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Thread: A Model For OKC

  1. #1

    Default A Model For OKC

    I know many of you look at KC and Dallas as examples of what OKC could become but I have been working in Atlanta for the last 5 months and this is the city that OKC should look at for development ideas. I'm not comparing OKC to Atlanta, I'm just saying the Atlanta is the model OKC should be following.

    Here are two projects that are under construction in downtown Atlanta that would be an excellent model for Core to Shore. Watch the 12th and Midtown video and see if this isn't exactly what OKC is wanting to do.

    12th & Midtown
    Atlantic Station® - Life Happens here.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Kerry..........That is EXACTLY !!!, the people of Okc should be looking for in the downtown area.

    Someone needs to email that link and video to the City of Okc and the Mayor's office.

  3. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Excellent info Kerry. The residential density coupled with the cultural and recreational aminities portrayed in the video is a perfect model for the future of downtown okc and if we can sustain our urban redevelopment for another twenty five years, we can get to that point. I guess the down side is that, as was pointed out in the video, upscale retail is just now coming on the scene in Midtown Atlanta, so downtown OKC residents have a way to go before we can drop in to many specialty retailers downtown. But, I'll settle for a few more restaurants and a couple of bigger parks for now and that's in the five year forcast, so at least I should still be able to get around. Mostly, it's fun and exciting to watch the city slowly come back to life.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  4. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Wow. Atlantic Station is pretty amazing. That is what I am looking for.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    This is a really intriguing comparison. I too spend a considerable amount of time in the Atlanta area (I'm in the process of opening a satellite office of my law firm in Marietta) and I can see where there would be opportunities in OKC to mirror some of Atlanta's current and more successful recent developments. The huge residential push in the midtown area (I think there's no fewer than 12 new high-rise residential and mixed use towers going up in or near that area) is also bringing new retail and dining destinations with it. It'd be great to see something (on a proportional scale, of course) happen in downtown OKC.

  6. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    I can't really figure out what the first project is besides lots of towers. It's cool but where is the neighborhood? Maybe it's just a crappy website.

    Atlantic Station seems really cool. It's just so...artificial.

    But I would be for either of these in OKC.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    For me the whole thing reeks of contrivance and artificiality and snobbery. The "Let people know you've arrived ... " statement was almost more than I could stand. I did agree that people are searching for community and uniqueness and more intimate, genuine places. It seems to me that a lot of developers misinterpret these interests and end up with the opposite of what so many seek.

  8. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Yeah Atlantic Station struck me as too "planned".

    I really don't know how to explain it. It just looked layed out more like a suburban development. Kind of reminded me of the Village at Quail Springs proposal, even though it does have high-rise.

    The other definitely seems more dense, but is probably too dense for C2S. I think something like that could work really well on the big empty lot at 3rd and E.K. Gaylord. A condo/hotel tower (or 2 seperate) with a large footprint that goes all the way to the sidewalk and has streetfront, upscale retail. I think that might be an ideal place for it, because it's a large, high traffic boulevard and an easy walk from the Skirvin. It would also bridge AAlley and Bricktown quite well, and the retail and restaurants would naturally spill over into those districts. Imagine leaving Bricktown to walk down E.K. Gaylord past upscale retail to eat at Red Prime on Broadway. It would be GREAT infill.

  9. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Quote Originally Posted by flintysooner View Post
    For me the whole thing reeks of contrivance and artificiality and snobbery. The "Let people know you've arrived ... " statement was almost more than I could stand. I did agree that people are searching for community and uniqueness and more intimate, genuine places. It seems to me that a lot of developers misinterpret these interests and end up with the opposite of what so many seek.
    You have to look past the marketing on these things.

  10. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    I'm so envious.
    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

  11. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    I mapped out my idea. It's best viewed in Hybrid layout.

    3rd & Gaylord Infill

  12. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    We need to embrace the idea, but make it uniquely OKC and not Atlanta.

    OKC is unlike any other city, any development needs to share our flare, and I'm not just talking about our western image.

  13. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Nice, jbrown. The way the buildings would follow the curve of the road would make a nice statment. It could really be cool.

  14. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Thanks. I know you know your stuff, so I'm glad you like.

  15. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    I also think the Pioneer Building and the adjacent taller building with the ugly satellites on top are prime for residential, and if this were all built, they really would be.

  16. #16

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    jbrown....I like the idea and the location as well. I too hope that Okc can someday have a little of the Atlanta feel to it, although I like our Auto Alley area / Midtown areas.

    I hope that the C2S doesn't affect the older, historic areas of downtown. Okc needs to be careful and get the developments completed in other areas before opening up the C2S developments. I would hate to see scatted areas of downtown that never reach completion because of C2S.

  17. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    While I agree that Atlanta is a great role model for OKC to follow, especially from an economic point-of-view, I think Portland is an even better role model.

    Both cities are roughly the same size 540K residents or so, but Portland has a larger metro of roughly 2M, vs. our 1.3M or so. But the reason why I think Portland is the best model for us is due to their accomplishments in spite of being the 2nd city in their region.

    If you consider Portland 10 years ago, I would say it is where OKC is today (or maybe was in 2001); Portland was largely a blue collar city that played second fiddle to a larger Seattle big brother to the north. The only thing Portland had going for itself was an NBA team and a city planning system set on serving the pedestrian populous.

    Portland set its mind on making mass transit as the vehicle for economic growth, and unlike any other city in America save the big boys of New York and Chicago, Portland IS the most transit bread of the mid-sized. And if you look at Portland's economy today, they are diversified with high-tech manufacturing in Intel, Nike hq, and many conventions rolling through.

    Portland no longer takes a back seat to Seattle, in fact, Portland has a much better urban core than Seattle does (not larger, but better in terms of diversity of corporations and residents located there). Portland took the Vancouver BC model (which is our big boy big city over here in the NW) and applied some very creative yet uniquely Portland-esq touches that gives the city an indescribable appeal that Seattle will never have.

    Yes, Portland does have a wonderful urban park/mountain system that OKC could never hope to replicate (save a few volcanic eruptions) but that is where the differences end and the similarities begin.

    Like I mentioned, both central cities are the same size and both downtown areas have roughly the same skyscraper core; OKC's being more dense and Taller feeling but Portland's downtown core a bit more expansive than OKC's current layout (soon to change tho for OKC as we know). While Portland does get quite a few more pax than OKC, both cities had tired old airport facilities that were upgraded - its just Portland outdid OKC in that they created a facility that looks and feels like a major airport and added the gates to match even though it may not be full all the time. SeaTac does get significantly more flights and pax but Portland holds its own in the region and IS a significant player nonetheless.

    You can see the similarities of Portland to that of OKC and Dallas. Dallas is significantly bigger than Seattle (and the relative gap between Dallas and OKC being larger than that of Seattle and Portland) yet OKC is no longer taking a second seat to DFW in the region. If we follow Portland's example of placing the needs of the pedestrian and transit first, we could provide a stimulous to economy much in the same way Portland did. And having an NBA team will definitely help, since we'd be mentioned in the news and sports much like Portland is.

    And while OKC does not have a coastal location like Portland does, OKC's region is much more populated than the Pacific NW is, so OKC could be in the position to reach more of an audience should the city decide to go big time with our developments, like our airport. Those of you who know me, know I am little more than satisfied with the "expansion" that took place at Will Rogers. I feel it is incomplete and we should have gone a little more big time with the design, creating a cathedral for aviation, especially since Wiley Post and Will Rogers are pioneers of aviation and from OKC/OK. You can still see the facelift and where the original Portland airport exists, but they did a first class job at their facelift and expansion, OKC will need another in 10 years.

    And OKC is diversifying its economy into more than just energy and government, with health care, biotech, and service industries coming on board, manufacturing taking a bit of a blow though. Albeit slowly, because Portland discovered that it could not beat Seattle in terms of innovative computer technology - so it grabbed high tech manufacturing that Seattle does not have instead.

    And now OKC is in the same position to determine its future economic success, and while I agree the Healthcare and BIO is a start and should be continued I think OKC should focus on white collar jobs as well. OKC should shoot to become the back office center of the nation, upseat Tampa from that title. This would be the excellent opportunity for OKC to add to the downtown skyline and bring in an influx of higher paying jobs to lift the median income and stimulate the economy. We need to be hitting the New York and Chicago based companies and position ourselves on our newly found fame as a terrorism bastion - run your companies with the security that your data and administration is safe in OKC. OKC should have an office of some sort for every major company, with their data backup closet and a staff to maintain critical company files should there ever be a repeat to 911 or cold war, where New York and Chicago surely would be the top targets again.

    Not to create a doomsday scenario or anything but instead to use a negative which happened to OKC as a positive in which to market and grow the economy. Like I said, OKC needs to think out-of-the-box so we can position ourselves inspite of the major competitor 200 miles to the south, just like Portland is doing.

    Im not sure exactly how to answer the transit issue for OKC but we need to create a comprehensive system that not only includes busses and trains but also sidewalks and lights so passengers feel safe and comfortable enough to become pedestrians. that's right, our new transit system could encourage people to become pedestrians, think of all of the good walking would do to the fit-rankings OKC always scores poorly on. And think of the critical mass a light rail system could generate, provided it is constructed properly. Case in point, Portland excells in transit where Seattle fails - Portland's first light rail line went from downtown to the suburb to the west known as Gresham. After its success, did Portland expand the system now to every direction from downtown but south (that's coming soon). Portland only recently created a line to their airport - yet Seattle is building its first light rail line from downtown to SeaTac. I and others are saying, how will this improve transportation in Seattle? The first line should have been from a suburb to the north or east of downtown, not to the airport just so Seattle can try to be like New York and Chicago and SF. But I digress, as Im sure OKC will do light rail correct, beginning with the streetcar downtown - ala Portland Streetcar and then moving on with commuter or light rail to Edmond and Norman. this would ensure people would ride the system rather than sit on I-35 and Broadway Extn. but I have to say, what a missed opportunity OKC has when it could have offered commuter rail from Edmond and Norman into downtown given the construction that has been taking place on Broadway Extn and I-35 in South. That would have been a great opportunity to "force" people out of their cars and into commuter rail - the congestion that construction creates gives you an impetus for critical mass which commuter and light rail address.

    I wonder if construction on I-84 (which runs EW from downtown to Gresham) was the impetus for Portland's first light rail line? Like I said, I think Portland is the best role model for OKC to follow - very achievable!!
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  18. #18

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    We do have Atlantic Station.

    It's called The Triangle.

    I'm a moderator on an Atlanta urban forum and from what I know about Atlantic Station, which is one large development that is mostly finished already (and is truly a city within a city with its own transit system), is that it was an old brownfield site that the City of Atlanta cleaned up and sold off to a developer as one big chunk. We might see something like this on some of the large Kerr McGee brownfield sites along the river or in the old downtown airpark site.

  19. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    You put some thought into that HotRod. I agree, Portland would be our greatest role model. I wish we had a pioneer square in OKC as that really makes Portland a cool city. All the functions taking place there create a vibe of cultural diversity and make the city feel alive. Of course the liberal attitude of Portland really shows up in their square as well. Maybe i'll move there someday... oh wait i already am! By the way, Gresham is to the East, not West.

  20. #20

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    Very thoughtful and interesting Hot Rod. I've also admired Indianapolis and what their leadership accomplished a few years earlier than OKC.

    I've thought for sometime too that OKC and Tulsa should somehow come together and try for a single, larger airport between the two and connected by some kind of rail. Something similar to what DFW was able to do which in the day was considered very risky. The problems that would address in my mind would be providing an airport with enough traffic to be an actual hub for national and international flights and to provide a link between the two major cities. Likewise it would provide a more central link for transportation to other cities.

    It seems to me that one of the reasons we keep losing business headquarters is our lack of national and especially international transportation.

    I know it is terribly expensive and ambitious to a fault given the intense rivalry between Tulsa and OKC but I surely see a lot of merit in striving for greater cooperation. Would take rather capable leadership.

  21. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    It's a great idea, but I don't forsee OKC or Tulsa abandoning extensive existing infrastructure anytime in the next 50 years.

  22. #22

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    I don't really think they would have to be abandoned. I would even try to make the two existing airports as the hubs for the new facility and try to somehow do the security stuff there so that it was expedited at the new facility. I do not believe we are near the end of air transportation but more at the beginning really. So I expect the need for facility space is not likely to do anything but increase.

    But then again I don't realistically see this idea happening either.

  23. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    They're just a little too far apart.

    The citizens of neither city are going to want to have to drive to Stroud to catch a plane, and neither city is going to want to lose the jobs.

  24. #24

    Default Re: A Model For OKC

    I recall those very same arguments about DFW way back when. Distance has a way of becoming less significant with the passage of time. And that was back when it was easy to give oneself 15 minutes to board and planes were more often on time. Considerably different now and probably not going to improve much in the near future at least. But I didn't mean to change subjects - sorry.

  25. Default Re: A Model For OKC

    The only way I would like to have an airport between the cities, would be if there was a high-speed rail link.

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