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  1. #1

    OK River MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Presented to the OKC Riverfront Redevelopment Authority yesterday (5/28):

    Background
    The mayor and City Council are seeking suggestions for possible MAPS 4 projects. In Spring 2019, the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority (OCRRA) Development and Water Use Committee (Committee) met repeatedly to discuss Oklahoma River-related projects suitable for MAPS 4. Those meetings produced the following list, which comprises OCRRA's MAPS 4 proposal. Any project may be phased if the total, estimated cost cannot be funded through MAPS 4.
    For each item, staff prepared a description and cost estimate, if available. On May 28, 2019, the Committee is scheduled to make a recommendation on this Report. If OCRRA receives this Report, staff will prepare a related letter to the mayor.


    Bicycle/Pedestrian Links to the Oklahoma River/West River Trails
    OCRRA supports completion of the Oklahoma City Trails System. This item would provide for previously identified, but unfunded, connections from the River Corridor to the Trails System. It could help close the "loops" envisioned in the Trails System and better link the River Corridor to neighborhoods and other destinations. Estimated Cost: $2,200,000.

    Park/Trail Amenities Along the Oklahoma River Corridor
    OCRRA supports funding new amenities along the Oklahoma River/West River Trails. They could include, but not be limited to, drinking fountains, restrooms, shade structures, etc. Such improvements would further activate the River Trails, facilitate trail use, and encourage residents to pursue healthy lifestyles. These amenities would complement a recent Oklahoma City Community Foundation project to plant 800 trees on the north shore of the Oklahoma River. That project's master plan called for hardscape elements that could be included in this request. Estimated Cost: $1,200,000.

    River Park Equestrian Development
    River Park has the potential to be one of the City’s premier specialty parks, having been
    designated an equestrian park in 2016. OCRRA supports full implementation of the
    Equestrian Park Master Plan, which envisions a range of equestrian-related amenities for
    River Park. They include a working livery stable; a multi-use indoor arena; arena-polo
    facilities; a welcome center; and expanded trailer parking. MAPS 4 funding could
    continue the development made possible by recent, City-funded infrastructure
    improvements to River Park and separate grant funding for an Oklahoma River Cruises
    landing. The amenities specified in the Equestrian Park Master Plan could make River
    Park a regional destination for horse enthusiasts and tourists seeking to experience
    “authentic” western culture in an urban environment. Estimated Cost: $26,000,000.

    Equestrian Trails Along the Oklahoma River
    OCRRA supports this companion item to the River Park equestrian development. It
    would provide equestrian connectivity between River Park, Stockyards City, and the
    American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM). By employing multiple
    equestrian-use bridges along the trail route, the equestrian trails would offer a separate,
    self-contained transportation route for horse riders without impeding the established
    bike/pedestrian network. The equestrian trails would be a vital element for increasing
    tourism along the River Corridor. Estimated Cost: $8,500,000.

    Prairie Park Improvements
    OCRRA supports development of this 409-acre site, which would become one of the
    City’s newest and largest regional parks. It would serve as a premier destination in Ward
    7 and “bookend” the eastern River Corridor. MAPS 4 funding would allow for
    implementation of the Prairie Park Master Plan. It includes a large swimming beach
    (complete with beach-grade sand) that can accommodate 3,000 bathers, a bathhouse and
    concession building, life guard stations, a boat rental area, beach volleyball courts, sports
    fields, walking paths, ADA accessible nature trails, a playground, restrooms, parking, and
    other infrastructure. The proposed regional park would also be suitable to host a variety
    of special events. Estimated Cost: $69,000,000.

    Crystal Lake Park Improvements
    OCRRA supports improvements allowing Crystal Lake Park to realize its full potential as
    the western “bookend” of the River Corridor. The approximately 100-acre park features
    rustic surroundings and a large lake encircled by part of the West River Trail. MAPS 4
    funds could provide upgraded fishing access, improved parking and roadways, additional
    recreation amenities, ADA enhancements, and other landscape/hardscape elements.
    Estimated cost: Unknown.

    Aquarium (if Located on, or Adjacent to, OCRRA Property)
    OCRRA supports inclusion of a world-class aquarium, if it were located on, or adjacent
    to, OCRRA property (e.g., south of Bass Pro, etc.). The facility could serve as a major
    educational exhibit and tourist destination. The aquarium could offer unique experiences
    and become an iconic attraction, linking to the Boathouse District, the AICCM,
    Bricktown, and other prime destinations in central Oklahoma City. Estimated Cost:
    Unknown
    .

    Infrastructure for Future Development Opportunities at Western Avenue
    OCRRA supports infrastructure improvements to prepare for development of OCRRA
    property north of the Oklahoma River and west of Western Avenue. It is located near a
    picturesque wetland area across from the Wheeler District. The property offers high
    visibility and quick access from Interstate 40. It also abuts the Oklahoma City
    Community Foundation River Trail, which recently underwent an extensive
    beautification project. Development of this site could offer residents and visitors new
    dining or retail options and contribute to the City’s tax base. MAPS 4 improvements
    would provide zoning updates, water and sewer infrastructure, a floodplain study, and
    other incidental services and basic appurtenances needed to produce a developable
    property. Estimated Cost: $1,100,000.

    Improvements Adjacent to the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum
    OCRRA supports funding improvements to facilitate development of City property
    adjacent the AICCM, which will showcase the history and culture of Oklahoma’s Native
    American tribes. The AICCM is scheduled to open in Spring 2021. It sits at a highly
    visible location along the Oklahoma River and is expected to be an international tourist
    destination. The Chickasaw Nation owns about 120 acres adjacent to the AICCM that
    will likely include mixed-use development. MAPS 4 funding could offer recreational
    amenities, trail expansions/connectivity, an additional Oklahoma River Cruises landing,
    etc., to spur further private investment near the complex. Estimated Cost: Unknown.

    Additional Oklahoma River Dam
    OCRRA supports expanding the Oklahoma River east of Interstate 35. Construction of a
    fourth Oklahoma River dam would add navigable waterway in the heart of Ward 7 and
    could spur millions of dollars of additional private development along the River Corridor.
    The project would expand the transformative power of the Oklahoma River and provide
    additional recreational and programming opportunities. Estimated Cost: $22,500,000.

    Disc Golf Course Near Lake Overholser
    OCRRA supports construction of an additional, 18-hole disc golf course on OCRRA
    property south of Lake Overholser. It would add a venue for this popular sport, in west
    Oklahoma City, and enhance OCRRA’s inventory of active-recreation facilities. It would
    also activate an undeveloped area of the River Corridor. Estimated Cost: $120,000.

  2. #2

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    It feels like all of these interest groups and boards realize this will be the last of MAPS as we know it so they are all lining up to get all of their wishlist items taken care of.

  3. #3

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Building another dam would be amazing for eastward development, I only wish someone besides the City would pay for it. I would hope if the City built the dam at that price tag it would spur forced change on Reno east of Lincoln. Not sure that's the best use of $22.5M when all it does is encourage sprawl in a City the needs density to help existing spaces to thrive.

    Perhaps that cash could be better put into Bricktown canal improvements/expansion. I think it would be awesome to limit the water taxi and encourage more self propelled options to bring a different demographic to the area.

    I have no idea the feasibility of any of this but > Can you imagine being able to paddle from the Wheeler neighborhood down the river a bit, up through the park, through the existing canal and back around via the oklahoma river? I'm sure this is all impossible but I still want it!

  4. #4

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Where is this proposed Prairie Park at? I can't think of any area off the river with 400+ empty acres.


    Prairie Park Improvements
    OCRRA supports development of this 409-acre site, which would become one of the
    City’s newest and largest regional parks. It would serve as a premier destination in Ward
    7 and “bookend” the eastern River Corridor. MAPS 4 funding would allow for
    implementation of the Prairie Park Master Plan. It includes a large swimming beach
    (complete with beach-grade sand) that can accommodate 3,000 bathers, a bathhouse and
    concession building, life guard stations, a boat rental area, beach volleyball courts, sports
    fields, walking paths, ADA accessible nature trails, a playground, restrooms, parking, and
    other infrastructure. The proposed regional park would also be suitable to host a variety
    of special events. Estimated Cost: $69,000,000.

  5. #5

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Didn't some people get sick from the river a few years back? Seems like making a swimming beach would require cleaning of the river.

  6. #6

    MAPS3 Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by OkiePoke View Post
    Didn't some people get sick from the river a few years back? Seems like making a swimming beach would require cleaning of the river.
    I'm sure some kind of water purification would be apart of any swimming beach on the Oklahoma River; will this beach have any impact on Riversports Rapids?

    You're looking at a starting cost of no less than $400 million if all of these projects are implemented--exclusive of the new arena & soccer-American football stadium. The quality tourist Aquarium on OCRRA Property would require at least $100 million.

    You're probably correct Catch22: they are probably feeling it's the last of a MAPS referendum.

  7. #7

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    I believe this would be the general plan:


  8. #8

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    This does address some of those neglected areas of our city where a project like this could spur more needed development.

    Crystal Lake, that's at the Edward Park Addition.

    Good find, looks great Pete, Thanks

  9. Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by OkiePoke View Post
    Didn't some people get sick from the river a few years back? Seems like making a swimming beach would require cleaning of the river.
    https://oklahoman.com/article/337659...epartment-says

  10. #10

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I believe this would be the general plan:

    Wow, that is east! I know the area could use more development but I wonder if this is just scrambling to compete with Tulsa has with Gathering Place in someway....

    It doesn't make sense to build more recreational river spots of this scale away from what we are already so HEAVILY invested in and everything we do doesn't need to be the biggest and best (do we really need 3000 people swimming in one place?). I think a scaled down version of this would fit nicely somewhere between Wheeler and the rapids park.

  11. #11

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

    Perhaps that cash could be better put into Bricktown canal improvements/expansion. I think it would be awesome to limit the water taxi and encourage more self propelled options to bring a different demographic to the area.

    I have no idea the feasibility of any of this but > Can you imagine being able to paddle from the Wheeler neighborhood down the river a bit, up through the park, through the existing canal and back around via the oklahoma river? I'm sure this is all impossible but I still want it!

    This is an amazing idea that I have not thought of before. Remove the tourist taxis and expand the canal, then open the entire water to recreational kayaking and paddleboarding. Basically a bootleg Colorado River downtown Austin.

  12. #12

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    This is the most exciting MAPS 4 element I've seen to date. The river is a great asset but needs to be built out. Connecting trails will go a long way in encouraging use of the system we have. Other than the aquarium and equestrian elements of this proposal I am 100% on board. I'm sure the equestrian community is hugely behind this I just don't see their impact on our City, but it is a group which I have no ties to.

    The disc golf course proposal is super exciting. I am an avid disc golfer (and amateur course designer) and the OKC courses are packed every weekend. That $120,000.00 will go a long way and that course will get plenty of use!

  13. #13

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    No sense having all the river lands developed by the city. Have a few key areas developed to help spur private development (with retail, housing, hotels, etc). Putting 50 parks on there or 700 miles of trails (hyperbole for effect) helps very minimally, in my opinion.

  14. #14

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I believe this would be the general plan:

    I may have this wrong... Prairie Park could be the area to the south of Crystal Lake on either side of the river.

  15. #15

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I believe this would be the general plan:

    I believe Crystal Lake is the western end, out southeast of Overholsure and the Outlet malls

    https://goo.gl/maps/bV5FqPFUHyfvtgiQ8

  16. #16

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Crystal Lake is on SW15th just West of Macarthur.

  17. #17

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    What I labeled Crystal Lake should be Lost Lakes.

  18. #18

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

    It doesn't make sense to build more recreational river spots of this scale away from what we are already so HEAVILY invested in and everything we do doesn't need to be the biggest and best (do we really need 3000 people swimming in one place?). I think a scaled down version of this would fit nicely somewhere between Wheeler and the rapids park.
    I don't get this train of thought at all.

  19. #19

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Ward 7 seems to have gained some pull in the city.

  20. #20

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    This could be OKC’s version of Gathering Place.

  21. #21

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    I've thought for years that the river improvements should extend further east as there's a lot of open land by the river in that direction. I'd go as far as saying it should be brother further west as well. Maybe all the way to city limits.

  22. #22

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    I think the City should in MAPS 4 solicit ideas for repurposing all of the 13 schools being closed. Repurposing for the distinct needs of the particular district (recreational, educational, seniors services, youth services etc.) would go a long way in insuring the properties do not fall into disrepair and become an eyesore. This also would funnel funds outside the city core, something many have proposed.

  23. #23

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    This could be OKC’s version of Gathering Place.
    this would not be like the gathering place in any way

  24. #24
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    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    During path to greatness there was a pretty extensive survey conducted by OKCPS getting input about what should happen to vacated buildings.

  25. #25

    Default Re: MAPS 4 River Improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by shawnw View Post
    During path to greatness there was a pretty extensive survey conducted by OKCPS getting input about what should happen to vacated buildings.
    Will the recommendations come with Funding to implement?

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