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NE OKC sees investment, development
It’s an exciting period for northeast Oklahoma City with more public and private development projects than we have seen in the past 50 years.
Housing inventory continues to increase. The redevelopment of the historic Page Woodson school property has added more than 120 affordable housing units and market rate units as well. Construction on Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority land will bring 75-90 single-family homes near NE 16th Street and MLK Avenue over the next couple of years. Some will be sold at market rate and others will qualify for down-payment assistance or other affordability programs.
The City Council recently designated the Capitol View neighborhood, between Lincoln Boulevard and Kelley Avenue and NE 23rd and 36th streets, as a new Strong Neighborhoods Initiative area for 2018. Home renovations and other improvements will continue in the Culbertson East Highland neighborhood for another year. Since SNI started working in Classen’s North Highland Parked neighborhood, the average home sale price has nearly quadrupled.
Commercial development is gaining momentum as well. The Pivot Project is redeveloping several buildings and parcels along NE 23rd Street near Kelham Avenue. The project will be the new home for the Oklahoma City Clinic as well as a mix of restaurants and retail. Sav-a-Lot grocery store recently opened at the Northeast Shopping Center at NE 36th Street and N. Kelley Avenue. The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority will be developing mixed-use housing, office and retail space on several tracts along MLK Avenue beginning later this year.
Also noteworthy, FD Moon Elementary at NE 13th Street and MLK Avenue will soon see safety upgrades and renovated classrooms with construction beginning in May. The adjoining JFK Park is receiving $685,000 in improvements, including the addition of outdoor workout equipment, a shelter, a small amphitheater, a walking trail, benches, irrigation, a new masonry entry, basketball courts, a small planting areas and additional trees. The project is under construction and is expected to be complete by summer.
A cornerstone of Oklahoma City’s African-American history and culture, northeast Oklahoma City has seen decades of disinvestment. The residents, business owners and students in this area are important to our city and future, and it’s energizing to see support and interest in revitalizing key areas and neighborhoods in northeast OKC.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.