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Core to Shore vision beginning to take shape
We have been talking about and imagining the opportunities for redevelopment and development in the area directly south of the Central Business District since the Core to Shore Development Framework was adopted in 2008. A decade later, we are seeing many of those projects underway.
The city broke ground on the MAPS 3 Downtown Convention Center in June, and across the street Omni Hotels and Resorts formally breaks ground next week on its 605-room luxury hotel. The Oklahoma City Streetcar is completing track construction and testing streetcars for service beginning in December. The upper section of Scissortail Park is in a flurry of construction and the lower section park designs have been approved by the City Council.
Boulevard Place will be located to the east of the Omni Hotel and will include market-rate and affordable apartments, retail, restaurant options and a day care facility. This blend of uses will open up to the Oklahoma Boulevard and encourage pedestrians between our exciting new destinations.
We are seeing the next opportunities emerge. The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority will soon be seeking development proposals for a fairly narrow stretch of land along the north side of the Oklahoma City Boulevard. This is a key spot for adding vibrancy. It is situated adjacent to the arena and across the street from the Omni Hotel and Scissortail Park. This development could be a high-traffic entertainment attraction for visitors and fans.
With the development of the lower section of Scissortail Park beginning to gain momentum, OCURA will also soon be seeking development proposals for a site at SW 10th Street and N. Harvey Avenue, right next to the south landing of the Skydance Bridge. The redevelopment of this site will be an important part of creating density and activity in the southern portion of Core to Shore.
We are seeing the Core to Shore vision realized. It is evident in both the current construction of some of Oklahoma City’s most exciting new assets as well as in upcoming developments that add value to the area and bring together people and unique destinations.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.