Oklahoma City More Than its Downtown

Posted in: Reflections Articles

Cathy O’Connor

Downtown Oklahoma City’s renaissance receives much of our attention thanks to MAPS, TIF districts and the many other developments that make up OKC’s core. What goes on across the rest of the metro can sometimes get lost in our day-to-day discussion. However, these developments outside of downtown represent an incredibly important part of our city’s growth.

Over the past 10 years, city-funded infrastructure projects outside of OKC’s downtown, but within the city limits, have contributed almost $2.5 billion in new infrastructure development. This compares to the $684 million in downtown infrastructure development during that same period. These developments directly contribute to the health of our entire city’s economic growth.

Areas along the Kilpatrick Turnpike and Broadway Extension continue to attract development, with construction popping up every other month. The Chisholm Creek area, at Memorial and Western in north OKC, has seen its fair share of growth. The mixed-use, walk-able development will introduce several anchor stores, a hotel, grocer, live music venue, event lawn and outdoor amphitheater.

Main Event Entertainment is finished and already packed on weekends, providing fun for children and adults alike. St. Anthony’s Healthplex is almost completed, looking to open early this year. Cabela’s and Top Golf announced their plans to build in the Chisholm Creek development as well. Areas like these are great for attracting additional developers and showing the successes of larger brand-name stores.

I-40 south of Yukon is seeing a new retail space being developed by GBT Realty Corp. This $50 million shopping center, to be called the Market at Czech Village, will be a hot spot for national retailers wanting to tap into the strength of the OKC, Yukon and Mustang markets.

GBT Realty plans for the space to cover 450,000 square feet for retail development. 180,000 square feet of the retail space has already been contracted for grocery and sporting goods tenants to anchor the market. The area is strategically located within a 10-mile radius of an estimated 250,000 residents. They expect to begin construction immediately upon completing purchase this year and hope to open in spring of 2016.

Office buildings are going up in Northwest OKC, north of Memorial road in what is known as the Memorial Corridor. Houston-based Linn Energy has broken ground and started construction on their new 110,000 square foot office. They will be moving out of their 80,000 square foot Quail Springs Office Park workplace, creating a vacancy in a high-demand market.

Shortly after Linn’s announcement for development, Gulfport Energy indicated they would be constructing their new corporate headquarters along the same corridor. Gulfport’s $30 million, 120,000 square foot office plan includes a staff restaurant, fitness center and auditorium. These expansions encourage further development of current commercial properties, and in turn, surrounding residential amenities.

With each month, we continue to see greater and greater investments in the OKC metro area. Through November 2014, new construction value in OKC is already at its highest since 2005, overtaking 2013 by more than $300 million. These numbers go to show that developers are committed to creating new space for residents, retailers, and offices alike. We can look forward to 2015 and hopefully another record year.

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