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  1. #4326

    Default Re: Convention Center

    Downtown OKC project could use affordable housing incentives

    By: Molly M. Fleming The Journal Record February 1, 2018

    OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority will soon issue a request for proposals for a private commercial development next to the convention center’s parking garage.

    That project could be one of the first to use the city’s new affordable housing money. When the latest 10-year general obligation bond package was approved in September, it included $10 million in money for affordable housing.

    Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City President and CEO Cathy O’Connor said if approved by the City Council, the developer could use some of that $10 million in the private development.

    The site sits between SW Third and SW Fourth streets, with Shields Boulevard and Broadway Avenue on the east and west.

    The site measures about 2.5 acres. The parking garage for the convention center will be developed by the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. COTPA will issue bonds to fund the project, which is different money than the GO bonds.

    Public Information Officer Michael Scroggins said COTPA will find an architect soon for the garage through the public bidding process.

    O’Connor said during the January Economic Development Trust meeting that the goal would be to bring on the private developer and its team to work together with COTPA’s architect so the site has cohesiveness.

    She said the private development could also help offset some of the purchase price of the land. The private development design could lower the cost of the garage because it could decrease the need for aesthetic. If the private development covers some of the parking garage’s exterior walls, then COTPA would not have to take on the cost of those walls’ aesthetics. She said construction would start in 2019.

    But the entire development doesn’t have to be affordable housing, O’Connor said. Housing studies have shown it’s beneficial to have a mix of income types in a development.

    “We could build a project where people who work at the hotel and convention center could live (in the private development),” she said. “They could walk to work and just have a very urban living experience.”

    The city’s $10 million isn’t the only money available for affordable housing in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency has four products that can work downtown, said Darrell Beavers, housing development team leader at OHFA.

    There are 9-percent federal housing tax credits, which are issued twice a year. They can be used on projects where people make 60 percent or less of the area median income. They are hard to acquire though, Beavers said.

    “There are three times as many applications as there is funding,” he said.

    A downtown Oklahoma City project would get points for location, he said.

    “That’s easily our most powerful tool financially for the production of affordable housing,” he said.

    Another product is a 4-percent tax credit, but that is paired with private activity bonds. Half of the project has to be funded by the bonds, and then the developer is eligible for the 4-percent credit.

    Another option is the National Housing Trust Fund. The state gets about $3 million annually. It has to be used on projects where people make 30 percent or less of the area median income.

    The fourth option is the Oklahoma Housing Trust Fund, which can be used as a construction loan for leased or single-family properties.

  2. #4327

    Default Re: Convention Center

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny d View Post
    You cant really compare SD to OKC. OKC has other things they need to spend money on, in my opinion.
    There are many other cities that have spent billion plus dollars on renovations alone.

    You are correct it isn't fair to compare OKC to San Diego, but my overall point was if OKC wants a nice convention center, it needs to pay up. I am flat out amazed at the amount of money tons of cities around the US are paying for new convention centers, renovations, or expansions. Some expansions alone are upwards of 3 billion dollars. I'm referring to Las Vegas which is a huge convention center market. I definitely see the value of spending a lot of money for our convention center.

  3. #4328

    Default Re: Convention Center

    Quote Originally Posted by hoya View Post
    I disagree. There's still a lot of low-hanging fruit for us to pick. Every time you spend an extra $500M on one project, that's three other projects that aren't getting funded.

    Yes, we need a modern convention center. But there's a lot of other stuff we need just as badly, and we have limited funds.
    I think OKC should go for the high hanging fruit.

  4. #4329

    Default Re: Convention Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    There are many other cities that have spent billion plus dollars on renovations alone.

    You are correct it isn't fair to compare OKC to San Diego, but my overall point was if OKC wants a nice convention center, it needs to pay up. I am flat out amazed at the amount of money tons of cities around the US are paying for new convention centers, renovations, or expansions. Some expansions alone are upwards of 3 billion dollars. I'm referring to Las Vegas which is a huge convention center market. I definitely see the value of spending a lot of money for our convention center.
    Agree,

    Oklahoma City needs to invest in quality & quantity. Our city is on the verge of breakout--no need to half step, do the Texas two step. We have an abundance of land in the core for development, time to enhance, encourage & obtain some crown jewels

  5. #4330

    Default Re: Convention Center

    I disagree. There's still a lot of low-hanging fruit for us to pick. Every time you spend an extra $500M on one project, that's three other projects that aren't getting funded.

    Yes, we need a modern convention center. But there's a lot of other stuff we need just as badly, and we have limited funds.

  6. #4331

    Default Re: Convention Center

    Quote Originally Posted by hoya View Post
    I disagree. There's still a lot of low-hanging fruit for us to pick. Every time you spend an extra $500M on one project, that's three other projects that aren't getting funded.

    Yes, we need a modern convention center. But there's a lot of other stuff we need just as badly, and we have limited funds.
    What would you recommend?

  7. #4332

    MAPS3 Re: Convention Center


    Lighting in a variable palette is intended to give the MAPS 3 convention center a dramatic nighttime flair. Latest estimates are the nearly $300 million convention center could open by mid-2020, a little more than two years from now.--Oklahoman, William Crum, February 21, 2018

    An upswept roofline and fields of west-facing glass are intended to draw the new downtown park and convention center together, erasing barriers between indoors and out.

    The design for the complex at 500 S Robinson Ave. includes:

    A 200,000-squarefoot exhibit hall, bigger than three football fields.
    45,000 square feet of high-tech meeting rooms on three levels.
    A 30,000-squarefoot ballroom, with balcony overlooking the park.

    A headquarters hotel is being developed by Omni Hotels and Resorts across SW 4 Street from the convention center and is to include additional meeting rooms.

    A skyway will link the convention center and a new parking garage to be built adjacent to the hotel. A second skyway over SW 4 could connect the convention center and hotel.

    Extras to be added if bids are favorable include:

    Surface parking for 750 cars, at $3.5 million.
    Skyway linking hotel and convention center, at $2 million.
    SW 4 pedestrian plaza between hotel and convention center, $1.2 million.

  8. #4333

    Default Re: Convention Center

    Perhaps S. Robinson will be renamed in front of the Conventions center? I like Convention Ave. we can then have Robinson, Convention, Thunder, Ron Norrick, and back to Robinson all within a half mile.

  9. #4334

    Default Re: Convention Center

    they would never be so generic and non-attributional to the city. clearly it would be Oklahoma City Convention Avenue or something thereabouts.

  10. #4335

    Default Re: Convention Center

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Perhaps S. Robinson will be renamed in front of the Conventions center? I like Convention Ave. we can then have Robinson, Convention, Thunder, Ron Norrick, and back to Robinson all within a half mile.
    Although the CC will face Robinson; not sure the actual address of the Oklahoma City Convention Center but the fact that the Oklahoma City Boulevard will cross thru there could affect the address they favor.

    The convention center will be south of the hotel, facing S Robinson Avenue and the new MAPS 3 park under construction across the street.

    The hotel will be across the boulevard from Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA’s Thunder.

    The convention center will be south of the hotel, facing S Robinson Avenue and the new MAPS 3 park under construction across the street.

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