Softball Hall of Fame to Receive Updates

The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust approved $8 million for upgrades to the National Softball Hall of Fame located in northeast Oklahoma City. The funding provided by the Economic Development Trust will be repaid during the next 10 years through revenues received from donations, naming rights and sponsorship revenues. "Once completed, this will be a world-class stadium for those to achieve great heights playing the sport they love, and it will be in our backyard," said Cathy O'Connor, President of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City and Surrogate Manager of the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust. 

Midtown Plan Passes Planning Commission

The Oklahoma City Planning Commission approved the Midtown Urban Renewal Plan on Thursday, Sept. 12. Following this approval, the Midtown Urban Renewal Plan will go before the Downtown Design Review Committee and City Council.


Many community residents and stakeholders provided input for this plan. Below are a few thoughts from some of these community residents and leaders:


  • "The Midtown Plan public meeting really engaged with local residents on the topics relevant to our community," said Matt Landry, Midtown resident and blogger for OKCMidtowner. "We were surprised to see that the Plan so closely aligned with what most of us envision for Midtown already. The solutions proposed for issues including blighted property redevelopment, street planning, walkability, and parking will steer Midtown towards the modern, urban community that we're all wanting."
  • "Working with the Urban Renewal Authority provided us the opportunity to have some of our needs included in the new Midtown Plan," said Sheila Dimick, Supervisory Property Manager with the Government Services Administration at the Oklahoma City Federal Building. "With three buildings in the area, we have a growing need for additional parking for both our employees and visitors. The Plan outlines steps to add on-street and structured parking that will support the growth of Midtown."  
  • "We support the Classen Extension Proposal as a way to create a pedestrian corridor that connects our facility with Automobile Alley and the intersection of 10th and Walker," said Valerie Couch, Dean of Oklahoma City University's School of Law. "This corridor would be heavily utilized by our students, faculty, and staff as they explore Midtown. The corridor would also encourage the public to become involved in the life of our law school."

Alliance Sponsors Urban Development Workshop with Urban Land Institute Oklahoma

Last month, the Alliance sponsored an Urban Development Workshop hosted by ULI Oklahoma. Project Managers Dustin Akers and Cassi Poor attended the workshop exploring the

relationship between urban design and development outcomes, and parking economics. The session provided a hands-on exercise using LEGO blocks to demonstrate the density and spatial characteristics of development as a result of parking efficiency and cost considerations. Individuals were able to explore development using actual Oklahoma City market data, revealing types of development you might expect to see in various districts throughout downtown.  
PARK(ing) Day Planned for Oklahoma City

Better Block OKC volunteers will lead PARK(ing) Day events in seven different locations across Central and Northwest Oklahoma City on Friday, Sept. 20. PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform parking spots into temporary public parks, a way to call attention to the need for more urban open space. Oklahoma City will participate in the movement for the first time, joining 162 cities in 35 different countries.


The effort to include Oklahoma City in PARK(ing) Day 2013 is led by Better Block OKC, the volunteer organization responsible for bringing the Better Block tactical urbanism concept to Oklahoma City through its previous events near H&8th and the Farmers Market District.


These temporary public parks, called "parklets," will pop up on Sept. 20th in seven districts: Automobile Alley, Bricktown, Central Business District, Film Row, H&8th in Midtown, Plaza District and Uptown 23rd. "Although we've enjoyed organizing two annual Better Block events, we love that these PARK(ing) Day installations connect directly with individual communities," said organizer Ashley Terry. "Volunteers from those communities can work on a parklet that's walking distance from their home or business."


To support the PARK(ing) Day project, come visit and enjoy the diversity of our seven transformations on Friday, Sept. 20. An interactive map can be found online at Better Block OKC. For more information about the project, visit the PARK(ing) Day project website

The Steel Yard - East Bricktown Apartments

East Bricktown Apartments, being developed by Gary Brooks and Andy Burnett, recently received design approval from the

Bricktown Urban Design Committee on the revised development plans. The revised schematic design was highly praised by the Urban Renewal Authority Board of Commissioners and approved unanimously during its August meeting. This mixed-use development will be located on the former site of Stewart Metal Fabricators and will include 250 apartments and 18,000 square-feet of retail space. The project's new official name, The Steel Yard, was announced at the Bricktown Urban Design Committee. Developers Brooks and Burnett anticipate this project to open in 2015.  
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The Alliance was created in 2011 to better serve the economic development needs of Oklahoma City.

With its collaboration with city and private entities, the Alliance acts as a "one-stop-shop" for businesses in need of assistance from the public sector.

From the Desk of Cathy O'Connor 

It's been a busy summer in Oklahoma City and at The Alliance. We are excited about the progress we have made on several projects and the exciting economic development prospects for the future. During the summer months we completed the Midtown Urban Renewal Plan and began the process to seek approval of the Plan. The Plan is a significant accomplishment because it incorporates many recommendations about density, public spaces and public improvements, and identifies catalyst sites in Midtown to help continue revitalization of the area. The Plan was prepared through a collaborative effort with The Alliance staff and the City of Oklahoma City, along with the help of input from stakeholders and the public. We appreciate all the input and interest we received during the planning process. During the summer months we also saw progress on several of the residential projects underway in downtown. The Edge at Midtown, the Maywood Apartments and the townhomes at the Hill are under construction. More units in Deep Deuce have been announced and interest seems to be growing for residential development in other parts of downtown. We enjoy seeing the continued enthusiasm for residential development.   


On the MAPS 3 front, we are completing a market study and development plan for the Core to Shore area. In June, the Urban Renewal Authority was designated as the public entity charged with evaluating the options for the development of a convention center hotel. As plans progress on MAPS 3 projects, Oklahoma City continues to create a vibrant community, one that is greatly impacting the quality of life. 


Other interesting projects we have been working on during the summer months include continued efforts to attract grocery stores to underserved areas of Oklahoma City. Of particular interest is the development of more grocery options in Northeast Oklahoma City. We also have worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce on several projects that will result in the creation of new jobs in Oklahoma City.


The Alliance continues to work towards improving the effectiveness of providing economic development services to the community. In May, we welcomed Geri Kenfield as our CFO and realigned other positions to create efficiencies. Geri brings to The Alliance valuable skills and experience to help us improve accountability and reporting to the various agencies we serve. Working with our partners such as the City and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has created a dynamic and effective way to create quality jobs in Oklahoma City and spur continued redevelopment and private investment in Oklahoma City.

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