- Kenton Tsoodle
New homes planned for northeast OKC
April 20 marked a milestone for housing in northeast Oklahoma City, with 19 new housing development projects approved that day by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. The homes will be built on vacant lots owned by OCURA, concentrated between N. Lottie and MLK Avenue and between NE Eighth and 16th.
The development projects represent substantial investment in new residential developments and are some of the most recent projects approved for land owned by OCURA in the area. Two of the new housing units are affordable housing that will qualify for down-payment assistance or other affordability programs and 17 units will be sold at market rate.
Another success we celebrate with the new projects is that almost half of the housing units will be developed by first-time property developers who participated in the PlaceKeepers program. PlaceKeepers, launched in March 2021, provides resources to Black residents and stakeholders in NE Oklahoma City, equipping them as real estate developers, business owners, and job creators. Program participants attend training sessions, receive personalized resources and coaching, and connect to a network of investors and experienced developers. April 20 was a day of celebration for us and the partners that created PlaceKeepers: Northeast Oklahoma City Renaissance Inc. with financial support from the Black Justice Fund.
The demand for quality housing in NE OKC is high and we continue to creatively incentivize housing inventory with marked success. In 2018 the City Council designated the Capitol View neighborhood 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. It’s an example, as is PlaceKeepers, of how public support and incentives can attract far more private investment.
The program is now accepting applications for its third cohort with sessions that will kick off in June: www.neokcr.org/placekeepers. The program is also looking for potential allies: experienced developers, successful business owners, lenders and investors who are interested in accelerating professional growth within the real estate industry through facilitating future economic opportunities in northeast Oklahoma City.
New homes and residential revitalization play a critical role in our city’s vitality and it’s energizing to see support and such strong interest in development in key areas and neighborhoods in northeast OKC.