- Cathy O’Connor
Partnership and growth in the SW 29 District
Our Oklahoma City districts are areas where our city has preserved history, unique architecture and culture, and they are important to our economy and quality of life. Automobile Alley, Deep Deuce, Uptown, the Plaza and Paseo are some that are highly recognized and frequently visited for their locally owned restaurants, bars, events and retail. The SW 29 District is special, even among these unique districts, as the place in Oklahoma City to find authentic Hispanic culture and food and our highest concentration of Hispanic businesses, estimated at approximately 300 in the 3-mile stretch between May and Shields.
The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City is now providing additional support for the SW 29 District with a permanent consultant to lead the organization. Elizabeth Larios will serve as the executive director for the SW 29th Street District Association as well as continue her role as project manager for the Alliance.
Elizabeth’s passion for her Hispanic culture and for small businesses has made her a tremendous asset to the Alliance. She worked evenings and weekends to canvas the Hispanic business district to help business owners apply for the Small Business Continuity Program and other COVID-19 relief programs the Alliance administered. She has volunteered to help the Hispanic Chamber and with special events held in the district. SW 29 District will benefit from her skills connecting people, building collaborations and drawing attention to the growth and improvement of this business corridor. Elizabeth will be planning food tours, welcoming a new mural, launching events for tourism promotion and continuing streetscape improvements.
This new partnership is the next chapter in the Alliance’s history of supporting beautification, economic development and quality housing in the SW 29th District since before it became a district. Many of our districts have been strengthened with TIF District designation and the Commercial District Revitalization Program started by the city of Oklahoma City in 2009 to help districts get organized, launch and grow. Year over year, over 80% of the managed districts, including SW 29, outperform Oklahoma City’s average sales tax growth.
I encourage you to attend an event, try a new restaurant and get to know some of the many businesses in the district. We gain individually and as a community when we explore our city and support our locally owned businesses.