View Full Version : Should City look at other options for the Convention Center?



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Laramie
05-10-2010, 01:09 PM
Expand the current Cox Convention & Ford Centers making them one complex:

Looking at the fact that they are no concrete plans for the new convention center why not look at expanding the Cox Convention Center and gutting out the lower bowl tier arena and having more expanded convention exhibition space?

Build on the site we currently have and join the Cox Convention & Ford Center together as one complex:

The Great Arena (Old Myriad) could be downsized to seat 9,000-11,000 on its current upper level and the other improvements to the Ford Center could be done--expanding the seating to 20,000 instead of 18,300?

I believe that $280 million has been designated for the new convention center.

Do you think that we will be able to collect that much tax (projected) over the seven year period in which sales taxes will be collected?

What are some of the problems with looking at an alternative plan? Please sound off:

Popsy
05-10-2010, 04:35 PM
It would probably save money to expand it, but there are problems in doing it. The most natural way to increase it's size would be to expand to the east by taking out EK Gaylord and the Sante Fe Depot, expanding to the tracks. If however you mention taking out Sante Fe Depot the preservationists would be all over it like flies on a cow patty.

progressiveboy
05-10-2010, 05:56 PM
I personally think they should build a new Convention center and perhaps find an adaptive reuse for the Myriad. The people voted for a new convention center so people should not even entertain the thought of having to renege on a commitment.The will of the voters have alreadly decided this issue and to go back on their promise and not follow through would not be in the best interest for the citizens of OKC.

mugofbeer
05-10-2010, 06:02 PM
Right now, the city has decided that they like having the 2 arenas next to each other. For the Big 12 Basketball purposes, this makes OKC a very attractive rotational member. KC can offer 2 arenas in close proximity but not across the street from each other as ours are.

My prediction, however, is that eventually the Cox Center will be taken down or completely redone in some way and another convention center will be built elsewhere.

Spartan
05-10-2010, 08:05 PM
It would probably save money to expand it, but there are problems in doing it. The most natural way to increase it's size would be to expand to the east by taking out EK Gaylord and the Sante Fe Depot, expanding to the tracks. If however you mention taking out Sante Fe Depot the preservationists would be all over it like flies on a cow patty.

I like your thinking. EKG is wide enough that you wouldn't really need to touch the depot. The depot is located diagonally from the Ford Center so it's not really in the way either. There are some interesting opportunities to do an intermodal transit center converging the different transit types in OKC in one facility, with AMTRAK, streetcar, city bus, and more..and it could be OKC's "grand central station" that connects to the Ford and Cox. There could be a new leg of the Bricktown canal that goes through it as well, fulfilling the Bricktown Association's wish to be more connected to what's across the tracks.

metro
05-10-2010, 10:01 PM
Have any of you folks been to a modern convention center, most people in this City don't even understand what a modern convention center is.

NickFiggins
05-11-2010, 01:35 AM
Have any of you folks been to a modern convention center, most people in this City don't even understand what a modern convention center is.

Uh a good example is DC's convention center. The place is massive. They have rooms big enough for a dinner with 8000 people. They have hundreds of meeting rooms from small to midsize to large, to very large ball rooms and exhibit space. Another key of the DC convention center is that it spans 3 blocks but instead of closing streets they build meeting space on the bridges over the streets. There are seamless and flexible and quite frankly the only direction that would actually provide adequate space would be to head over to the Myriad Gardens....

Cox is way behind the curve. The arena in cox should be kept, as the new convention center won't have/doesn't need and arena as modern convention centers have more flexible meeting space and the few conventions that need an arena can use the ford center.

Its time for a new modern convention center.

kevinpate
05-11-2010, 05:41 AM
I personally think they should build a new Convention center and perhaps find an adaptive reuse for the Myriad. The people voted for a new convention center so people should not even entertain the thought of having to renege on a commitment.The will of the voters have alreadly decided this issue and to go back on their promise and not follow through would not be in the best interest for the citizens of OKC.

Not a resident myself, but given all the discussion prior to the vote, I'm reasonably certain the phrase convention center was not part of the ballot voted on last December.

As it was one of, if not the, the least desired project of the topics discussed, I doubt the masses truly care if it gets built or not.

All that aside, it's probably a good idea to go forward with a cc that will attract new business to the metro and help DT retain its existing convention business.

Larry OKC
05-11-2010, 06:08 AM
kevinpate: You are correct on all counts. None of the proposed MAPS 3 projects were mentioned on the ballot or the ordinance. What people voted for/against was the collection of a 1 cent tax over 7 years and nine months. The money is in theory only to be spent on "capital improvements". However, that term as defined in the ordinance means it can be spent on just about anything. Of course we have promises and assurances that they will be spent on the proposed projects, but there is nothing legally binding them to do so. We just have to trust them to keep their word.

progressiveboy
05-11-2010, 06:11 AM
Not a resident myself, but given all the discussion prior to the vote, I'm reasonably certain the phrase convention center was not part of the ballot voted on last December.

As it was one of, if not the, the least desired project of the topics discussed, I doubt the masses truly care if it gets built or not.

All that aside, it's probably a good idea to go forward with a cc that will attract new business to the metro and help DT retain its existing convention business. Disagree. "This was on the ballot". The point is that MAPS 3 did pass and the will of the people spoke by voting. Do you have documentation to back up your claim?

kevinpate
05-11-2010, 09:51 AM
Disagree. "This was on the ballot". The point is that MAPS 3 did pass and the will of the people spoke by voting. Do you have documentation to back up your claim?

Well, let's see.

There's the actual ballot language to approve or disapprove a new ordinance. The language does not include the phrase convention center.

There's the actual language of the ordinance which went into effect after the election. This language also does not include the phrase convention center.

You may be recalling a council resolution, which referenced the council's "present intent" to expend funds on a list of projects contained in an exhibit A.

The Exhibit A to the resolution on present intent and in some pro M3 campaign fodder is where one will find a reference to a convention center.

The people voted on establishing an ordinance to collect a 1% sales tax for X years for capital improvements. They have no direct voice or ability to will exhibit A into a stone carving for those specific projects to be built. That will be the function of the council as time goes by.

The project list is only valid for as long as today's council, or their replacements down the road, decide it is valid. The list could change come fall, or come 2016. Indeed, those who do not wish a convention center could make it their rally cry to oust members at election times and then have a new council makeup express a new "present intent".

So, no, convention center was not on the ballot.

Again, I hope the city does get its convention center. I believe it to be beneficial to OKC and the surrounding cities as well. I hope the city gets all its projects from that list for that matter.

But in truth, hope is all anyone has at this time. The timeframe spans 7+ years and some projects are seen as less important than others to John Q.

Recognizing that much could happen regarding Exhibit A doesn't mean I want to see it happen.

andy157
05-11-2010, 11:39 AM
I personally think they should build a new Convention center and perhaps find an adaptive reuse for the Myriad. The people voted for a new convention center so people should not even entertain the thought of having to renege on a commitment.The will of the voters have alreadly decided this issue and to go back on their promise and not follow through would not be in the best interest for the citizens of OKC.Although I agree with you 100%, it's not like they(the City) have not renege numerus times on the will of the people regarding tax and bond funded projects.

pw405
05-11-2010, 12:03 PM
With the new John Q. Hammonds Convention Center/Embassy suites in Norman, do you think the metro area could experience some canibilization with so many convention centers? I was in that place for a focus group and it is MOST impressive - not world class, but certainly one hell of a place! Its only a year old too.

Do we have that many conventions here? If we got E3 & CES here,,, wow! It just seems like of all the things OKC could benefit from - a new convention center does not really excite me. At all.

rcjunkie
05-11-2010, 12:35 PM
Although I agree with you 100%, it's not like they(the City) have not renege numerus times on the will of the people regarding tax and bond funded projects.

:please:

Spartan
05-11-2010, 09:42 PM
Have any of you folks been to a modern convention center, most people in this City don't even understand what a modern convention center is.

Well, do you have any thoughts on the issue metro?

andy157
05-12-2010, 12:04 AM
:please:Please??? Please what? Are you asking me to please once again prove that, (A) you simply don't have a clue. Or, (B) if you do, you simply don't know what to do with it. Or (C) you don't pay attention. Or (D), you just enjoy arguing and don't mind being wrong and looking foolish while doing so.

mugofbeer
05-12-2010, 12:27 AM
I would be willing to bet that since the crash of 2008 and with the progression of new technology, the type, size and scope of conventions and expo's has changed significantly. I wonder if building huge expanses of exhibition space is really needed as much or if other CC configurations would better match the industry for 2012 and beyond?

rcjunkie
05-12-2010, 12:36 AM
Please??? Please what? Are you asking me to please once again prove that, (A) you simply don't have a clue. Or, (B) if you do, you simply don't know what to do with it. Or (C) you don't pay attention. Or (D), you just enjoy arguing and don't mind being wrong and looking foolish while doing so.

None of the above. As for looking foolish, your constant whining about how the City has misspent funds, lied, or illegally used money intended for public safety, I would say you have that category locked up my friend.

I don't argue and I realize you don't like and your not use to having anyone disagree with your views and opinions, but thats life.

Larry OKC
05-12-2010, 01:54 AM
Disagree. "This was on the ballot". The point is that MAPS 3 did pass and the will of the people spoke by voting. Do you have documentation to back up your claim?

As kevinpate pointed out, the Convention Center was NOT on the ballot.

Courtesy of Doug, here is the complete text of the Ballot (scroll to the bottom), Ordinance and the infamous Resolution of Intent/Exhibit A (but remember, there is nothing in the Ballot/Ordinance linking it to the Resolution). The Resolution is non-binding and can be changed by this or any future Council by a simple majority vote of 5 members.

http://www.dougloudenback.com/oklahomacity/councildocuments.htm

andy157
05-12-2010, 07:22 AM
None of the above. As for looking foolish, your constant whining about how the City has misspent funds, lied, or illegally used money intended for public safety, I would say you have that category locked up my friend.

I don't argue and I realize you don't like and your not use to having anyone disagree with your views and opinions, but thats life.For you to equate my comments that are based on facts, when theres documented proof of misspent tax revenue to support my comments, revenue which has been generated by a vote of the people to nothing more than my foolish constant whinning irregardless of the intended public function shows which one of us has the mentality of a fool my freind.

Of Sound Mind
05-12-2010, 07:56 AM
We need a new convention center AND we need to keep the current Cox Convention Center. If you've ever tried to book large meeting space, you'll discover that the options are VERY limited and the availability is even worse.

Additionally, attracting convention business is the best way to bring new/outside money into the city, the best kind of revenue any city can ask for.

The OKC CVB is doing a decent job attracting more events, but they're restricted by what we have available. And when they are successful bringing in these conventions and large events, then opportunities for local companies to rent large amounts of meeting space for their own events becomes very difficult and frustrating. A new convention center would allow the CVB to more aggressively pursue more and larger events and conventions as well as allow local companies and organizations the opportunity to utilize the space they're needing for their own functions.

BigD Misey
05-12-2010, 11:12 AM
This is: Know your competition 101.
Although not a regular conventioneer, I can certainly tell you that OKC will NOT wrestle away large draw conventions with an expansion and renovation of the COX Center. The Convention Centers in Las Vegas, Orlando, Denver, Chicago, San Diego, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix and New York have a combination of elements that attract PEOPLE. People WANT to go there! The facilities are far superior and much larger, the Hotels Grandiose and the attractions well known (With Indy and Phoenix pulling up the rear). Those are the two targets in my mind. Phoenix and Indy. What can OKC do to take some of their meal tickets? Indy I think is target #1. The north is hard hit and will make terrific deals right now with the economy hurting, but with the right plan with a modern feel and quality hotels I think OKC can do well. I think with the SWA hub being in Phoenix, it would be a little tougher. Now can OKC pull off, not only a world class Convention Center but also a world class... something else in combination with it? I think that is the question.
With Las Vegas, Orlando, Denver, Chicago, San Diego, NY and Philly I think the attractions speak for themselves. Mountains, beaches, Broadway and other shows, historical sites...etc. Can OKC develop a world class something along those lines, and how soon would it reach that status.
I live in Dallas. Again, I'm not an expert on the matter, but I don't see HOW Dallas can be more that a tier 2 city for conventions. Here the Convention center seems difficult to navigate and the attractions are a bit away (Arlington) but still accessible. But world class hotels out the wazzoo! I haven't been to conventions in H-town or Austin or San Antonio, but each of these towns has multiple attractions that just donít exist in all of OK. Think how fast Bossier City was put on the map for conventions with their shows and Casinos! It developed quickly, in less than 10 years it practically became a tier 2 convention city. I'm not suggesting that is the formula, just saying it can happen with the right plan, the right hotels and the right attractions.
Can Core to Shore include a World Class PGA Golf Course? Would Universal Studios consider a smaller version of what they have in Orlando or California? Years ago, Orlando wasnít on the map until about 1965. Disney saw opportunity... the land was much like Oklahomaís - flat and nothing notable, cheap land and the climate similar to Oklahoma's. But in a few years, people were flocking to Orlando by millions per year. Some entrepreneur will need to do the same thing in OKC, take a chance. With the energy and devotion and vision of those in place right now, I see this as a serious possibility if OKC commits to its plan. The new Convention Center is the keystone, the catalyst that may cause the developers to move. And, frankly, I think the reward WILL follow.

rcjunkie
05-12-2010, 11:47 AM
For you to equate my comments that are based on facts, when theres documented proof of misspent tax revenue to support my comments, revenue which has been generated by a vote of the people to nothing more than my foolish constant whinning irregardless of the intended public function shows which one of us has the mentality of a fool my freind.

I apoligize for under estimating your vast knowledge of how the City of OKC's budget works, can you ever forgive me. What would we ever do without your knowledge and input. (other then get correct facts)

Laramie
05-12-2010, 12:13 PM
I realize now that we probably need a new convention center because if we put it in the right place--hotels and other establishments are going to spring up around it. As one reader mentioned about the new amenities that are apart of new convention center complexes being developed throughout the country, we need to keep updated.

Our central location (I-35 north/south corridors--Texas-Minnesota) and I-40 east/west corridors--east coast to west coast) places us in the middle of the country. Conventioneers are burned out on Dallas, St. Louis & Kansas City.

We are in a great position to become a convention destination!

My orignial question had to do with the street where "Thunder Alley" exists--possibly being closed and the Ford Center and Cox Convention Center being made one complex. This wouldn't afford new hotels coming in closer to the complex; however, the Sheraton could be expanded to 30-plus stories with 600-750 rooms. The Old City Rescue Mission complex (off Robinson--adjacent west of the Ford Center) would be great for a new large 600-1,000 room hotel-convention center complex.

I haven't been able to find a pic; however, I remember a drawing in the Oklahoman sometime in the 80's where they were looking at expanding the then Sheraton-Century Center to 30-stories (that was when we only had one first class hotel downtown--post Biltmore demolition).

I hope that we can get all of the proposed items on the MAPS 3 list built and financed without having to go to the voters for an extension.

BigD Misey
05-12-2010, 12:31 PM
Having said what i said earlier, the combination of the Cox and Ford center offers a unique benefit for multiple venue needs. Right off top of my head, the Big12 tourney can hold mens and womens Basketball tourneys right next to each other, which is cost effective for media, the confrence and schools. Same with baseball and softball (Within a few short miles). Now with river sports. I dont think Tulsa can offer this unique advantage but Dallas definitely can.
So, I think leaving the Cox center is a good idea because it keeps OKC in the running with Dallas and KC. Just making the exterior into retail space would make a huge difference though in the overall experience. I'm thinking specifically about everything surrounding the AA center in dallas. Loads of retail and Hotels. Think about the 1000 plus people that were outside the Ford center for the playoffs. What if the west side of the Cox Center was converted to a courtyard type area flanked by a couple of retail shoppes/bistro's open to the courtyard with a big screen similar to what was in thunder alley. I think that would be a better use of the thousands of square feet than the current use. Provided of course the New Convention center was built.

andy157
05-13-2010, 01:41 AM
I apoligize for under estimating your vast knowledge of how the City of OKC's budget works, can you ever forgive me. What would we ever do without your knowledge and input. (other then get correct facts)You really are clueless, and all this time I thought it was just an act. What does having, or not having knowledge of how the Citys budget works have to do with the City not spending dedicated tax revenue in accordance with the ballot?

rcjunkie
05-13-2010, 03:17 AM
You really are clueless, and all this time I thought it was just an act. What does having, or not having knowledge of how the City's budget works have to do with the City not spending dedicated tax revenue in accordance with the ballot?

I so apologize Sir Andy, but it's apparent that I'm no longer qualified to communicate with someone that's has so much more knowledgeable and is more intelligent then I, from now on, I'll refrain from commenting. Good Day and Good Life my friend.

metro
05-13-2010, 08:47 AM
Maybe he should work for the police and fire unions with his superior knowledge

rcjunkie
05-13-2010, 10:21 AM
Maybe he should work for the police and fire unions with his superior knowledge

Not me, after hearing all of the whining and complaing. The equipment is falling apart, they never get anything as promised, they are over worked and under paid, why would anyone want to work there.

sgray
05-13-2010, 10:38 AM
I so apologize Sir Andy, but it's apparent that I'm no longer qualified to communicate with someone that's has so much more knowledgeable and is more intelligent then I, from now on, I'll refrain from commenting. Good Day and Good Life my friend.

This is retarded. On posts like this, please DO refrain from commenting.


My two cents is that the convention center should remain at the bottom of the project list until we know what is going to give us the best return on our investment. As others have pointed out, it's a competitive market out there. Other cities have lots of attractions, mass-transit linkage to/from the airport, etc. Before we just go and build a convention center, we should 1) determine what else besides the convention center itself is needed, and 2) have a gameplan in-place to compete with these other cities.

metro
05-13-2010, 10:41 AM
sgray, I think the question you are missing or others are failing to ask is that what benefits me vs. what benefits the city more. Many don't realize the convention center pays for itself fairly quickly by all the out of state tax revenue generated, not to mention all the new exposure of our city, that could lead to further out of state investments and expenditures that are hard to directly track, however it is the least sexiest of all to locals who very rarely use it, as that's not what they are geared to be.

sgray
05-13-2010, 10:53 AM
sgray, I think the question you are missing or others are failing to ask is that what benefits me vs. what benefits the city more. Many don't realize the convention center pays for itself fairly quickly by all the out of state tax revenue generated, not to mention all the new exposure of our city, that could lead to further out of state investments and expenditures that are hard to directly track, however it is the least sexiest of all to locals who very rarely use it, as that's not what they are geared to be.

I don't think there is a dividing line between benefiting me and benefiting the city. If there is an influx of visitors spending money here, it will benefit me as well, no doubt.

But you've got to get conventions & people into the place to begin with. What are Cox's current numbers compared to similar spaces in similar markets? Given a new convention center, what is the plan to get conventions into the place and attract visitors? Without a plan, how do we keep from having an empty convention center all the time.

One thing is very true. Other cities, some mentioned here, are very skilled in selling their product and they are not opposed to undercutting us to keep the business in their city.

okclee
05-13-2010, 11:12 AM
If anyone will do the "undercutting" it would be Okc.

The new convention center when finished will be debt free. Just like all of our MAPS project, they are paid for when completed. This is the beauty of MAPS, quality projects and improvement with no debt.

Okc will be very aggressive in selling the new convention center.

kevinpate
05-13-2010, 11:24 AM
If anyone will do the "undercutting" it would be Okc.

The new convention center when finished will be debt free. Just like all of our MAPS project, they are paid for when completed. This is the beauty of MAPS, quality projects and improvement with no debt.

Okc will be very aggressive in selling the new convention center.

Well, largely debt free. However, it may not be entirely debt free. The city can incur debt and sell bonds in order to establish whatever capital improvement projects they utlimately approve under M3

sgray
05-13-2010, 11:25 AM
If anyone will do the "undercutting" it would be Okc.

This is a bold statement...from a city that has little experience in hosting larger conventions. How do you know that OKC would be the best proposal? What if a competing city offers to pay a convention to come to town and they have a kickass transit system and TONS of 24/7 entertainment, which we do not have? What if another city offers to pay a convention a million bucks so they can make an expected two million profit on the revenue from the visitors?

Perhaps there is more to the "undercutting" than just giving away the space for free or cheap.

okclee
05-13-2010, 11:30 AM
I don't know.

I do know Okc does a good job with the Cox center in attracting customers. I have to assume Okc will do a better job with better facilities.

metro
05-13-2010, 12:09 PM
This is a bold statement...from a city that has little experience in hosting larger conventions. How do you know that OKC would be the best proposal? What if a competing city offers to pay a convention to come to town and they have a kickass transit system and TONS of 24/7 entertainment, which we do not have? What if another city offers to pay a convention a million bucks so they can make an expected two million profit on the revenue from the visitors?

Perhaps there is more to the "undercutting" than just giving away the space for free or cheap.

What if the world ends in 2012? What if the tomato shortage continues and Wendy's has to permanently not offer tomato's on their hamburgers...what will we do? I think our track record speaks for itself and we have to plan with the facts and knowledge we do have. :doh:

sgray
05-13-2010, 12:26 PM
What if the world ends in 2012? What if the tomato shortage continues and Wendy's has to permanently not offer tomato's on their hamburgers...what will we do? I think our track record speaks for itself and we have to plan with the facts and knowledge we do have. :doh:

:doh: Metro, you are starting to follow the path of rcjunkie here. We have enough people selling crazy around here, so let's leave that stuff out of the discussion.

My point was/is that we need to know our competitors and be prepared if we want to win some conventions. This is valid argument on the topic. You speak of a track record. May I ask what larger conventions we've pulled from other competing cities? You speak of planning on facts and knowledge we do have. What research on this has been done? Is there a planning team already assigned to this?

These are valid questions on the topic of the thread. The end of the world and Wendy's hamburgers are not.

metro
05-13-2010, 12:35 PM
No, I think we have a good track record for what we do have, our convention center isn't even a real convention center, just the sign says it is. What all is being sold as crazy in OKC? We landed the national convention of mayors coming next month which is a HUGE land. We haven't landed major conventions, because we didn't have the hotels or facilities (ie real convention center) to host a real convention.

rcjunkie
05-13-2010, 01:15 PM
:doh: Metro, you are starting to follow the path of rcjunkie here. We have enough people selling crazy around here, so let's leave that stuff out of the discussion.
My point was/is that we need to know our competitors and be prepared if we want to win some conventions. This is valid argument on the topic. You speak of a track record. May I ask what larger conventions we've pulled from other competing cities? You speak of planning on facts and knowledge we do have. What research on this has been done? Is there a planning team already assigned to this?

These are valid questions on the topic of the thread. The end of the world and Wendy's hamburgers are not.

Nice how you single me out when all I was doing is replying to someones posting ,what station do you work at.

Northsider
05-13-2010, 01:23 PM
it seems like the whole build it and they will come method works..

look at all the "smart" locals that were agianst the first maps and after things were completed except for the Main attraction which was the ford Center they said scrap the plans and end the tax we will never use this arena to its full potential

well we all know how that worked out !!!!!!!!

Laramie
05-13-2010, 01:26 PM
The convention center and modern street car system should be the first two projects we need to build (address).

Why?

The Convention Center will bring in tourist dollars and hotel construction immediately which will have the greatest economic impact.

The Modern Street Car system will further enhance the quality-of-life image profiles which will propell OKC in competition for future convention bookings.

lonestarstatesux
05-13-2010, 05:52 PM
Based on all these ideas, I'd like to see the new convention center built. At first, I was down with the expansion idea we started with , but the more I think about it - I'd like to see a redone COX and a new main convention center without an arena.

How about keeping the Cox arena, but revamping much of the space for leasing out? I wonder if much of the exterior on the east and west could be redone to allow street access. The Reno facade could remain, allow entry to the arena, but inside have retail, business space? I would just like to see the space used rather than torn down. And I'm sure than businesses in there wouldn't mind all the foot traffic going on before/after/during arena events.

Larry OKC
05-14-2010, 04:00 AM
I agree completely that the convention center should be one of the 1st things built (rather than one of the last, the Mayor's preferred way) for many of the reasons given. Primarily for the economic benefit achieved (if the Chambers numbers can be believed). The C.C. was THE economic engine of the various MAPS 3 proposed projects (according to the campaign materials). We are already losing business, much less the business lost in the next 10 years. Better to get that economic engine up and running sooner rather than later, which in turn will increase revenues coming in for the other MAPS 3 projects.

However there are some inherent problems with doing it first...

1) The $280M is the most expensive item in MAPS 3 and more than all of the the original MAPS projects combined (as sold to voters, ďMajor-league status sought voters to decide on $237.6 million planĒ (Oklahoman, 11/14/93). Given the $100M/year average estimate on the sales tax revenue, that means nearly 3 years before the entire amount will be raised. This would also push back the time table of the remaining projects. (No, you don't have to wait until the entire amount for the finished project is in hand before design work etc can begin).

2) In order to meet its fullest potential, the Park ($130M = 1.3 years of tax) and the Streetcars ($130M = another 1.3 years of tax) need to be completed at the same time. Unlike previous MAPS, the projects in this one are more interdependent.

The Park is critical because that is the entry way into the proposed C.C. site. Having out of state visitors driving thru blighted land is not the most favorable impression (probably reinforce some of the negative perceptions). The Mayor wants the Park/Boulevard 1st and the unfunded Blvd cant go up until the new I-40 is open (2012+) and the old Crosstown is torn down. Putting the Park/Boulevard into 2014+ range.

The Streetcars are obviously needed to help get those people around (think it was said that if ordered today, the Streetcars are something like 3 years away).

Total tax time needed for these 3 interdependent projects is 5+ years.

3) Only way around it is to go into more bond debt which is fully authorized in the Ballot/Ordinance. I said more bond debt because around $6M was already issued to buy property in the Park area well BEFORE MAPS 3 was even put to a vote. The problem with going into even more bond debt is it goes against the whole "we-paid-for-it-debt-free" & it is a "pay-as-you-go-method" (it appears all MAPS incarnations have incurred debt, a couple of articles indicate that we may STILL be paying on 20 year bond debt from the original MAPS). As someone else mentioned, all you have to do is insert the word "primarily" before those phrases and you are fine.

That said, the more bond debt you have, not only does it lesson the whole MAPS philosophy but you end up paying even more than the announced sticker price for the projects. Which means less money for the remaining projects (presuming all remain within budget which is highly unlikely). Depending on the length of the bond and interest rate, the amount can easily double.

metro
05-14-2010, 08:44 AM
Why are people so bent on revamping the Cox? I don't get it.

mugofbeer
05-14-2010, 10:45 AM
Why are people so bent on revamping the Cox? I don't get it.

metro, I think it's a matter of trying to figure out how to put a still-functional building to its highest and best use without making it a competitor to the Ford Center or to the new convention center. Just as a large number of people are concerned about Sandridge knocking down those historic buildings, do we maintain the Cox Center or do we consider knocking it down and using it for the prime development land it would become? There are a lot of opportunities and alternatives.

BigD Misey
05-14-2010, 12:23 PM
Why are people so bent on revamping the Cox? I don't get it.

The CCC is still a useful facility and is owned by the city. But, the occasional convention or sporting event isn't putting it at its best potential.
IE: Right now the Cox Center is an ominous monstrosity to walk around to attend other events at the ford center or during the day downtown. If OKC is going to continue with the core to shore and the gardens are being revamped to bring foot traffic in, I think the CCC should consider improving the west side of the facility. (The east side being next to a main thoroughfare I donít think is a good idea unless somehow a new transit station were developed there, and I donít see how that would fit)
Currently, there are 1000's of square feet of space that goes unused for large parts of the year. Could a large section of this space be converted to a retail area for those who would visit the events not only at the CCC, but the Ford Center, the Myriad Gardens and even those who work downtown?
Granted it would take several million to revamp the west side, but renting the space will offset the cost for the construction. Think about it: Most events wonít use but a fraction of the space and when there are no events, the Cox Center makes no money. But, Put in a handful of retail and the CCC (and the City since they own it) make money consistently and the businesses will be supported during the day from downtown patrons and on weekends during the days and nights from Myriad Garden visitors and the events held at the Ford center. And when the park is developed south of the Ford Center, the traffic will likely increase between the park and hotels and downtown businesses. I think the investment would pay off, but, I'm not a developer either.

Larry OKC
05-14-2010, 10:32 PM
Not exactly sure what the retail situation is but from most of what I have been reading, there are plenty of retail opportunities all over downtown/bricktown already that are sitting empty. Not sure how adding more retail space into the mix helps matters.

Was down in Bricktown on Mother's Day and was amazed at all of the empty store fronts even along the Canal. The broken windows (in the buildings next to Zios) the canal level bare concrete supports and piles of dirt of those same buildings. This is what it looked like on the canal opening day July 4th weekend how may years ago now?

megax11
05-15-2010, 07:47 PM
This city better not lie to me.

I voted YES because I kept hearing on websites, like this one -

Voters Approve MAPS 3 - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports | (http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=11645010)

That on top of a new park (C2S element), a new convention center (C2S element), would be built.

It says so in that article.

I won't trust this city, if they keep ******* with my emotions.

Larry OKC
05-16-2010, 12:37 AM
^^^
That is their stated INTENT, but as noted before, there is nothing legally binding them to that intent and the intent can be changed at anytime (see the change of intent concerning the 3 various Use Taxes that were used for the Bass Pro deal). The court ruled in the City's favor and the changing of intent is perfectly legal. We will just have to wait and see.

betts
05-16-2010, 02:03 AM
This city better not lie to me.

I voted YES because I kept hearing on websites, like this one -

Voters Approve MAPS 3 - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports | (http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=11645010)

That on top of a new park (C2S element), a new convention center (C2S element), would be built.

It says so in that article.

I won't trust this city, if they keep ******* with my emotions.

Where has the city ever mentioned revamping the Cox Center instead of building a new convention center? This thread was started as speculation and an interesting discussion. The word chill comes to mind.

Larry, I realize that you're still not happy MAPS passed, but personally, I would prefer to wait and see what happens. There is no more evidence that the city will change their intent than that they will. Which is.....none.

Larry OKC
05-16-2010, 05:55 AM
Where has the city ever mentioned revamping the Cox Center instead of building a new convention center? This thread was started as speculation and an interesting discussion. The word chill comes to mind.

Larry, I realize that you're still not happy MAPS passed, but personally, I would prefer to wait and see what happens. There is no more evidence that the city will change their intent than that they will. Which is.....none.

I am not happy that it passed in the form that it did and thru the spin, half truths and yes, in some cases out right lies in order to get it to pass. That didn't bother some people. That said, it did barely pass by 54% but only about 8% of the residents of OKC. But 100% of the residents are paying the tax (unless they don't buy anything within the OKC city limits for the next 7+ years).

I sincerely hope that all of the proposed projects 1) get built, 2) as described and 3) within budget.

The evidence of MAPS.
1) all got built = CHECK*
2) built as described = HALF CHECK**
3) within budget = ABSOLUTE FAIL***

*serious consideration was given to eliminating the Arena after failing to get an NHL team and the considerable known cost over runs of just a couple of projects. The City could have eliminated it without a vote of the people due to a clause in the language that said that the Council could deem any project as being "completed" even if a single spade of dirt hadn't been turned. to the City's credit they did decide to essentially put the fate of the Arena in the voter's hands with the 6 month "extension" of the tax.

**A couple of projects come to mind. As wonderful as the Ballpark is, it was supposed to have been even better. And the obvious issue of the Arena (was it built to be a Convention Center as the Ballot language indicated) and was it truly built in that phrase you despise and actually built to the standards of the NBA or not?

***Not a single MAPS project came in under budget. Not one. Context and extenuating circumstances or not, the fact remains that what the voter's were told and the final cost, there was a difference of 47.75% ($114.1 Million over).

Fact is the City has changed its intent before. You know this so to say that there is no evidence just isn't true. They most assuredly can do it again. Will they, we don't know. But it only takes a vote of 5 to 4 to change it. While 8 of the 9 said they supported MAPS 3, a couple also said they weren't completely happy with it but they pushed it off for the voters to decide. According to the City's site, by law, all tax increases must be approved by a vote of the people, and since this tax increase was the method of funding, they had no choice but to put it to a vote.

Council persons that could easily vote for changing the Intent?

Wards 3 (Larry McAtee) = failed

Ward 4 (Pete White) = failed, the highest defeat by 1,450 votes)
"Some of us donít like a lot of it, but the people get a chance to vote on it,Ē White said. "I feel obligated to go ahead and put this to a vote of the people ... and I do that with some enthusiasm.Ē The voters of his Ward spoke and rather loudly, what is his position on each of the MAPS projects now?

Ward 5 (Brian Walters), = failed.
The only Council person to vote against it but inline with his voting constituents.

Ward 6 (Meg Salyer) it squeaked by (57 votes).

Ward 8 Councilman (Pat Ryan)
Said MAPS 3 "isnít perfect". His ward had the highest swing of Yes voters (4,159). Unless he is hears differently from them, he will probably take that to mean they liked all of them and vote in step. But if he hears significant opposition to a particular project, he might be a "change of intent" vote as well.

The question for those respective Council people is, do they follow the wishes of the people they have been elected to represent? If so, most are fairly cut and dried but Ward 6 has a real quandary. Then take into account that Council members come and go. The member that supported it may be replaced by someone that doesn't support a particular project. In other words, getting to the magic number of 5 to change the intent, doesn't take all that much.

In no way am I suggesting that none of the proposed projects are going to get built. History doesn't indicate that at all, but it is entirely possible that one or two may face elimination completely, of be scaled back significantly. For some reason I think the Senior Aquatic centers will be the first targeted for cut backs (not eliminated completely but maybe a 2 or 3 built rather than 4 or 5) and not with near the amenities as the Arkansas model. Other lesser projects that probably wouldn't cause a huge uproar, is if they cut back on the trails and sidewalks (how will anyone know if these get cut back or not? The Trails were to "almost" complete the master plan and I haven't seen any Sidewalk locations. Only thing we will have to go by is $$$ spent.

That is why I and others, insisted that we get things nailed down in the Ballot/Ordinance language (take out the insurance policy BEFORE the storm hits). It is pure speculation on your part to take out an insurance policy since you don't have a crystal ball and you don't know if a storm is going to hit your home and cause significant damage or not. Guess it is better to just wait and see if it happens. Then try to get a policy that is retroactive to fix it (after all the data is in of course). Or maybe you are right and a damaging storm never hits your home. Guess you are willing to take that chance.

Unfortunately that slim margin of victory also took away the ability of the rest of us to get the insurance policy too. Thanks!

betts
05-16-2010, 08:54 AM
We know Larry. I'm just pointing out that at this point in time, it's anxiety or some other similar emotion you feel, not certainty. There's no evidence at this time that anyone's concerns in this matter are anything but that: a feeling of concern. So, as I tell my kids: 95% of everything we worry about never comes to fruition. Worry when you know you have to worry and don't waste energy doing it beforehand.

If you have a concrete plan to assuage any concern, that's different.

Larry OKC
05-16-2010, 11:51 PM
Betts, do you have insurance coverage?

betts
05-17-2010, 07:48 AM
I'm not completely sure what your point is, but I'll give it a go. Of course I have insurance coverage. That's a concrete plan, set up in the present to protect against possible problems in the future. However, if I couldn't get insurance for whatever reason, I wouldn't spend all my time and energy worrying about what might happen.

If you want to use a different analogy: do you spend hours of your life every day worrying that you are going to get cancer? That's a waste of time. You do what you can to keep yourself healthy as possible, and you enjoy your day, because you "might" get cancer, but you might not. Why waste time worrying about what might not happen? Instead, enjoy the time you have and do something productive with it.

As I said, if there's something concrete that can NOW be done to prevent present MAPS money from being spent for something other than what we were told it will be spent for, then that's fine. I'm all for it. But I haven't seen it. Just stirring up worry that it might not on a message board doesn't seem to serve any purpose. It works as well as walking into a room of 30 year olds and telling them: 50 percent of you are going to get cancer and then walking out. You've then created general unease and worry without giving them any steps to help them prevent it from happening.

I realize you are unhappy that the ballot didn't have any guarantees and you stated your concern before the vote. However, the voters passed MAPS without those guarantees being present. So, we live with that. If all sorts of things that were promised aren't built or, if money is directed to things that weren't on the ballot, then when we have another MAPS voters will be able, with their vote, to let local government know they weren't happy with what was done. In the meantime, you can go to city council meetings or any others related and express your displeasure vocally with how things are going, IF you see redirection of funds happening. If it doesn't happen, then there's nothing that need be done, and that's my point: we don't know if it's going to happen, so why waste time worrying about it publicly?

Kerry
05-17-2010, 08:31 AM
Betts, do you have insurance coverage?

Do you have insurance againt killer robots from space?

http://www.seo.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/3d_tin_robot.jpg

Larry OKC
05-18-2010, 02:29 AM
I'm not completely sure what your point is, but I'll give it a go. Of course I have insurance coverage.

See previous post on the insurance question...


That's a concrete plan, set up in the present to protect against possible problems in the future. However, if I couldn't get insurance for whatever reason, I wouldn't spend all my time and energy worrying about what might happen.

That's what we were asking for in correcting the Ballot/Ordinance language. An insurance policy that stated specifically what was going to be done with 3/4 of a Billion $$$. Not the overly generic, we are going to spend it on something. Making sure AHEAD of time the proper safeguards were in place.


If you want to use a different analogy: do you spend hours of your life every day worrying that you are going to get cancer? ...
Nope, that's why I have a Cancer insurance rider.


As I said, if there's something concrete that can NOW be done to prevent present MAPS money from being spent for something other than what we were told it will be spent for, then that's fine. I'm all for it. ...

Why weren't you for it BEFORE the fact?


...If all sorts of things that were promised aren't built or, if money is directed to things that weren't on the ballot, then when we have another MAPS voters will be able, with their vote, to let local government know they weren't happy with what was done.[/B] In the meantime, you can go to city council meetings or any others related and express your displeasure vocally with how things are going, IF you see redirection of funds happening.

But by then it is too late, isn't it? Sure you can vote people out, but damage has already been done.

Some of us proposed a "concrete plan" but you were against that weren't you? A listing of items on the Ballot (to be legal, probably listed as separate propositions). But you were against that as well (even though the log-rolling type of Ballot is unconstitutional). It didn't seem to bother you in the least that the Mayor's office said they would follow the recent state Supreme Court rulings with the Ballot (and then didn't). It didn't bother you that the Mayor said that "each of these projects must stand on its own" (implying a Ballot with separate propositions), then we got the same "all or nothing" Ballot. Why didn't any of that bother you? The obvious question is, why did they set up the Ballot/Ordinance in the way they did? If not for the express purpose of being able to change their "intent" later on? Of course the Mayor claimed he and the Council decided to use the illegal all or nothing format because that is what the voter's are used to. Conveniently forgetting that the voters are used to separate and legal propositions. See the 2007 General Obligation & School Bond Issues, in which voters weren't confused at all...separate propositions and every one passed quite easily.


If it doesn't happen, then there's nothing that need be done, and that's my point: we don't know if it's going to happen, so why waste time worrying about it publicly?

<<SIGH>> It was in response to another post....

Larry OKC
05-18-2010, 02:32 AM
Do you have insurance againt killer robots from space?

http://www.seo.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/3d_tin_robot.jpg

No, but unlike the City which has shown that they can and will change their intent (see Bass Pro and the change of intent of THREE different Use Taxes), we haven't had any instances of killer robots from space.

betts
05-18-2010, 07:16 AM
Larry, again, give us a NEW proposal. We've rehashed all the others and what didn't happen ad nauseum. Why didn't I support the other proposals? I did. Intellectually. But, I also believe in compromise and weighing the good versus the ill. I understand that in politics you never get precisely what you want.

To me, it was foolish to vote against something that had the potential for so much good, because of the concern that it might not turn out exactly like I envisioned. That's all. I looked at the benefits and the risks and decided the benefits had the upper hand. If, in government, you wait for the perfect proposal, you will wait a long time and nothing will ever get done. There was no way I was going to vote against something that had many items I wanted in it in the vague hope that a better proposal might later appear. Black and white is for accountants, not politics.

Laramie
05-18-2010, 03:52 PM
Good way of looking at the MAPs proposals Betts; that's why I voted for all the MAPs proposals because there was something in it for everybody (bundled projects) and it has totally changed people's perception of Oklahoma City.

My relatives who live in Texas: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Waco areas and some in Kansas (Wichita), Missouri (Kansas City) and Albuquerque, NM now can't wait until I invite them to come--and I can't wait to entertain.

I'm extemely proud of our city now and there are now many attractions to take them--OKC Zoo, Bricktown (Ford/Cox Centers, Ballpark, Stage Center, Canal, Harkins Theater), Tinseltown, Whitewater, Frontier City, Cowboy Hall & Western Heritage Museum, Civic Center, OKC Museum of Art, Chesapeake Boathouse-Regatta Park, Lake Hefner, Warren Theater (Moore), Oak Tree (Edmond), Pops (Arcadia), Memorial Stadium (Norman) and I could go on and on...

My relatives come here all the time and several came up when the Thunder played Dallas, Houston & San Antonio and my relatives were very complimentary on the Bricktown Canal vs. the San Antonio Riverwalk--they admitted that it was cleaner. I enjoy being a host!

MAPS has triggered so much for this City and others are hearing about it. They couldn't wait to tell me that they saw the Ford Center and all the construction going on and the stops that made at Winstar Casino and Turner Falls in Davis on their way up. They are really impressed with Oklahoma City. Younger family members are inquiring about OU's merit scholar and UCO's programs and wants me to help them get established here.

I'm impressed about what they know and have heard about Oklahoma City.

Which shows that we (OKC) has come a long way.