- Kenton Tsoodle
TIF helps companies renovate downtown headquarters
We are excited to welcome two major communication businesses to downtown Oklahoma City.
Griffin Communications LLC, an Oklahoma-owned multimedia company, announced plans last year to move its headquarters and News 9 to the Century Center in downtown Oklahoma City, a building that sat mostly vacant for many years. The move includes approximately $10 million in renovations and improvements and places the multimedia company in the heart of downtown, walking distance from most downtown attractions and amenities. The company expects to move this fall.
This news comes in tandem with Public Strategies, a marketing and communications firm, also announcing its move to downtown. Public Strategies has experienced significant growth, will be moving into a larger space than its current leased space in northwest Oklahoma City and be able to add more jobs. Public Strategies is renovating a building at 2 NE Ninth St., an approximate $17 million project that will become home to about 100 of the communication firm’s more than 200 employees and will allow for construction of a broadcast studio. The studio was possible only following the area’s “quiet zone” designation with the BNSF rail. Renovations began in July and the company expects to move in late 2023.
These two companies received a financial incentive package that helped facilitate their decision to move downtown and are recent examples of success with our tax increment finance tool that exists to attract companies to key areas of the city. Because the TIF freezes the property’s baseline property tax at the pre-improvement rate, the increment between the baseline and the tax rate on the improved property is used to upgrade the area and make other improvements in the TIF district; for example, adding parking, sidewalks, lighting, water infrastructure and other public improvement needs that make the area more desirable. Time and again, TIF has incentivized developers and property owners to renovate or build in areas that have been designated as prime for redevelopment and investment.
Continued investment and additional jobs in downtown have a ripple effect on the surrounding businesses, quality of life in the area, and the vibrance of downtown Oklahoma City.
Downtown has undergone an extraordinary transformation, and I look forward to seeing the momentum continue to grow as Oklahoma City’s economic development tools show incredible return for our citizens.