View Full Version : Downtown housing: Is the dream dying or flying?

08-06-2005, 01:31 PM
The latest report about the demand for downtown housing has got me thinking. Why hasn't the development of downtown housing taken off? I realize this all takes time, but ground has not been broken on one single new project. For the last year, we've heard one plan after another for downtown housing appear and then slowly fade away. Consider...
The Factory: a grand plan to build housing in the middle of Bricktown that has now been shelved.
The Steelyards: another plot of land in Bricktown, was supposedly going to be developed for housing, but that too seems to be going nowhere. It's probably still "in the works" (read: someone thinks it is a good idea but isn't acting on it).
Legacy Summits: may or may not ever be built...who knows?
The Triangle: an ambitious project to redevelop east Downtown, but an unknown quantity. My fiance recently called the developers of the Triangle for some info on buying a condo, and was told by a secretary that they would not be ready for a "very long time".
Deep Deuce 2, ie the Hill: OCURA has approved the project but I have doubts as to when it will ever be built. And even then, the plans are for some super expensive condos that will price out all but the richest downtown residents.
Other various project: Will they also slowly disappear after another year has passed?

Is it possible that in 5 years from now, the only new living downtown will be a row of super expensive condos isolated in the upper corner of downtown? I think it is possible. We have seen a large number of projects come and go, and very few results. It's a shame, because the rest of Downtown (well, mostly Bricktown) has grown quickly, with hotels, restaurants and so forth coming in.

We have to strike while the steel is hot folks. Or it could all fizzle out. Any thoughts?

08-06-2005, 04:32 PM
Urban Renewal is a complete joke. Talk to Mr. Bullard about why nothing is happening. He is so concerned we'll "move too fast" we will never reach critical mass.

In order to see the wholesale lifestyle changes we want in urban Oklahoma City, the powers that be need to move forward quickly, particularly when it takes months or years to get a project off the ground once it's been green lighted.

The Montgomery moved quickly because it was outside the purview of OCURA and the other dumb lumps who appear destined to screw up every positive development this city makes.

08-06-2005, 05:32 PM
I'll be the first to admit that Urban Renewal is imperfect, that it isn't open enough, and has problems. But...
"Urban Renewal is a complete joke. Talk to Mr. Bullard about why nothing is happening ..."

Urban Renewal is more than just downtown.
You say they're doing nothing. I say you're not well informed. That's not your fault, Soonerguru. Urban Renewal doesn't help itself in this arena.

So what is Urban Renewal doing?

They are making amends in a neighborhood the agency razed 30 years ago, and then abandoned 20 years ago when times got tough. In the John F Kennedy neighborhood, dozens of new homes are being built on empty lots. They are all Urban Renewal projects that involved an intense study on how to revive development of the area. They have successfully sought and negotiated contracts with several different home builders and development groups, as well as having sealed deals with individuals seeking to build their own homes.

They are involved in the continued development the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park. These are not call center jobs. These are high paying medical and scientific research jobs. The latest project is a bio-pharmaceutical lab that is almost complete.

They are very involved in the Skirvin Hotel. This is a project that has experienced many delays and difficulties. Drive out there today and you will see Flintco Construction has set up shop and is starting demolition and construction to turn it into a Hilton.

And then there is a obscure ongoing development called Lower Bricktown they're working with...

They are involved, as you say, in many of the most promising downtown residential projects. There have been delays after delays in the Henderson project. Are they all the fault of Urban Renewal? One person involved in it all has told me Henderson shares equal blame in the delay, and one need only look at how long he took to build the Legacy Summit project in Midwest City to know this is one very very cautious and slow moving developer.

As for the Deep Deuce hill and Block 4, both projects are in design and everything indicates they're heading toward construction.

All of this work is the responsibility of a staff that I'm told is no bigger than less than a dozen people.

The Steel Yard is a private project, not involving Urban Renewal.
So is The Triangle. The Factory was also a private project.

Soonerguru, I have great respect for your opinions and I hope this response will be taken in the spirit it is intended.

08-06-2005, 06:24 PM
I feel the frustration as well. The Factory was a big loss. I really think it would have been a centerpiece to downtown living and especially for brick town. It is also frustrating to see all of these other projects come up with such enthusiasm and promise only to drag on and on, leaving us without any real confidence that they will actually happen.

I think the bricktown comparison is a good one here, but maybe backwards. Bricktown did not happen over night and there were some times of drag where it seemed nothing new was really coming along. Ultimately it ended up with a huge compromise called Lower Bricktown, where we even felt we had to finance a business that is a complete 180 for the area, despite the obvious promise and demand for services the area generated.

I am confident that downtown living will increase by decade's end in some way, shape, or fashion. I just hope that our desire to reinvent downtown as a living, breathing, and vital urban neighborhood doesn't lead to the same compromises that were made in LB in an effort to just drive traffic. Every lot in the downtown area is valuable and once we build on it, it's hard to get it back if we don't like it. So, let's hope that we get some more Tannenbaum's who not only have vision and can see the reality that is downtown housing, but also don't sit on their asses and have the will and ability to get things done.

Barring some economic collapse, I think we will have a good housing mix downtown, but like everything else in OKC (except its founding), it may take a little longer than elsewhere. If housing follows bricktown's model, it will have its boom after a decade or so of slow growth, dead beat developers, and several proposals. It is not flying, but I don't see anything that points to the idea dying anytime soon.

08-07-2005, 11:33 AM

You make some excellent points, and no offense was taken. I have just had a particularly frustrating time dealing with that group, and in all fairness, their legacy for this city is dismal. Perhaps they are changing for the better, but they remain a largely inaccessible collection of political cronies and good ol' boys.

I don't believe they can take credit for the Skirvin. The Skirvin Solutions Committee and the City of OKC have done more toward steering that project forward.

As for Legacy Summit, I don't doubt what you're saying about that developer, but the fact remains that part of the problem with the recent delay was that OCURA failed to inform the developer of an underground utility that had to be moved. If I'm not mistaken, that alone cost the project 90+ days.

If anything, I'm still smarting by that board's decision to go with the Hill project, over a vastly superior proposal from McDermid's group. Why? Apparently it has everything to do with the political patronage of Stanton Young.

Why is this crusty group of white guys deciding our urban future when it is apparent they don't grasp what comprises an urban neighborhood? Why would they not favor mixed use in that development? Is it simple ignorance? Maybe, but whose fault is that?

I primarily take issue with this "we must move very slowly" approach that Bullard himself is advocating. I think that is a bad approach considering we have more than enough evidence to suggest there is sufficient demand to green light these projects faster.

As you no doubt understand, the lifestyle accoutrements that accompany a rich inner-city residential community are largely nonexistent. A corner grocery store? A coffee shop in walking distance? How about a book store, a wine shop, a dry cleaners or gourmet grocery?

The truth is we will never have these things if we don't have sufficient residents to draw them. OCURA goes on and on about developing "retail" in Bricktown but every study indicates we don't have enough "rooftops" (how I'm sick of hearing that word) to justify it.

We need to get on the stick. The success of Bricktown and the first wave of MAPS projects is not enough to sit back and count our blessings. There is much more blight to unblight.

I say all of the above out of respect to you as well, and the excellent blog and insider info you provide.

08-07-2005, 12:41 PM
Soonerguru, where is this blog that you speak of?

08-07-2005, 12:57 PM
To find the website, do a google search for "downtownguy"

An excellent resource for happenings downtown.

I agree fully that we are moving too slowly. My frustration is brought higher by looking at other cities around the country: cities like Omaha, Portland, etc that have completley bloomed in the last few years. There is a big movement in our country to create livable cities, yet here in OKC we have seen very little downtown living. And my frustration is further increased by the fact that all the right conditions are in place!! We have a large city, a downtown with a developing heart and soul, we have a population willing (and able) to move downtown and finally, we have the space and property correctly located to make it happen.

I used to live in Seattle, and have watched the downtown area completely transform in about five years. There are dozens of tall, desirable condos built, with a new one every few months popping up. They are downtown, well designed and are creating a world class city. 10 years ago, the parts of downtown which are now condos were total crap - strip clubs, crime and run down gun stores. So it can happen people, and it can happen quickly. I believe if several dvelopments went up downtown OKC (that were not insanely expensive) if would open the floodgates.

People are building apartments and houses up in North OKC like gangbusters, so the money is there somewhere.

08-07-2005, 01:08 PM
I think the difference is that OKC is so accessible from the suburbs. In any direction, you can be at work within 15 minutes. When I lived in CA - it was typical to commute at least 30 minutes each way, either in bumper to bumper traffic within the city or on the freeways 40 - 90 miles away.

I've heard that Seattle traffic is pretty snarled as well.

When comparing to other cities, homes are in high demand downtown where the work is because people are trying to avoid commuting. We don't have anywhere near the traffic congestion of other like sized cities so maybe this is a factor.

What are your thoughts on this?

08-07-2005, 05:17 PM
It's certainly true that in most other cities, reduced commute time is a huge advantage to living in/near the urban core.

You can get downtown from almost anywhere in the metro in no more than 20 minutes, and you rarely encounter traffic. And, a good percentage of people don't work downtown anyway.

This is what worries me about the projected prices of the developments on the drawing board. For the money they are looking to charge, you could buy a gorgeous home on a great piece of property and just drive downtown when you want.

And yes, I know that there's more appeal to urban living other than the drive, but certainly in cities where they have a big community of people in the city core, a good many were motivated by convenience, something that just isn't an issue in OKC.

As far as being slow out of the gate with downtown housing, private developers will certainly start to do their own thing since demand is so high. We've already seen some of that.

It's very hard to get a good feel for OCURA and I'm cynical based on their track record, but I say give it another 6 months and if we don't have a couple of these properties in serious construction mode by then, some grass roots action may be in order.

08-08-2005, 08:21 AM
In all honesty, I am not surprised that The Factory project was shelved. I was very excited to hear about the project first hand, and if it became reality, it would have completed Bricktown as we know it... from north to south, and east to west. However, when I learned who was developing the project, I immediately had doubts.

ERC has had a history of developing low income projects around Oklahoma City. One of their first was Chapel Ridge, a low-income apartment project on 15th Street in Edmond. Not long after, ERC built low income housing right next to middle-class neighborhoods, right next to Chapel Ridge. For a company whose reputation is staked on low-income development, it's very difficult to obtain the backing needed for an upper-class urban apartment project. As a result, ERC could not obtain financing needed to fund The Factory, and soon after the project was all but killed.

This is why we have to really watch who builds what downtown. Looking at a developers history will tell us much about what we should expect.

Moreover, you can never grow too fast. Fast growth can be good in some aspects, especially when a downtown is trying to accomplish a great feat. We need, and should require, aggressive downtown developers, like we had in the early part of the 20th Century. I don't like non-aggressive developers. They throw molasses into an otherwise smooth flow.

08-08-2005, 09:29 AM
To find the website, do a google search for "downtownguy"

An excellent resource for happenings downtown.

I agree fully that we are moving too slowly. My frustration is brought higher by looking at other cities around the country: cities like Omaha, Portland, etc that have completley bloomed in the last few years. There is a big movement in our country to create livable cities, yet here in OKC we have seen very little downtown living. And my frustration is further increased by the fact that all the right conditions are in place!! We have a large city, a downtown with a developing heart and soul, we have a population willing (and able) to move downtown and finally, we have the space and property correctly located to make it happen.

I used to live in Seattle, and have watched the downtown area completely transform in about five years. There are dozens of tall, desirable condos built, with a new one every few months popping up. They are downtown, well designed and are creating a world class city. 10 years ago, the parts of downtown which are now condos were total crap - strip clubs, crime and run down gun stores. So it can happen people, and it can happen quickly. I believe if several dvelopments went up downtown OKC (that were not insanely expensive) if would open the floodgates.

People are building apartments and houses up in North OKC like gangbusters, so the money is there somewhere.

You are right about the BELLTOWN district of Downtown Seattle, it has begun to really take off - following the Vancouver BC model for downtown development. San Fran is also doing the same. But keep in mind, that even in Seattle (with all of our hipness, our downtown sucked just 5 years ago)!!

Its beginning to take off (somewhat) now but really, the condo towers downtown are way overpriced. So I highly doubt downtown Seattle will reach their full potential given the average price of a downtown condo being in the 500K+ range. ???

And the demand really isnt there either.

As for OKC, downtown Seattle might be a great example to follow (or at least observe). As ptwobjb mentioned, our downtown here was (and to some extent still is) plagued on both ends by crime and poverty. The Pioneer Square district to the south is like Bricktown but isnt exactly in the same league as Brick in terms of being an entertainment district. Development there has taken a long time but is mainly due to seismic issues of the buildings there as well as civic provisioning. The Belltown district to the north of downtown is probably the most promising new urban neighbourhood in Seattle but development is "slow" due IMO to developers looking for a quick buck and well as Seattle being "conservative" when it comes to growth/housing. Portland's Pearl district (while not as tall as Belltown) is certainly more upscale, more liveable, and more populated!!!

But, given time I think Belltown will be a great urban neighbourhood. And I think with proper planning and a pro-business model, OKC can develop its downtown neighbourhoods as well.

I think an even better model for OKC (besides Vancouver, of course) is DENVER. I have said this time and time again, Denver is the most similar city to OKC and if you look at their downtown development - you just have to see similarities in opportunities for Oklahoma City. LoDo (lower downtown denver) was once the blight of rundown warehouses and skid row - today it is probably the most successful and upscale of downtown Denver's neighbourhoods. It's very much similar to Bricktown - anchored by Coors Field and a number of bars and nightclubs (although probably not as much as Bricktown).

Yes, we can do it and we have many models to review for ideas to benchmark but I think it starts with the city/URA to remove obstacles to development as well as a comprehensive urban model for downtown that concentrates on hi occupancy, high rise urban living!!! This is the model Portland has, as well as Denver; now its Oklahoma City's time!!!!!

Continue the Renaissance!

08-08-2005, 10:41 AM
I think the housing will come. Those numbers -- over 4,000 the next five and over 7,000 the next ten -- were conservative estimates.

The study was just released last week. Let's give developers some time to soak it and make plans. What city leaders can do is actively shop it around to housing developers around the country. Don't wait for them to find it. We can also spread the word on our own -- send copies or links to the study to developers cold or through connections, even on internet forums. Spread the gospel of downtown OKC housing!!

Downtown OKC - The Untapped Housing Market

08-08-2005, 10:51 AM
What city leaders can do is actively shop it around to housing developers around the country.

Maybe target some of those that participated in some of the developments in Portland, Seattle, and Denver that are mentioned here.

I think it would be a great tool to get a lot more developers competing for these spaces, instead of the same handful that we seem to get over and over again.

08-08-2005, 11:46 AM
Soonerguru, where is this blog that you speak of?

08-08-2005, 03:25 PM
Vancouver BC offers tips to Seattle on vibrant urban living

Cited as a model for Seattle's efforts to create lively urban neighborhoods, Vancouver's downtown population has nearly doubled in the past two decades. The Canadian city also requires developers to fund a broader range of public amenities.

* Read the full article at:

(tips OKC can learn from as well!!!)

08-08-2005, 04:31 PM
If anyone here has been to Vancouver then they have seen an awesome city. Vancouver is beautiful.

I have to agree that Seattle is not a great example for OKC. The dynamics are totally different...starting with geography (ie mountains and water...sometimes I forget what those look like). And I have also heard, as mentioned above, that the apartments/condos downtown are stupidly expensive.

I would be curious to see how Denver is developing downtown beyond the bars/clubs and ballpark. Are there high rise condos downtown? Townhomes or brownstones? Planned communities? Does anyone have any info about that? When I was last there (about 5 years ago) there was only the entertainment district. Which seems to be a similar phase OKC has reached, no?

By the way, for those interested in Seattle development, South Lake Union is poised to make an impressive entry into the condo markert. I would expect to see that spread north along 99 towards Green Lake.

08-08-2005, 06:45 PM

Your suggestion about "shopping" OKC for outside developers is the best I've seen on this thread -- and the least likely to occur, unfortunately.

One of my biggest problems with OCURA and the other knobs who run this town is they simply do not understand what urban dwellers are looking for, or what people who have lived in more sophisticated cities expect.

It reminds me of a thread on a here a month or so ago posing the question: Will we get a Whole Foods or a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. The answer is obvious, but it shouldn't be if we're the "big town" we portray ourselves to be.

Whenever the potential is there for something great, with few exceptions, the good ol' boy retards and Nichols Hills intelligentsia find a way to muck it up.

We need broader perspectives than what the good ol' boys can provide. I have no trouble hiring experts to fix my car. I don't see why these nabobs can't consult with someone who's actually been there and gets it.

08-08-2005, 07:05 PM
i just googled and there are plenty of lofts and condos in the downtown area of denver.
an 1950's building converted into lofts

there are also plenty of dt condos. heres one

this condo does not look that great or even very large for that matter, and its going for nearly 180 grand. location, location, location. i sure wouldnt pay that much for that.

08-08-2005, 07:38 PM
Funny that you should mention Vancouver. I absolutely loved Vancouver but I just saw a pictorial on a board that made my skin crawl.. it was Vancouver's drug district, poverty stricken & trashy can't even begin to describe it. There were pics of hyperdermal needles and people urinating on the walls. It made me so sad because I've been there a few times and never knew how bad it was. I'll see if I can find it again and post the url. It was truly disturbing and shocking.

I just hope if we grow anything at the rate of Vancouver, these problems can be avoided and rectified before they get out of hand.

08-08-2005, 07:43 PM
Not to hijack this thread but this is a prime example of what we don't want to happen if we grow as fast as Vancouver... here are the photos, I was pretty shocked.

08-08-2005, 07:44 PM

i went through lodo but didnt do anything there, i mainly concentrated on the 16 street mall, awesome!

i heard this rumor that tanenbaum was considering on demolishing the old okc downtown library and building a highrise condo there? has anyone else heard this? if so how true is this rumor?

08-08-2005, 08:18 PM

08-08-2005, 10:31 PM

Thanks for the link but I wasn't that shocked. I used to live in NYC. In big cities, there are usually some seedy areas where people hang out and do drugs. We have a couple of areas in OKC.

I couldn't help noticing the architecture and the beautiful streetscapes Vancouver has -- even in the drug district.

I guess if we want to grow up and be a real big city we will probably have some of that. No reason to turn back.

08-09-2005, 07:35 AM
I agree that OKC already has some parts that don't look too different. A different style perhaps, but the reality is the same. Take a drive through south OKC (just south of the river) for an intersting experience. Or, go a few blocks west of beloved downtown and take a look. There are portions of the city where there are prostitutes literally walking the streets during the day.

If you have trouble locating these areas, an interesting exercise is to look at city crime statistics, particularly location and frequency of reported crimes. That should point in you the right place.

My point being every city has such neighborhoods. And it's not as bad as you may first think. Take a trip to the Philippines if you don't believe me.

08-09-2005, 02:12 PM
Ya, the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is the worst neighbourhood of Canada but it really isnt that bad. I go to Vancouver at least once a month and we often look around the neighbourhood to see the urban action (as we dont really have this in Seattle).

We have never had any trouble. As others on SSP have mentioned, most of the residents are too far strung out to even have the will to "do something" to you, even beg for cash. They only care about their habit, which is not illegal in Vancouver, nor is prostitution (at least propositioning - which is why there is a great number of street girls and hookers).

This being said, Vancouver is also the most expensive city in Canada. You truly have the highest postal code in canada and the lowest postal code in canada within 1km of each other!!! The central downtown Vancouver is much like SF Financial District (its even called Financial District as well) or NY midtown while the DTES is akin to the lower east side in look and south Bronx in character!

I think it is what makes Vancouver a truly dynamic big urban city. It adds to the fabric of the urban landscape (which is why we take a look). As others have said on this forum, you do have to consider all aspects of urban development, even though the DTES is the poorest neighbourhood, it is VERY well Built Up with old mid and low rise buildings!!!

and like I said, unlike in the US most vancouver dope feigns leave you alone. You never hear anything happening to the millions of tourists that visit Vancouver annually (nor the million of regular citizens which live in the rest of downtown Vancouver)!!

My point in introducing Vancouver to OKC was to give you/us the BEST example of urban development and planning on this continent (if not the world). This is why Vancouver is consistently voted the best city in the world. I have communicated this to Downtown OKC and even ensured they were present at a DOWNTOWN Urban convention that took place in Vancouver a while back. Downtown OKC Inc was there (we even shared which restaurants of the many many many in downtown to visit) and Im sure they took some notes on what Vancouver has done.

My other point was to mention that nearly every other city considers Vancouver the example, including Seattle. But we are targeting ONLY the filthy rich with our condo development, which is not lending itself to the same urban dynamic as we would like. It is good to see that Seattle is consulting with Vancouver for help, so hopefully they will see that you cant charge $2 Million for EVERY condo that comes downtown, just because it is in Seattle.

On that note, I think OKC needs to heed that message, we need to get housing for everyone not just the elite! We need downtown housing like that in Vancouver - high rise and affordable. We need to cator to families and build elementary and secondary schools downtown! And urban parks. And retail!!! Then you have a downtown community and that is what we can learn from Vancouver.

I encourage you all, if you can, to take a vacation to this great city. It is very much the SF of the north, the manhattan of the West. It is full of diversity and everyone is welcome. You will be just amazed by the development and urban planning of the city - too much to go over in this post about OKC development.

One more thing about Vancouver that OKC can learn, VAN upgraded its airport (now voted the best in the world by the way) which has also spurred interest and development in the city. Sure, Vancouver was always the major port and Asian Airline Gateway. But now, it has skyrocketed such that they are going to expand the International Terminal again!

Soon, they will expand their metro/subway called skytrain to go from downtown south to the airport and the suburb of Richmond (aka Asia West because 2/3 of the pop is from Asia). The downtown and Vancouver city portion will be subway, which will add to the already impressive metro network for the East and existing downtown subway. Vancouver also will expand its streetcar rail system throughout downtown using Portland Streetcar as a model. Portland has a great streetcar rail network downtown which has aided the development of their Pearl district and Vancouver recognizes that they need to bring back the street level light rail, in addition to the underground metro subway (SkyTrain).

Look for Vancouver's downtown to double AGAIN in 10 years or less!!! Are you listening/looking Oklahoma City!!!??

08-09-2005, 02:36 PM
As for Denver

I think it is also a great model for Oklahoma City. Quite a bit less developed than the Great Vancouver BC but still is experiencing a renaissance and have totally cleaned up their skid row and created LoDo.

In past years, there have been lots of adaptive reuse of existing buildings - converting them into lofts and restaurants. Today, there arent many left, so the city is letting developers build UP. new highrises are planned and a couple are under construction, as I think there are two or so Tower Cranes in the NW downtown area north of LoDo.

LoDo itself is similar to Bricktown but it is a bit more built up. However, Bricktown has more in it than lodo, as there are many lodo buildings with adaptive office and loft uses. Bricktown is also a much larger area but I think we can learn a lot from our most "kin" of neighbours. Oklahoma City compares very closely and favourably to Denver. In fact, Denver touts that they are the largest city for 600 miles. Guess who is 600 miles away? Yep, OKC.

Look at the layout and demographics of the two cities and metro areas and its very similar and conclusive. Both have large hispanic communities but OKC also has a large asian and black community (denver doesnt, it just has a very very very large hispanic). both have pretty successful commercial districts and entertainment districts. Both have historic inner city with sprawling suburbs. Both have university presence inner and outer. Both are state capitals and have large Federal governance and regional hq. Denver has more high tech and telecom and OKC has more biotech and energy.

the major difference, Denver has the Rocky Mountain chain less than 40 miles west and Denver got started with urban development 10 years ahead of OKC. denver also saw the promise of light rail 10 years ago (when I lived there) and currently they are expanding it.

Denver also recognized the importance of a downtown pedestrian mall (also see downtown Vancouver's Granville Mall district). the 16 street pedestrian mall is a great experience and I wish we could do something similar with Main Street, opening it up between Hudson and Robinson and bringing in the storefront retail!!!

Of course, we know Denver has changed the look of their presence in commercial aviation. They razed (and rebuilding) the old Stapleton Airport - a great american airport in its own right with 95 airline gates but too close to the inner city, and created the mother of all airports in DIA. Something else for OKC to look at, as the City of Denver paid for that airport and built it way ahead of the airlines in the hopes that "they will come." Even though Continental did scale back their hub that the originally had at Stapleton, other airlines have come in and made Denver the 5th busiest in the nation. With additional international flights, Denver should overtake #4 and has the capacity for well over 150 million pax per year (currently ATL has 88 mil pax).

So, I think we can learn from Denver, they have surely gathered much momentum on urban development in their Downtown and definitely have some great urban districts. They are much closer in their development age to us than the more established city of Vancouver and offer us a different perspective. (however, I think we should also look to Vancouver overall for the big picture/benchmark). Both cities provide us benchmarks for what to do, how to do it, and what to avoid/change, just different perspectives - established international coastal big city (Vancouver) or pretty established regional and national powerhouse (Denver).

08-09-2005, 04:06 PM
Hot Rod, I agree Denver is a much more appropriate model for OKC to follow (although I will have to visit Vancouver one of these days). Denver is an interesting case. Its vital signs -- education level, per capita personal income, employment, wages, GMP -- have skyrocketed the past two decades.

There has to be more to that than mountains. Sure, they had gold, but we had black gold. I think it's a combination of the scenic beauty, quality education (UC, Colorodo School of Mines, even the University of Denver), and a culture of youthful vigor. If OKC and OK would shore up some of those credentials, it could begin playing more confidently. It will take deep long-term investments (social, financial, political) in all three to be comparable to Denver. Still, it's good to see what's possible with some more money and a driving spirit.

Anyway, I think most people who have read the study know and appreciate that there must be more mixed-income offerings downtown. The trick is in striking a balance between the profitable high-end units and the lower-priced units -- which, who knows, may attract some federal tax credits. Building strictly lower-income housing would not be beneficial to anybody.

Even though retail is popping up in Bricktown, it's my hope that a serious concentration of stores will occur in the Triangle. That could be our pedestrial mall. We might not have the concentration of downtown residents, but in the OUHSC/PHFRP/State Capitol, we have a set of workers with high incomes. The Triangle could be their "campus corner", so to speak. Getting them to cross the I-235 bridge will be the key to making that work.

08-09-2005, 06:39 PM
But is the Triangle a reality?

I could easily see it following the same path as the Factory.

08-09-2005, 06:54 PM
But is the Triangle a reality?

I could easily see it following the same path as the Factory.

its seems to be a reality. check out

08-09-2005, 08:01 PM
But is the Triangle a reality?

I could easily see it following the same path as the Factory.

I admit, at the present time it seems more concept than actual development. The renovated YMCA parking garage is the first project associated with it. The group owns the land, but does that mean developers will come? I would be interested in knowing how they're marketing the spot on top of that website. They would do well to link that housing study on the home page.