View Full Version : MAPS 3 plan being shaped



betts
12-14-2007, 04:04 AM
MAPS 3 plan shaped for vote in '08
By Steve Lackmeyer

After years of talk about whether to pursue a MAPS 3, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Mayor Mick Cornett are preparing to submit a proposal to voters next year. Larry Nichols, chamber chairman and chief executive officer of Devon Energy, shared the news Thursday at the chamber's annual banquet at the Cox Convention Center. "I do not know exactly when, but it will be sometime in 2008 so we can continue the momentum that has already occurred here, Nichols said. "Undoubtedly it will include a new convention center. The convention center we have now, while renovated, is not nearly adequate to attract the kind of conventions we could attract. People say they would come here, but it's just not big enough.

To date, Oklahoma City voters have approved two MAPS sales taxes, starting with the original 1993 initiative that resulted in renovations to the Cox Convention Center and Civic Center Music Hall, and construction of the Bricktown Canal, Ford Center, and the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. The tax, which expired in 1999, also funded improvements at State Fair Park, the Oklahoma River, and creation of the Oklahoma Spirit trolley system. Once that tax expired, voters approved the MAPS for Kids sales tax, which funded an overhaul of city schools. The tax expires on Dec. 31, 2008.

Nichols noted voters in recent weeks approved by large margins a school bond issue and on Tuesday a general obligation bond for streets, bridges, libraries, parks and public safety. "That ranged from almost 80 percent to 93 percent approval, in the middle of an ice storm, Nichols said. "That is unprecedented.

Cornett said he had mixed feelings about announcing the scheduling of a MAPS 3 election amidst the city's struggle to recover from an ice storm, but agreed that the city's momentum shouldn't be stopped. He also predicted MAPS 3 will also include funding for either improvements at Ford Center or a new arena to host the NBA SuperSonics, which has announced intentions to move to Oklahoma City from Seattle. The city last week hired Benham Group, which designed Ford Center, to evaluate how Ford Center could be improved to host an NBA team.
"We've got the NBA to address, a convention center to address, transit to address, and there are river improvements we could make, Cornett said. "Right now, we're sorting through the NBA issues. It's not getting simpler now. But we're hoping between now and the first of the year it will get clearer.

Cornett earlier this year solicited ideas from residents for a MAPS 3 initiative. Of the 2,747 ideas submitted to an online survey conducted by Oklahoma City from January to mid-May, 668 involved mass transit. Parks, sports venues and streets also got more than 100 mentions. "The future for MAPS 3 is now, Nichols said.

"It's time to get serious about what we want to have in it. It will be great to have the chamber, Mayor Cornett and other city leaders getting to talking about what projects we want to keep the city's momentum going.

soonerguru
12-14-2007, 09:44 AM
You can bet Clay will want a new arena for the Sonics. What to do with the Ford Center?

Mick mentioned transit, and we need to hold them to that. That's what the voters wanted most.

DO NOT let that get buried in the conversation.

Remember: we don't build transit for what we need now, we build for what we WILL need in the future. Also: good transit spurs development.

Kerry
12-14-2007, 10:22 AM
I would like to see MAPS III be a regional effort. While OKC is the primary city in Central Oklahoma, a regional transit plan will require the surrounding communities to kick in some money if they want service. Now if the transit component of MAPS III is only going to include a downtown - midtown - bricktown - MedCenter trolley then of course OKC should pick up the tab. But if we are talking a commuter rail system then the state, feds, and surrounding communities need to pitch in. The same goes for a new arena or Ford Center upgrade. The state should have to pick up some of those costs.

I wouldn't have a problem supporting a basketball-only facility for the Sonics but I don't think it is going to come to that. The Ford Center is much larger than Key Arena is in Seattle. In-fact, I don't think it is much smaller than Pepsi Arena in Denver that Clay used as a model for Seattle. I think once the highway is moved there will be plenty of room to add on to the Ford Center and if those taxes are collected now they will accrue a lot of interest before they are spent. Even better would be if the Ford Center, practice facility, and new convention center were connected it would really open up some oppertunities.

Maybe the city should look at Phillips Arena, Georgia World Congress Center and CNN center in Atlanta as a model. Everything in one place and all connected.

BoulderSooner
12-14-2007, 04:39 PM
i expect maps 3 to have money to improve the ford center (short term) and money to build an arena (long term ..like completed in 2015 perhaps) ..... i would expect that a new convention center and the ford upgrades would be the first to get done .. then and destruction of the myriad ..and that would be the site for the new world class arena ..

metro
12-14-2007, 05:51 PM
i expect maps 3 to have money to improve the ford center (short term) and money to build an arena (long term ..like completed in 2015 perhaps) ..... i would expect that a new convention center and the ford upgrades would be the first to get done .. then and destruction of the myriad ..and that would be the site for the new world class arena ..

Boulder, from what I understand, the city already has money set aside in a fund for Ford Center upgrades (wouldn't surprise me if they ask for more in MAPSIII though). I seriously seriously doubt a new arena will be built in the site of the Cox Center or Myriad as you call it. If you look at the city's finalized Core to Shore plan, you will see where the city wants a new convention center, etc. and most likely a new arena will be south of the Ford Center.

Kerry
12-14-2007, 06:06 PM
So what do you do with the Myriad site?

Pete
12-14-2007, 06:46 PM
Myriad should be bulldozed for the new arena.

Could make use of existing underground parking infrastructure, connection to the Underground, etc.

HOT ROD
12-15-2007, 01:57 AM
nope, myriad should be bull dozed and reclaimed to expand the CBD!!! build the new arena and new convention center south of the Ford Center/New Boulevard.

^^ Kerry, I was initially thinking the same thing - why not have MAPS III be regional, but I think all of the projects will once again be OKC centric; since we still need downtown to get a bit further. We need MAPS III to bring some NEW life into downtown and the central city - so that it grows even more!

But I agree, MAPS IV should be regional and live up to its name "metropolitan" area project s. We could use the success of MAPS III (and the other Maps versions) to sell to the suburbs; with regional transit - say Commuter Rail, Express Bus, Light Rail in city. I think MAPS IV should include a transit center/library/community center/city hall (or some combination thereof) for each main suburb (and even some smaller ones).

It would also be NICE if we could make the new convention center and/or the new arena as part of MAPS IV, and leave MAPS III to the streetcar downtown, inner city sidewalks and lighting and beautification (foliage, fountains, statues). I think going this route, it would be cheaper and be a very quick shot-in-the-arm for downtown. MAPS IV, being regional - would get everyone to pitch in since the OKC METRO benefits from the convention center and new arena.

But I bet MAPS III will have at least funds for the new convention center.

Whatever the case, we need it and the new arena built south of the Ford Center; I like the gateway effect it will create. No other city in the world would have anything like this.

brianinok
12-15-2007, 05:04 PM
I don't have a problem with the city building a new arena for the Sonics, but I think we need to remember a few things: (1) Clay wants to bring them here, (2) the NBA has said the Ford Center is in the middle tier of NBA arenas already, and (3) other things need to be done also (transit, convention center, central park, etc.). I think the Ford Center with upgrades could get us through the timeframe of a MAPS III. I am guessing it will be a 5-6 year tax. Then, a MAPS IV could include funds for a new arena to replace the Ford Center (and other needed projects at that time). I would hope, however, that they would plan ahead and leave a "lot" in the C2S area for the new arena.

I also do not think that the city needs to commit to build an arena until it is 100% sure the Sonics are moving here. The NBA has not approved the move yet, and there is an extremely remote chance someone or some entity will build an arena in Seattle for the Sonics. I know the chances of them coming are probably north of 95%, but how stupid would it be to have two NBA-type arenas and no team?

All that being said, I fully expect MAPS III to include funds for a new arena for the Sonics. Cornett has basically said as much (I think he's trying to "butter the city up" so to speak) in various ways talking about MAPS III, C2S, the Sonics/Hornets, the Ford Center, downtown, etc. And I would find it hard to vote against such a proposal (unless maybe there were no other good projects in MAPS III).

Lastly, MAPS III should be all downtown, with the possible exception of transit.

Public Safety
12-16-2007, 08:43 PM
The current Police and Fire training facility on Portland is on OSU Tech property and is being leased by the City. A proposal was submitted to the City about building a new training facility for our Police and Fire Departments on land the City currently owns. The City said that land is being saved in the event, the Sonics need a new arena. This raises a few questions:
1. What happens when our lease runs out? (renewal may not be an option, due to the school's continued expansion)
2. Why is the Mayor using "Public Safey" as his poster-boy for passing this last bond, when he's proving the Sonic's are more important?
3. Why haven't all the projects from the previous 2 bonds ('89,'00) been completed? (they definately received the money for them!)

HOT ROD
12-16-2007, 11:39 PM
I agree brian, Maps III should be downtown ONLY and should NOT include an arena proposal - UNLESS it is deemed necessary with a promise/lease for an NBA team (say Sonics) by the 2008 season.

but I agree, the NBA said Ford Center is already middle tier - so with the already budgeted upgrades *yes, the city already has $$ to improve Ford; hopefully it would move to the upper crust of the middle-tier at least, which should buy us some time to have an arena in MAPS IV.

I also think that MAPS III should be the LAST city ONLY initiative, since it will focus almost exclusively on downtown OKC (and the humble beginnings of transit, but even they are/should be OKC focused). MAPS IV, however, should be a true Metropolitan initiative; and if nothing else should include some sort of project for each major suburb (Norman, Midwest City, Edmond, Yukon, Guthrie, Shawnee, El Reno, Mustang, Moore, Choctaw), like a library or a combination library/transit center in each suburb's respective downtown.

oneforone
12-17-2007, 02:04 AM
The current Police and Fire training facility on Portland is on OSU Tech property and is being leased by the City. A proposal was submitted to the City about building a new training facility for our Police and Fire Departments on land the City currently owns. The City said that land is being saved in the event, the Sonics need a new arena. This raises a few questions:
1. What happens when our lease runs out? (renewal may not be an option, due to the school's continued expansion)
2. Why is the Mayor using "Public Safey" as his poster-boy for passing this last bond, when he's proving the Sonic's are more important?
3. Why haven't all the projects from the previous 2 bonds ('89,'00) been completed? (they definately received the money for them!)

OSU would never put the city out on the street. I went to school there and participated in both fire and police classes.

OSU has strong partnership with the city. They share builidings and they share many resources. The last thing they would do is slam the door on the city. If OSU did such a thing, it would be devasting blow to the fire and police training programs they currently offer.

If anything, OSU would ask the city nicely and offer assitance during the relocation process.

metro
12-17-2007, 10:22 AM
HOT ROD,

I understand with what you're saying, but think MAPS3 as having the potential to raise $1 billion in tax money. We can do more than just downtown streetcars, beautification, sidewalks and lighting for this kind of money. Look at what the original MAPS did for about $700million.

I highly anticipate MAPS3 will have some sort of mass transit in it. It was the number one recommended idea (by far) when the city and the mayor solicited ideas for it. To gain support they can't scap it completely, although I guarantee they will water it down with a new arena if we hear the status on the Sonics before MAPS3 goes to a vote.

As far as MAPS4 or whatever being "regional" I agree I think it should be as well. BUT all those surrounding suburbs MUST decide to raise their taxes as well. OKC should not have to pay for rail lines, transit stations, and new city halls as you mention for other cities unless they decide to go in on the deal and share the responsibilities.