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OKC Economic Successes, Part 2

Last week, I shared a partial list of Oklahoma City’s economic development wins over the past year. This continuation doesn’t exhaust the list but shares several more we believe will have some of the most significant and lasting impacts on our city.

We made good progress toward addressing housing demand. The Oklahoma City Council approved the use of Home Funds to help Progress OKC build nine affordable new homes in Culbertson East Highland. Fairground Flats was approved for $2 million in affordable housing funds to build 216 affordable housing units east of the state fairgrounds. Phase IV of Page Woodson kicked off, to add another 214 units to this extensive historic preservation project. Renovation began on The Harmony – Marcus Garvey Apartments to build affordable and low-income housing for people 55 and older and their families. The project was made possible with several funding incentives, including tax increment financing, general obligation limited tax bonds, HOME Funds, low-income housing tax credits and federal and state historic tax credits. Construction continues on new, affordable homes on Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority land between NE Eighth to 16th streets and Lottie to MLK Avenue. The new Homeland at 36th and Lincoln won the national 2022 ULI Impact Award and has proven to be a key in the growing momentum in northeast Oklahoma City.

We gathered community input to reimagine how the Luster-Lyons Mansion and the Brockway Center could be redeveloped and reused to continue to serve the community while preserving two historically significant African American landmarks. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority hired Open Design Collective to get neighborhoods involved in planning the future of property owned by Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority dubbed South of 8th. The Stockyards master plan was completed, following community input on improvements and amenities most needed on the south bank of the Oklahoma River.

A significant win this year came when the City Council approved $16 million in TIF financing for Strawberry Fields. The $1.5 billion mixed-use urban living development on the west side of Scissortail Park will have critical infrastructure improvements to water, sewer, storm sewer and roadway systems that are needed for development.

Finally, 2022 saw continued and new programs to support small businesses, as Oklahoma City continued to demonstrate how much we value our small, locally owned businesses and startups. The OKC Rescue program used ARPA funds to help businesses with physical improvements and technical assistance. Progress OKC launched the Generation Impact Business Accelerator, a nine-week program that recently helped 13 early-stage entrepreneurs give presentations to potential investors and collaborators. Northeast Oklahoma City Renaissance launched PlaceKeepers, a real estate and small business development program that empowers Black residents and stakeholders to make decisions about redevelopment and housing in the Northeast community. The Oklahoma Industries Authority received approval from the Oklahoma County commissioners to allocate funds from C-PACE, Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program. Now, private landowners can receive low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable and conservation projects.

In early 2023, we’ll be launching more support programs for small businesses as well as a workforce strengthening program for individuals seeking training or certifications in hospitality or information technology. I’m also looking forward to another year full of economic development projects that strengthen Oklahoma City and help to grow our economy.


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