in every part of our city.