View Full Version : A commercial real estate perspective on MAPS

11-26-2009, 04:26 AM
This is an opinion piece by someone who specializes in commercial real estate. That's a perspective I've not got much experience with, but I thought it was interesting, especially from the standpoint of downtown office space:

OPINION Lot Lines: Let’s continue the momentumby Darren Currin

The Journal Record - Article (

The Journal Record November 27, 2009

In less than two weeks, Oklahoma City residents will go to the polls to cast their votes on whether or not to approve the MAPS 3 initiative. Many city and business leaders have been actively campaigning about the benefits MAPS 3 would afford the city, such as the creation of an estimated 8,493 jobs with a $294.6 million payroll. The proposed convention center would alone bring more than $50 million to the economy, according to city officials.

A majority of the local commercial real estate industry has thrown their support behind the project as many industry leaders have been actively campaigning for MAPS 3. The general consensus in the industry is that any time a city can improve its overall value and image in any shape or form, it consequently improves the value and quality of its commercial real estate market.Oklahoma City saw this firsthand with the first MAPS program, which pumped billions of public and private dollars into the downtown area. It resulted in one of the strongest downtown office markets seen in many years, with property values soaring in niche downtown areas like Bricktown and the addition of upscale housing.

Not only are commercial property values expected to increase in the Core to Shore area much like they did in Bricktown, but MAPS 3 also holds the promise of stimulating millions of dollars of new development south of downtown’s core. The work that will be done in the Core to Shore area, such as the new city park and improvements to facilities along the Oklahoma River, is expected to pave the way for a steady amount of new commercial development. There are already a number of private developers eyeing a mix of new projects that would include upscale office space, apartments, condos and even some retail space that would bring retailers back to downtown.
MAPS 3 would also help with the sustainability of the downtown office market. One of the best indirect byproducts of the first MAPS program was the resurgence of office space in the central business district. Over the past four years, vacancy has fallen to its lowest level in more than 12 years and the momentum that would be generated by MAPS 3 would hopefully sustain that strength for many years to come.

In fact, throughout all of 2009, the downtown office market has outpaced the suburbs in terms of positive absorption as more tenants are now opting to call downtown their home.

Oklahoma City is already benefiting from an improved image thanks to the first two MAPS programs. The rest of the nation now views the city as a first-class city rather than a second-rate city and the approval of MAPS 3 would not only enhance what has been done before, but continue the momentum.
The improved image is one of the factors luring so many buyers from other states to invest in commercial properties in the metro area. Investors want a city that presents them with value and that is what they will see with MAPS 3.
Darren Currin is an independent research analyst and consultant who specializes in Oklahoma City and Tulsa commercial real estate. He may be reached at (405) 476-0164 or

11-26-2009, 07:34 AM
more of that ol' rising tide lifting all boats stuff.

I realize the fire and police say their boats are not being lifted by prior MAPs or this Maps. However, I wonder if either org. has done a true study examining not just where they are, but whether, and to what degree, the complained of shortages might be worse but for what MAPs has helped generate in city funds.