November 2009 Archive

Daily Links

November 26th, 2009

Daily Links

November 23rd, 2009
  • Renovation of the Cox Center was included in the MAPS plan approved by voters in 1993. The work was done in 1999.

    Though the building opened in 1971, the renovation is only 10 years old. Williams said the work done through MAPS made the building look better, but didn’t solve any of its size limitations.

    “The renovation was carpet and painting,” Williams said. “It didn’t expand it. It didn’t improve it as far as capacity. It didn’t impact the infrastructure.”

    Because the Cox Center is surrounded by streets and businesses, it is “landlocked,” he said.

    “It can’t be expanded,” Williams said. “That building was designed and built as an arena, not a convention center. The exhibition space and meeting rooms were added as an afterthought.”

  • When it was built in 1972, the Myriad Convention Center wasn’t so much a convention center as it was an arena with a few dozen meeting rooms around it. That was fine for a time, though the Myriad never did draw the convention business leaders desired.

    So 20 years later, renovating and upgrading the center was important to helping the city lure more outsiders to town. The structurally outdated building proved expensive to upgrade, with a $63.1 million price tag. The plan worked. With a new wing of ballrooms and meeting space that totaled 100,000 new square feet, more and more conventions made their way to a city making a comeback.

    While the upgrades were great for the city, other cities upped the convention ante. Many other cities in the region now have larger and better convention centers, according to a study commissioned by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.

State Fair Speedway Will Meets a MAPS 3 Demise?

November 21st, 2009


My google news alert pointed me to this blurb at

The City of Oklahoma City has a proposal to demolish the State Fair Speedway to make way for a Grand Entrance and other buildings on the property.

A group has formed to combat this action. They are submiting the facility to the Historical Society, organized a vote against the MAPS3 Funding which would pay for the project etc.

And the poster provides a link that details the history of the speedway and State Fair.

Is this true?  Didn’t realize we were losing the speedway in the process of gaining a $60 million State Fair Building.  And is the building pictured above anywhere to be found at the current westside State Fair?  Also interesting to consider how an event that happened 47 years ago still has an incredible impact on what we are doing with MAPS 3 today.

And, while we’re asking questions, why does the Oklahoma Historical Society put copyright text on their (our?)  images?  Someone please explain.  I really don’t get it.

Oh, and Boomer Sooner!

Daily Links

November 21st, 2009
  • That vagueness, as well as the effect of a down economy on projected tax revenues, concerns Councilman Brian Walters and others. The original resolution putting MAPS 3 in motion could be changed later, he said.

    “The citizens are voting on 1 cent for seven years and nine months, and not only do they not get to vote on the projects themselves, but there’s also an issue about the dollars it will raise,” said Walters, who is the lone council member to oppose the issue.

    Roy Williams, head of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, which is leading the MAPS 3 support, said city leaders appreciate the trust citizens have placed in them to bring about the projects as promised.

Postcard Tells Story

November 20th, 2009


This is probably the coolest Oklahoma City postcard I have ever come across. Isn’t it incredible to consider the number of buildings, the amount of density, and potential RETAIL, that could be developed on the Cox Convention Center block? It was there before, and with a new MAPS 3 convention center coming there is no reason (at least, no good reason) we shouldn’t demolish that monster and put buildings there again.  What do you think?

Oh yeh, if you want the postcard you are going to have to cough-up $19.95 (click here). Might be worth it to somebody, but as much as I love this one, that is a little steep.

November 20th, 2009

This is great news for downtown, particularly Film Row and west Main Street.

Upcoming MAPS 3 Events That You Should Attend

November 15th, 2009

ULI logo

ULI|Oklahoma Young Leaders MAPS 3 Forum

DATE: Monday, November 16th, 2009

TIME: 5:00-7:00pm

LOCATION: ARTSPACE @ Untitled | 1 NE 3rd | click for map

WHO: free to members AND non-members

PARKING: available on-street, at Ruedy’s Auto Shop across the street, and at Santa Fe garage

ABOUT: The Young Leaders Group of Urban Land Institute Oklahoma invite you to MAPS 3 Young Professional’s Forum featuring the Mayor of Oklahoma City, Mick Cornett. The forum is open to all ULI members, as well as all central Oklahoma young professionals. The forum is designed to educate voters on the MAPs 3 package prior to the December 8th public vote.

Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided. The event is free for members and non-members.

Please register online, so that we have an accurate count for catering purposes.



Citizen Forum on Public Transit

DATE: Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

TIME: starts at 7:00pm

LOCATION: OKC Museum of Art | Theatre Auditorium | click for map

WHO: free for everyone

ABOUT: Visual presentation followed by Q&A with a 12 person expert panel!

Daily Links

November 11th, 2009
  • Most of Project 180 is a direct spin-off of construction of a $750 million, 50-story new headquarters for Devon Energy Corp. being built immediately north of Myriad Gardens.

    Devon Energy could have sought to use much of the related tax increment financing for expansion of a garage and infrastructure. Instead, its CEO, Larry Nichols, asked that the funds improve downtown.

    The catch, as mentioned last week, is that the city is trying to finish much of the project by the tower’s completion in 2012. A large group of city planners and engineers, designers, property owners and downtown architects met to discuss planned improvements in the 10th floor meeting room in the city’s office annex at 420 W Main.

  • I think anyone can do the math that if we are going to design a new streetlight for a 21st century downtown OKC, we are going to need an appropriate amount of time and we’re already a year into knowing we need improved streetlights. Can Oklahoma City match what NYC produced? Yes, and this shouldn’t be a question. If it is, there are bigger issues at stake regarding talent retention, creative knowledge base, etc.

    But, there is one thing that keeps pulling at me. The job of the street lamp is to illuminate the activity on the sidewalks and roadways below. The streetlamps are very important, but I believe the bigger question is the one Steve posed at the very start:

    Will OKC be innovative with its downtown streets?

    When I read that question, it has more to do with what is being illuminated on and in the streets than what is happening above it.

Projection on Buildings

November 10th, 2009

I am currently intrigued by the potential for projection technology to add interest to the urban environment. These are a couple examples I have found. I am sure I will add more – stay tuned.

Bike Commuting Up 26% in NYC

November 9th, 2009

With the help of over 200 miles of new bike lanes in the last three years, New York City boosted bicycle commuting ridership by another 26% this past year for a combined 66% in the past two years. For more details check out Streetsblog.