View Full Version : MAPS Impact continues

04-22-2005, 12:53 AM
It's sure nice to see other cities calling on us for advice on how to manage city improvement projects. That shows you just how successful MAPS was in reinventing our city. As I mentioned in another thread, the mini-boom that has started can all be traced back to MAPS. MAPS improved our self esteem as a city, and got us to think optomistically once again.

Before MAPS, we never would've dreamed of having 3 developers to choose from for a residential development near Deep Deuce. Muchless, before MAPS, Deep Deuce was known mostly for it's deteriorating buildings and weeds.


"MAPS' impact continues

By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett still fields the calls that went to his predecessors -- Kirk Humphreys and Ron Norick.

Most recently, the call was from Des Moines, Iowa, and once again, the topic was Oklahoma City's Metropolitan Area Projects.

The transformation of Oklahoma City's downtown and the Oklahoma River in one decade is still being noticed, Cornett said.

"They (Des Moines) have a river project as well, and they have the same needs as we had," Cornett said. "They need downtown development."

The opening of the Oklahoma River parks in December marked the completion of MAPS. But the impact of the $370 million projects continue.

The upcoming events and projects are attributed directly to MAPS:

Construction is scheduled to start later this year on a $100 million American Indian Cultural Center along the Oklahoma River.

In 2007, the Big 12 Basketball Tournament will come to the Ford Center and Cox Convention Center.

Bricktown's newest attraction, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, will open this spring along the Bricktown Canal.

Missouri developer John Q. Hammons plans to start building a hotel along the Bricktown Canal this summer.

Two development groups are competing to build housing on the hill overlooking Deep Deuce and Bricktown.

Design work is under way and negotiations are being finalized for redevelopment of the Skirvin Hotel.

Dozens of schools are being rebuilt or renovated as part of MAPS for Kids, the follow-up to MAPS.

A Dell sales center and a $2.3 million boathouse is being built along the Oklahoma River.

Dave Lopez, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., predicts more developments tied to MAPS will be announced over the coming months and years.

"What's evident is there isn't any immediate horizon where we can't say, 'this is something MAPS had a hand in.' There is an overall pride in the community," Lopez said.

"There is a confidence that we have in Oklahoma City that started with MAPS and is now continuing with MAPS for Kids. And visitors can sense that vitality."

Talk also continues on whether the city should pursue a "MAPS III." Cornett said he's entertaining discussion of extending the Bricktown Canal.

"I think what MAPS did was to create an environment for everything that comes from now on," Cornett said. "It's almost hard not to look at any large scale addition to the city now and not think MAPS had something to do with it."

MAPS projects

MAPS was launched after voters passed a 1-cent temporary sales tax in 1993 to pay for projects that would revitalize the inner-city. They were:

Construction of a new ballpark.

Construction of a new arena.

Construction of the Bricktown Canal.

Construction of a new downtown library.

Construction of dams, trails and parks along the North Canadian River (renamed the Oklahoma River).

Creation of a new transportation link (the Oklahoma Spirit rubber-tire trolleys).

Renovation and expansion of the convention center.

Renovation of the Civic Center Music Hall.

Renovations to livestock, exhibit buildings and the arena at State Fair Park.