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Thread: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

  1. #1

    Default Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Lots of things happening this week with a panel (I believe 9 people) who will advise on a redevelopment plan for downtown/Core to Shore.

    They are conducting interviews throughout the week with almost 100 people and will unveil their findings/concepts Friday morning in council chambers.

    Also, it is my understanding that the City Council may be voting on the "proceedural structure" at today's council meeting.

    Lots of stuff happening. This week may very well orient plans and affect major decisions such as placement of key MAPS components.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    I recall when they were here after the MAPS 1 vote. It's a great thing and they can give a lot of good ideas and support to the projects.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Just a reminder. ULI will give their design team report to the public in City Council Chambers tomorrow at 9:30 AM. I am not sure if it will be televised live or not. I would encourage anyone speculating on these various developmental matters to attend.

    It should be interesting. It will be even more interesting as to whether it will "direct" many of the developmental plans to be decided by the council/MAPS oversight board to be made in the near future.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Hopefully someone will attend and give a report to those of us who have to work and cannot get away to attend. I would really love to go to that.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Just attended the meeting. See Steve Lackmeyers blog OKC Central - Information about Oklahoma City, Bricktown and beyond for synopsis.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Wow! Narrow the boulevard, move the convention center to another location and build it first. I think they're spot on on every one of these recommendations.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    I went and looked at the lumbar yard site yesterday, because I didn't really ever distinguish it in my mind from the Cotton gin, and honestly thought it was all part and parcel of the same thing. I did have a couple of thoughts when I looked at it.

    It does seem rather small in size. Perhaps that's perspective, and if the area were leveled it would be easier to see that it's adequate in size. Does it indeed have enough room to expand were we to want to expand?

    When I looked at it, I thought a convention hotel would either have to be built on the site of the cotton gin or the U-Haul building. The Cotton Gin owners, if anything, would probably increase or certainly wouldn't lower the cost of their property if they knew a convention center was going to be built there. I know Doug has posted pictures of the U-Haul building in it's earlier incarnation, and I didn't know if people would be amenable to it being demolished. It would be a pretty cool-looking building if its current facade were removed, but certainly would probably not be amenable to renovation into a convention center hotel.

    Since I live near the tracks, I know that there are a lot of trains that go through. The lumbar yard is immediately adjacent to the tracks, and train noise would be very loud. If you live near it, you get used to it and literally stop hearing the trains, but if you're a visitor, you wouldn't have time to get used to it. Would the train noise disrupt presentations? Would people staying in the convention center hotel be unhappy about the train noise, especially the whistles? You could significantly improve the noise if you had a Quiet Zone, however.

  8. Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    If you live near it, you get used to it and literally stop hearing the trains, but if you're a visitor, you wouldn't have time to get used to it. Would the train noise disrupt presentations? Would people staying in the convention center hotel be unhappy about the train noise, especially the whistles?
    The Cox Center is also adjacent (across the street) from the train tracks, and the Renaissance and Courtyard hotels, so it wouldn't be a problem that would remove the sites from consideration. Aren't all three potential convention center sites adjacent to the Santa Fe tracks?

    The ULI presentation was kind of disconcerting and hopefully leads to thoughtful but quick discussion and decision among city leaders about the issues that were covered.

  9. Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Shane, I've not seen the presentation or discussion, just what Steve has written in his blog and the newspaper. What was disconcerting?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    I was in Bricktown yesterday and parked at the Lumbar yard. It would make sense to put the new convention center here. Its within a short walking distance of hotels, restaurants, and the Cox & Ford centers. If there was a shuttle or a rail line, it would really connect the whole area well.

    I agree with the ULI that putting the convention center several blocks south is not good for the city.

    Also, has anyone noticed the amount of graffiti and gang activity in the proposed core to shore area? Definitely, don't want to get our stuff messed up by gangs. Need more patrol and security.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    At the presentation it appeared that the city was considering putting the convention center at the SE corner of Robinson and the new boulevard, with the park just to the west, and the ULI just suggested moving it a block to the East (lumber site) and putting the convention hotel at that spot instead. They also stated that the convention hotel should be at least 700 rooms.

    One other thing they said is to not expect any new or speculative office construction and high rise housing

  12. #12

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    You're right about the Cox Center being close to the train noise. I guess it wouldn't be that much of a problem, then. I've always thought a close to Bricktown location would be better, for obvious reasons. Do we know that the lumbar yard is purchaseable, and what kind of price they might expect? And again, is there space there for a convention center hotel?

    I'm not too worried about graffiti in Core to Shore. As the area improves, the graffiti will decrease.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    I am wondering how this is working out? the convention center was shown to have the least support, was supposed to be built last and now we have professionals telling us it should be first. I will say it loudly, "Man did we have a job done on all of us"!!!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikemarsh51 View Post
    I am wondering how this is working out? the convention center was shown to have the least support, was supposed to be built last and now we have professionals telling us it should be first. I will say it loudly, "Man did we have a job done on all of us"!!!
    Whats the big problem? Things should be done in whatever order makes the most sense.

    Having said that, at the meeting the park still was assumed to be built first or in conjunction with the convention center.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by onthestrip View Post
    At the presentation it appeared that the city was considering putting the convention center at the SE corner of Robinson and the new boulevard, with the park just to the west, and the ULI just suggested moving it a block to the East (lumber site) and putting the convention hotel at that spot instead. They also stated that the convention hotel should be at least 700 rooms.

    One other thing they said is to not expect any new or speculative office construction and high rise housing
    That comment about speculative office and high rise housing does not surprise me at all, and is more a comment about what is happening (or not happening) in any of the US major markets right now. Lending for spec offices and high rise residential is almost non-existent.

    That certainly doesn't mean forever and that it is doomed, rather based on the realities of the current market climate, few are willing to take the risk on something like that. They would be right in that regard. However, if the right corporate relocation were to take place then we certainly could have another high rise built capitalizing on the momentum of what is taking place in OKC. Lenders would not have a problem with lending based on an existing fortune 500 type company relocating to OKC and building new digs. It would be a much safer bet and would get funded.

    Residential high rise could come back more quickly in OKC simply from the respect that we have none. So whom ever did the first would capture the market share of those who truly want to live in a high rise. (I know that we have some to speak of) but nothing new and really tall that would give people the views of the city and the world class amenities found in other cities on site. I just hope that whomever gets there first does it right, and does not skimp simply to be first. We need it to endure and be successful to lay the groundwork and precedence for future projects.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    Wow! Narrow the boulevard, move the convention center to another location and build it first. I think they're spot on on every one of these recommendations.
    If this is a duplicate post, my apologies...

    I agree and think the consensus in these threads and the Oklahoman is that these folks are correct.

    I will point out that they seemed to think the overall C2S plan was a good one, that it just needed to be tweaked some.

    One thing I found interesting was about the Streetcars. I was in agreement with those on these threads that one of the advantages of a fixed rail system (as opposed to buses) was that developers would know where the routes/stations are going to be and development will naturally follow.

    But Russ Tillman, offered a cautionary note. Said that since they are expensive and permanent, that routes need to be chosen very carefully. He stated:

    There is a vast industry that will tell you build a streetcar and the buildings will follow it. It's more complicated...it's less clear if streetcars really spur development. It is one of many factors that can spur development.
    (emphasis supplied in presentation slide)

    So now I don't know....

  17. #17

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Onthestrip, it matters because of the way it was presented to the voters. Had I not opposed it for political reasons, I would have supported it for all of the obvious reasons. I still would not be happy because now it is not the plan that was sold to us. I also think it is disgusting the way they are now planning to take land from rightful land owners!!!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikemarsh51 View Post
    Onthestrip, it matters because of the way it was presented to the voters. Had I not opposed it for political reasons, I would have supported it for all of the obvious reasons. I still would not be happy because now it is not the plan that was sold to us. I also think it is disgusting the way they are now planning to take land from rightful land owners!!!
    We were sold on certain projects, not on a certain schedule. Nothing is being taken, everyone will be compensated.

  19. Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Loudenback View Post
    Shane, I've not seen the presentation or discussion, just what Steve has written in his blog and the newspaper. What was disconcerting?
    I also have only seen the media accounts, not the full presentation, but what concerned me was that there were so many discrepancies with the ideas that the city and planners have developed over the last few years compared to the opinions of the ULI panel. And I want to believe that each bit of advice will be weighed fairly and given due consideration, but don't know if that will be the case.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Lumbar Yard! LOL

  21. #21

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikemarsh51 View Post
    Onthestrip, it matters because of the way it was presented to the voters. Had I not opposed it for political reasons, I would have supported it for all of the obvious reasons. I still would not be happy because now it is not the plan that was sold to us. I also think it is disgusting the way they are now planning to take land from rightful land owners!!!
    Mike, the voters didn't approve the projects based on what would be built first just on the merits of the projects themselves. While there was talk of what would be first there was never a promise and if there had been there is no way in something of this magnitude to not allow for changes. As for eminent domain that is certainly nothing new or unexpected. My grandfather owned land on the NW side of Norman that was "taken" for the construction of I35. He was a "rightful owner" and was compensated as will be these owners.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by shane453 View Post
    I also have only seen the media accounts, not the full presentation, but what concerned me was that there were so many discrepancies with the ideas that the city and planners have developed over the last few years compared to the opinions of the ULI panel. And I want to believe that each bit of advice will be weighed fairly and given due consideration, but don't know if that will be the case.
    Definitely take the time to catch the repeat showing or view online @ okc.gov. One thing they stressed was that overall the C2S plan was a good one, it just needed some tweaking is all. It was not a complete abandonment. Certain elements weren't going to happen at all (like getting a major dept store, i.e. Nemin-Marcus etc).

  23. #23

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    What lumberyard is being referred to in this thread? Where is it?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    It is immediately south of I-40 and just east of the railroad line. Or, behind the Harkins Theatre and the U-Haul building south of lower Bricktown.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Urban Land Institute Sends Advisors / MAPS Oversight Board Moves Forward

    3 things...

    1.Do conventioneers really want to see the U-haul Bldg outside of their 10th story hotel room? Or the freeway? Or a central park and ford center? It is only one block further. To the Brick.

    2.What will provide the catalyst for development in the blighted area? By saying 'development will take 50 years',and moving the convention center away from the blighted area, essentially they are saying that the whole ugly area will have a stay of execution for 50 years. 'Go ahead, don't improve your properties for another 50 years, bring in more auto parts and hub caps! We dont care!' The suggestion for 'the other side of the tracks', will stifle any improvement south of the Boulevard, and A central Park will likely be pointless, as there will be no reason to traverse the park. Let face it, who of us will want do go downtown for JUST the park? This is a valid question, because that will likely be the ONLY improvement installed south of the Boulevard for decades. The more interesting things we can put around the park, the more people will include the park in their reasons to come downtown.The point of entry to the park will only be from one side, the north. With the convention Center on the west side of the tracks, and next to the park, at least there will be multiple entry points for the park, and the hotel on the north and west side of the convention center will at least give a view of the park and/or Ford center. In my opinion a much better venue. Keeping the convention center where proposed will...a)give notice to property owners- hey shape up or ship out! b)give a REASON to have a park, c)Give developers a reason to develop there.

    3.A large convention center and parking area and hotel will not fit in just the lumber yard area. It would call for a smaller convention center or no hotel. The city likely MUST purchase at least some of the co-op as well which will drive the overall cost way up, as opposed to clearing the land on the west side of the tracks.

    I just wonder what underlying reason is driving this suggestion.

    Thats just my opinion,
    My opinion, over and out!
    Last edited by BigD Misey; 03-08-2010 at 08:12 AM. Reason: add to sentence

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