View Full Version : Is Mayor Cornett anti-growth?



NE Oasis
06-13-2007, 10:55 AM
Two recent events have me wondering-

The disagreement over continued lease/shared development with Bob Funk for property near the ballpark. Bob Funk is the epitome of a successful businessman.
If he says he can bring mixed use (including a grocery) to Bricktown, I believe him. That will generate $$ for the city in taxes, fees, etc. Bob Funk also has a track record of keeping plenty of his money in the metro area.

Not Bricktown, but what does Mayor Cornett have against Tinker AFB expanding to the old GM plant. When Tinker expands, so does the local group of sub contractor and support vendors. These folks pay for assorted fees and permits, and hire real non-subsidized tax paying consumers.

Midtowner
06-13-2007, 11:38 AM
1) I'm not sure, but I think he's doing the right thing when it comes to that land. The city has a huge interest in making sure that this land is developed in the best possible way. In my opinion, there needs to be a significant amount of research, multiple proposals, a competitive bidding process, etc. to determine the best use for that land.

I don't interpret Cornett's answer to funk as a "No way, no how" response. I simply think that Cornett wants to fully explore the possibilities for that land before anything is authorized.

Also, whatever happens, I'd really like the city to exercise some very tight control over the development of the property when a use is actually chosen. We don't need a repeat of lower bricktown where developers promise one thing and give us another, scaled down thing.

As to Tinker, what does Tinker and the GM plant have to do with OKC at all? Isn't that all Midwest City?

The only possible drawback I could see to Tinker acquiring the GM plant is that depending upon how they acquire it, the Midwest City School District will be missing out on a lot of ad valorem tax.

CuatrodeMayo
06-13-2007, 12:00 PM
MWC is north of I-40, not I-240.

Pete
06-13-2007, 12:02 PM
Regarding Funk, it seems the mayor has ample reason to be wary as the DOK pointed out a few of his recent dealings with the city where he really put the screws to them (at least from the viewpoint of city hall). No matter what Funk is saying in the press, it's obvious he's trying to negotiate a sweetheart deal and I'm glad our leaders are finally starting to be more demanding of developers.

And there are plenty of specific actions you can point to that show that Mick is actually extremely pro-growth: MAPS 3, Core to Shore, etc. Tons and tons of new construction has been approved during his tenure.

It just seems he wants things properly planned and property put to it's highest and best use and that means not taking every single proposal that someone just wants to throw out there. It also seems like he wants the city to maintain more control, such as not merely selling property to developers and rather leasing it instead.

jbrown84
06-13-2007, 12:21 PM
We don't need a repeat of lower bricktown where developers promise one thing and give us another, scaled down thing.

Were there actually original renderings that showed something grander, or are you just going off the fact that he said he wanted to do something like The Grove in LA?

Midtowner
06-13-2007, 12:36 PM
http://www.okctalk.com/bricktown-wired/2250-lower-bricktown-what-we-were-promised.html

okclee
06-20-2007, 07:17 PM
I think if we look at the Core 2 Shore master plan drawing we will see why Mayor Mick isn't really that excited about the project Funk is proposing.

I don't think that the mayor wants to see a 5 star hotel and upscale retail in the bricktown area. Core to Shore calls for a 5 star hotel site overlooking the new super sized myriad garden park. It also shows an area along the soon to be downtown boulevard with major shopping.

Midtowner
06-20-2007, 07:44 PM
I think if we look at the Core 2 Shore master plan drawing we will see why Mayor Mick isn't really that excited about the project Funk is proposing.

I don't think that the mayor wants to see a 5 star hotel and upscale retail in the bricktown area. Core to Shore calls for a 5 star hotel site overlooking the new super sized myriad garden park. It also shows an area along the soon to be downtown boulevard with major shopping.

That makes good sense. It's great that Mayor Mick is, unlike his predecessors accepting nothing which deviates even slightly from the master plan. What a breath of fresh air.

Spartan
06-20-2007, 07:51 PM
Do you all realize that entire states like Missouri and Indiana don't have a single 5-star hotel??

We aren't talking about a major convention hotel, we're talking about a very upscale hotel. And Tinker has Tinker's best interests in mind, not OKC's. I can't be less vague.

okclee
06-21-2007, 06:44 AM
^^^ Excuse me , but who is Tinker??

nevermind. I see Tinker is not a who, but Tinker is where.

Oh GAWD the Smell!
06-21-2007, 06:48 AM
Tinkerbell's dad.

okclee
06-21-2007, 07:18 AM
Spartan......neither St. Louis or Indianapolis, have a 5 star hotel??

If that is the case then I am really against the Funk proposal, becasue I think that he is blowing smoke.

I have always thought of Funk as a wealthy business man that hasn't really done a whole lot for Okc except make a ton of cash here. I always thought that he was anti-Okc getting a major league franchise, because he owns all of the minor league franchises.

He has been the owner of the Blazers and the Red Hawks for years and has greatly benefited off of the progress of downtown and of bricktown. Now that downtown and bricktown is moving along nicely he wants to come into bricktown and jump on the bandwagon.

Where was Funk all of the years in the past??

jbrown84
06-21-2007, 07:51 AM
Just because he owns the minor-league teams doesn't mean he's against us going major-league.

He owns our two major sports teams and that's where he has invested in the city in the past. I'm glad to see him branching out though.

okclee
06-21-2007, 07:59 AM
Listening to sports radio in years past and Funk and Co would also be on the sports radio anytime the discussion of major league sports in Okc would arise. Funk and Co would argue that Okc could not support a major league sports franchise and that Okc should continue to support the Funk minor league sports.

I have heard him personally say that Okc was not a major league sports city.

Why would he say that?? He owns and operates the only sports in town, of course he doesn't want Okc to get a major league franchise into downtown.

SoonerDave
06-21-2007, 08:08 AM
Funk and Co would also be on the sports radio anytime the discussion of major league sports

Really? The only big discussions about true pro sports around here I can recall in the last decade have been basketball and hockey. I may be wrong, but my recollection is that he rightly opposed the hockey issue from a couple years back, and I've not heard him oppose an NBA franchise. Hardly think that makes him a bad guy. To a greater extent, he is correct in that OKC will never be a major-league sports city as far as the NFL or MLB are concerned. We never quite hit the radar for the NHL (thankfully, IMHO), and we're on the edge as far as the NBA is concerned, and to me that sounds about right. We don't have the population density to support either of the "heavy hitter" sports franchises, eg 60-70K for eight home games for an NFL team, or 30K-40K or so for 81 MLB home games. Not with the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers three hours to the south, or the St. Louis Cardinals and KC Royals about seven hours northeast (regardless of what you might think of any of those teams personally).

I think Cornett is on the money in being reluctant to just hand the keys to the GM plant over to Tinker. Doing so makes that facility and the land it's on beholden to whatever transient political interests that may come along, and that's too big a chunk of commercially viable land to tie up on a whim. I still think there is the possibility of recruiting a new manufacturing entity for that plant, and I believe Cornett thinks the same way. To that end, he's gonna fight til the dog just won't scratch anymore before he explores a Tinker option...

-soonerdave

CuatrodeMayo
06-21-2007, 08:12 AM
What does Funk's stand on professional sports in OKC have to do with his involvement in development projects?

okclee
06-21-2007, 08:23 AM
It doesn't have anything directly to do with him being a developer.

I mentioned Funk wanting to cash in on downtown / bricktown now that things are starting to roll along nicely. In years past he was against major league sports coming into downtown because he owns all of the minor league sports, and because of that I say Funk is only looking out for himself, and not for the best of Okc.

I side with Mayor Mick on this issue, for both Tinker and the Funk proposal.

Midtowner
06-21-2007, 12:20 PM
It doesn't have anything directly to do with him being a developer.

I mentioned Funk wanting to cash in on downtown / bricktown now that things are starting to roll along nicely. In years past he was against major league sports coming into downtown because he owns all of the minor league sports, and because of that I say Funk is only looking out for himself, and not for the best of Okc.

I side with Mayor Mick on this issue, for both Tinker and the Funk proposal.

You can't really blame Funk for looking after his own money first.

okclee
06-21-2007, 01:52 PM
^^^ That is my point. Funk is only looking out for his own money first. I don't blame him for that, I am saying that I don't trust him with this development.

Just like he used to tell the people of Okc (for his own benefit) that major league sports won't work in Okc, he is now trying to tell the people of Okc (for his own benefit) that the mayor doesn't want his 5 star hotel and high end retail shopping.

I think he is full of it. He needs to prove that he has a 5 star hotel willing to build on that site and prove that he has the retail lined up.

Like I said , I do not think that Mayor Mick is anti-growth, just because he doesn't approve of the Funk and Co development.

Midtowner
06-21-2007, 01:57 PM
To me, it sounds like inner-OKC needs some sort of "master plan" before developing any further. If we don't make preparations for things like light rail right now, it's going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars down the road to do so.

As for Cornett being skeptical, it definitely wouldn't be the first time a developer sold the city a bill of goods which he failed to timely deliver. I think that our leadership is a lot more savvy in that regard than they were in the past.

okclee
06-21-2007, 03:32 PM
^^ You are right Midtowner, I would like to see a master-plan including all areas of downtown, bricktown, midtown, arts district, core 2 shore, etc...

I

Midtowner
06-21-2007, 03:48 PM
It would seem doable okclee... The city could decide to take whatever blighted land there was, it could then develop a plan for that land, then accept proposals/bids from developers who wanted to build what the city had planned for that property. With such a setup, we could really streamline the public finance/TIF aspects of the process.

CuatrodeMayo
06-21-2007, 04:00 PM
....and have a completely artificial downtown.

okclee
06-21-2007, 04:03 PM
...........please explain??

Midtowner
06-21-2007, 04:16 PM
....and have a completely artificial downtown.

How is planned growth artificial? If we want to set OKC up for tourism/convention traffic, the best way to do this is to plan every aspect of the city which can be planned.

Not that I get any say in this.. and I admit this conversation is in essence inane.

flintysooner
06-21-2007, 04:40 PM
I think I understand what CuatrodeMayo means. If it is planned either by government or even some large private development group then what will be built will be what that someone's idea of an urban city district should be. It will be tempered with the popular, trendy elements of the time. Some of the good elements of such things will be emphasized even to the point of caricature.

Better for the area to be developed and formed from the population and activities that are organic to it.

But just my opinion.

CuatrodeMayo
06-21-2007, 04:43 PM
The best urban areas "happen". Lifestyle centers and suburbs are completely masterplanned, not the vibrant urban core. Define "blight".

Yes, I agree, a masterplan of that sort WILL set the city up for convention/tourist traffic, but not for an urban community. Do we really want downtown to be a Disneyland?

I am not against planning, It is good on a just on a grand scale. Bricktown needs this kind of plan. Mick is doing good here by proceeding with caution. But to plan an entire city like this ridiculous. The look of the city should not be determined by some "masterplan". It needs to be allowed to happen. This is not the Soviet Union, this is America.


Exactly, Flinty!

flintysooner
06-21-2007, 04:55 PM
Or Southlake.

okclee
06-21-2007, 06:41 PM
CuatrodeMayo............what are your thoughts for the Okc - Core to Shore "master plan"??

Spartan
06-21-2007, 07:03 PM
What does Funk's stand on professional sports in OKC have to do with his involvement in development projects?

EXACTLY.

Spartan
06-21-2007, 07:04 PM
And no, there is not a single 5-star hotel in either Indianapolis, St. Louis, or Kansas City.

okclee
06-21-2007, 07:59 PM
And no, there is not a single 5-star hotel in either Indianapolis, St. Louis, or Kansas City.

Do you think that Funk can get a 5 star hotel to build next the the bricktown ballpark, just as he said that he would??

Spartan
06-21-2007, 09:14 PM
Well, I believe he already has. I read a lot more into rhetoric from this man when he specifically names Ritz Carlton, Whole Foods, and Crate & Barrel, based on past experiences. Bob Funk is a big go-getter.

AND I am shocked that people are coming along and saying, "OH! NOW he wants to get his greasy hand in the pot. SO he finally wants in on the action after doing nothing for so long. Humph!"

Aside from owning the Redhawks, do you all not know what else this man has been up to? His largest company, Express Personnel, has been adding hundreds of jobs in OKC and expanding its corporate campus on the Northwest Expressway before you get to the West Outer Loop. He has a PUD he is working on along the east side of the West Outer Loop from Britton Rd to 63rd Street. This is a HUGE office development we will hear more about soon. And also he owns Express Ranches, HQed in Piedmont, and Express Sports, HQed in Downtown (so you could say he is already involved in Downtown). And you would hear a lot more with him except for a fight he had many years ago with his former best friend, Burns Hargis, while he was Chairman of the Board of the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce. It was a row that led him to leave the Chamber altogether and walk away from collaborating with other men of the town in the way that Aubrey McClendon, Clay Bennett, and Co. do.

So you simply CAN NOT ostracize Bob Funk. He is very much on a level with Clay Bennett, he just has no allies. And that is money, right there.

CuatrodeMayo
06-22-2007, 08:07 AM
CuatrodeMayo............what are your thoughts for the Okc - Core to Shore "master plan"??


Well since you asked...

As long as it fuctions as a framework type of plan. The City dictates the location of the civic aspects of the plan Central Park, the Boulevard, the convention center, and tranportation right-of-way. The remaining land is then zoned according to what the city and planners decide is the best use of the land. The zoning would be flexible, allowing mixed-used in most areas. This would allow a patchwork, organic type of development the happen within the civic framework. In order to prevent low-density (read: suburban) developement, limit the zoning to only dictate the use of the land, minimum height, and minimum setbacks. Nothing else. Projects that met this criteria would then go before an Urban Design Committee. This committee would consist of people who actually know what is good design and bad (i.e. planners, architects, artists, residents, etc.). This committee would need to have a high rate of turnover, and hold public, town-hall type meetings.

In planning proposed by MidTowner, the city would take posession of nearly all developable properties and then allow developers to compete for the properties. Not only would this be a terrible abuse of Eminent Domain, it would allow a group like OCURA decide what is best for the city. Many fantastic proposals would never see the light of day.

In my model, no property would be taken by the city, other than what is used for the civic projects.

Midtowner
06-22-2007, 08:59 AM
Actually, there is a standard for "blight" although about 100% of the land in the core to shore area and east of Bricktown could be considered underutilized, thus blighted.

A lot of problems could be solved by simply cleaning up OCURA. I wish the mayor/council would show a little courage in that regard. That group has done more to damage this city than anything I can think of.

Spartan
06-22-2007, 09:53 AM
There are people who are on OCURA that are very powerful aside from their OCURA seat.

And FYI the City of OKC is in no way interested in stirring up a Core to Shore eminent domain controversy. We actually want to keep the public on the side of urban renewal this time.

Midtowner
06-22-2007, 10:03 AM
Seriously? I think it would be good for everyone if eminent domain were utilized there.

What you have are a bunch of landowners who by their own inactivity have ruined some very nice historical buildings, have allowed their property and the surrounding area to deteriorate, and who are not being good stewards of some very important land.

Perhaps it's because they can't afford to fix it.. perhaps it's because they're holding onto it hoping for a pay day.

At any rate, the city taking that land would be something I actually support. The city takes land ALL THE TIME for other purposes like drainage ditches, roads, etc. Why is it less important for the city to renew the downtown core than it is to build drainage ditches?

-- or are these owners of the blighted properties paying protection money to the right politicians?

CuatrodeMayo
06-22-2007, 10:24 AM
A private developer will get a much better deal by buying out the landowners, instead of competing with other developers for the right to develop it after the city has EDed it. ED will cost more terms of money AND public support.

If I remember right, something like you are suggesting happened back in the 60s and 70s. I don't think it worked very well.



The city takes land ALL THE TIME for other purposes like drainage ditches, roads, etc. Why is it less important for the city to renew the downtown core than it is to build drainage ditches?

Because the downtown core is PRIVATE land. The city takes land for public infrastructure and buildings because it is their 5th amendment rights.

Spartan
06-22-2007, 10:39 AM
The 5th amendment doesn't apply to urban renewal, it applies to armed forces. Also Cuatro, we weren't working with greenfield in the 60s, we were working with a real city. Well, that took care of any concerns we might be facing today of screwing up a real city. Now we get to rebuild a real city.

Martin
06-22-2007, 10:48 AM
ehh? enlighten us how it applies only to the armed forces...

-M

CuatrodeMayo
06-22-2007, 10:50 AM
Yes, we are dealing with different types of property now than we were then. However, the philosophy is the same.

I don't know where you got the armed forces thing.


Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified (http://www.usconstitution.net/constamrat.html#BoR) 12/15/1791.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb (http://www.usconstitution.net/glossary.html#DOUBLEJ); nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived (http://www.usconstitution.net/glossary.html#DEPRIVE) of life, liberty, or property, without due process (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_duep.html) of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Spartan
06-22-2007, 02:24 PM
Mixed with the 3rd, so my apologies:

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This applies to armed forces, not eminent domain, as it was in the context of the King quartering his soldiers in Colonial homes. I have heard it turned into an eminent domain issue before.

Amendment 5 does nothing to limit the uses of eminent domain especially in the realm of economic development, which is what a huge land grab south of downtown would be for, especially in light of the Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New Haven, CT.

CuatrodeMayo
06-24-2007, 02:06 PM
It's a commonly-accepted notion that the court got it wrong and stretched the constitution. All hell will break loose if OKC tries ED there. After OSU's Athletic Village and MWC Town Center, people around here are touchy about ED. It would be wise OKC not to stir that hornet's nest.

SoonerDave
06-25-2007, 08:43 AM
Agreed completely.

I think there would be a ton of righteous indignation if eminent domain were used to hand property over to a private developer.

It's one thing for the purposes of drainage, sewer, utilities, etc. It's quite another when the government starts seizing land to allow someone else to profit from it. If the current owners have held the land for an extended period of time for the hopes of selling it when the land is more commercially attractive, that is their reward for having held the investment for so long a time. The idea that the government would seize at some pittance fraction of its "newfound" value so someone else would get a free ride is galling.

I'm not naive enough to say that hasn't happened before in a more circuitous way, but for it to become standard civic practice for a city to seize land in this manner is horrific public policy.

-sd

Midtowner
06-25-2007, 09:03 AM
Amendment 5 does nothing to limit the uses of eminent domain especially in the realm of economic development, which is what a huge land grab south of downtown would be for, especially in light of the Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New Haven, CT.

Oklahoma is not in lock-step with the U.S. Constitution on this aspect. In Oklahoma, economic development alone is not a public purpose to justify the exercise of eminent domain. Board of County Commissioners of Muskogee County v. Lowery, 2006 OK 31, 136 P.3d 639 (Oklahoma, 2006). In this case, Muskogee County took an easement on the Lowery's property so that a private utility company could build 3 pipelines to supply water to their proposed plant. The "public purpose" (and that's where Kelo got it wrong, btw, it was the first case EVER to say "public purpose" vs. "public use") for the taking was for "economic development.

The Court further held that We further hold that ". . . economic development alone (not in connection with the removal of blighted property) does not constitute a public use or public purpose to justify the exercise of eminent domain as a matter of Oklahoma constitutional law, nor does it satisfy the public purpose requirement of 27 O.S. 2001 5."

At any rate, to casually say that Oklahoma law mirrors Kelo is off-base. While Kelo held that ANY public purpose was fine, Oklahoma's Constitution says there has to be more... blight, of course can be more, but in the Lowery's case, I don't think the government can make a case that building a pipeline across a field in the middle of nowhere can cure any sort of blight.

Also, we have to look at why Urban Renewal really failed. My understanding is that the failure was largely due to the oil crash. Since that time, OKC's economy has sufficiently diversified that we could probably loose all of our energy companies and still be okay. To use what happened then as a reason for not moving forward now ignores a whole lot of important factors which went into that failure.

And as far as any condemnation of the states/cities condemnations for the MWC Town Center or the OSU Athletic Village, I don't think the public outcry is nearly as heated as some of you might suggest.

CuatrodeMayo
06-25-2007, 09:16 AM
I worked for the City of Midwest City at the time they were removing houses.

I attend OSU.

Trust me...It was heated.

Midtowner
06-25-2007, 09:24 AM
I worked for the City of Midwest City at the time they were removing houses.

I attend OSU.

Trust me...It was heated.

Sure it is. When you manage to piss off even .0001% of the population, your phone still rings, wackos still show up at City Council meetings, etc. If you gave the average Oklahoman all of the information, e.g., in MWC's case, here was the crime rate for the area, here's the fact that most people living there were renting, etc. Here's the great new development which will instantly get rid of all of those problems as well as increase property values for the surrounding area resulting in more money for our schools. What's not to like?

And in OSU's case???? That rent-neighborhood was a bunch of dumpy subpar shacks full of college kids. It wasn't a neighborhood at all. There may have been a couple of bona fide homeowner-residents, but they were few and far between compared to the renters.

In either case, the legality of the takings was not and cannot be disputed. In MWC's case, it's easy to show blight and "public purpose." In OSU's case, anything the school does is a public use (which is better than a public purpose), so OSU can take land for just about any purpose so long as that purpose is legitimately related to OSU's being a university.

If the public doesn't like it, they can always amend the Constitution. It really surprises me that anyone even cared about these takings considering the vast amount of good they usually mean for the surrounding community.

CuatrodeMayo
06-25-2007, 09:53 AM
I know it was perfectly legal for OSU to ED the land. It just wasn't done with any delicacy and as a result, pissed off most of this town. It eliminated a large chunk of affordable student housing, making it harder for students to find affordable housing close to campus. Many of the displaced students ended up having to move some distance from campus, resulting in a increase of commuter students, straining an already tight parking stituation. And it's not like Stillwater residents are seeing any great benefit from a running track, indoor football practice facility, and baseball stadium to replace one that is rarely even half-filled. But yes. It was legal...just not popular.

My point is not to argue about ED. My point is that EDing all of the areas surrounding downtown is a great way to sterilize and suburbanize a potentially vibrant urban core. Do we want a Disneyland downtown with neatly planted flowerbeds, cute little identical rowhouses and mall stores full of white people, seas of parking, and NO individuality? Or so we want living, breathing, urban neighborhoods full of diversity of every type?

Midtowner
06-25-2007, 11:15 AM
I know it was perfectly legal for OSU to ED the land. It just wasn't done with any delicacy and as a result, pissed off most of this town. It eliminated a large chunk of affordable student housing, making it harder for students to find affordable housing close to campus. Many of the displaced students ended up having to move some distance from campus, resulting in a increase of commuter students, straining an already tight parking stituation. And it's not like Stillwater residents are seeing any great benefit from a running track, indoor football practice facility, and baseball stadium to replace one that is rarely even half-filled. But yes. It was legal...just not popular.

That's the risk you run anytime you are a college town. Stillwater wouldn't be what it is without its university. As for the parking and housing situation, I think OSU has done a general piss poor job compared to OU in providing student housing and parking.

As for the benefit derived from these facilities, it's an issue of investing in the future of OSU athletics. I think the Board of Regents hopes that these facility upgrades will push OSU into the top tier of the Big XII (mostly in football). Such a situation can be extremely popular. Not only does excellent athletics programming translate in dollars in terms of ticket prices and direct profits from athletic activities, it also translates into bigtime donations. How much better has alumni financial support at OU since they hired Bob Stoops versus John Blake? I'm just guessing, but I'll conjecture that the difference is night and day.


My point is not to argue about ED. My point is that EDing all of the areas surrounding downtown is a great way to sterilize and suburbanize a potentially vibrant urban core. Do we want a Disneyland downtown with neatly planted flowerbeds, cute little identical rowhouses and mall stores full of white people, seas of parking, and NO individuality? Or so we want living, breathing, urban neighborhoods full of diversity of every type?

I think you're presenting a false dichotomy. If TAP Architecture, for example were able to plan a downtown area, or at the very least, it was zoned a certain way and TIF money was preallocated, growth could really be stimulated. The level of planning can vary as much as the city leaders think it should. ED, if used properly can be a real tool for growth, and if used by a body that doesn't have ulterior motives (sorry OCURA), it can be a really positive tool for a city to use to revitalize its urban center.

CuatrodeMayo
06-25-2007, 12:33 PM
That's the risk you run anytime you are a college town. Stillwater wouldn't be what it is without its university. As for the parking and housing situation, I think OSU has done a general piss poor job compared to OU in providing student housing and parking.

As for the benefit derived from these facilities, it's an issue of investing in the future of OSU athletics. I think the Board of Regents hopes that these facility upgrades will push OSU into the top tier of the Big XII (mostly in football). Such a situation can be extremely popular. Not only does excellent athletics programming translate in dollars in terms of ticket prices and direct profits from athletic activities, it also translates into bigtime donations. How much better has alumni financial support at OU since they hired Bob Stoops versus John Blake? I'm just guessing, but I'll conjecture that the difference is night and day.

I am quite aware of the arguements supporting this situation. It's sad that athletics take such a precedence at this university.


I think you're presenting a false dichotomy. If TAP Architecture, for example were able to plan a downtown area, or at the very least, it was zoned a certain way and TIF money was preallocated, growth could really be stimulated. The level of planning can vary as much as the city leaders think it should. ED, if used properly can be a real tool for growth, and if used by a body that doesn't have ulterior motives (sorry OCURA), it can be a really positive tool for a city to use to revitalize its urban center.

That is a lot of "if"s.

ED CAN be used as a tool to fuel growth. Use ED for "public use" projects. MAPS is the perfect example of public investment spurring private investment. Why not follow the same example? Once the civic aspect of the plan has been completed, allow the market (plus TIF) to work within the framework of the plan and within guidelines simlar to the ones I presented above. I'm pretty sure you don't need to use ED to rezone.

Midtowner
06-25-2007, 01:54 PM
I am quite aware of the arguements supporting this situation. It's sad that athletics take such a precedence at this university.

It's money actually. Money takes priority. Athletics are just a vehicle to obtain more money.

Because our state legislature, in its great wisdom has decided to support higher ed less and less, the burden of support has fallen to the schools themselves. Those schools have had to pass along those costs to the students. This is squeezing many out of higher ed completely.

Projects like these are undertaken with the future in mind. Years from now, these athletics facilities will probably provide OSU with a lot of profit and donations. That's money which won't have to go into tuition hikes.

Yeah, we bitch about it now, but 20 years from now, the controversy surrounding the taking of the land will be forgotten and hopefully OSU has a proud (and profitable) athletic tradition.

Currently, OSU faculty are paid less than any other faculty in the Big XII. It's good to see that the administration is not happy with the status quo.


That is a lot of "if"s.

ED CAN be used as a tool to fuel growth. Use ED for "public use" projects. MAPS is the perfect example of public investment spurring private investment. Why not follow the same example? Once the civic aspect of the plan has been completed, allow the market (plus TIF) to work within the framework of the plan and within guidelines simlar to the ones I presented above. I'm pretty sure you don't need to use ED to rezone.

Sure it's a lot of "ifs." But nothing is ever so simple as "We tried it and it failed." Additionally, any development in the future will be riddled with "ifs." That's the nature of the beast.

The best thing a municipality can do is to limit those ifs and try to achieve the creation of an environment which people will want to live and work in while adhering to strictly urban designs.

Mike
07-31-2007, 02:38 PM
There is nothing wrong with a man who 25 years ago lived in a two bedroom house and worked diligently to become a major player in piedmont, oklahoma and the world while benefiting himself and providing jobs and opportunity for oklahoman. Mayor Cornett also has worked hard for himslef and Oklahoma. Put funk's proposal to the people of oklahoma and let them vote on it.