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Oklahoma City Looking to New Downtown Park

Proposed new downtown park and surrounding development in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett unveiled a proposal to increase the local sales tax in that city to pay for $770 million in big downtown improvements from transit to a new $130 million, 70-acre park to entice development. From The Oklahoman:

The plan unveiled Thursday by Cornett and council members includes a massive downtown park, a new convention center, transit improvements such as a downtown streetcar and commuter rail system, Oklahoma River improvements, renovations at State Fair Park, health and wellness aquatic centers for senior citizens, 57 new miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails and money for new sidewalks.

The plan would establish a 1-cent sales tax for seven years, would go into effect as another 1-cent sales tax funding for capital improvements expires, meaning the current rate would not change. The mayor noted specifically that “transit and the park are the two things that this city most lacks.”

Cornett has compared the downtown park to Discovery Park in Houston, Millennium Park in Chicago and Centennial Park in Atlanta. It would serve as a central gathering spot for downtown events and a green space connecting the Oklahoma River and downtown after the Interstate 40 Crosstown Expressway is relocated.

“We know that with the transformation of I-40, we are going to have a big empty gap there,” Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly said. “Now we have a large common area for everyone, including visitors to the city.”

2 Responses

  1. is it open to the public now? where is it located exactly? any cost or fees? is there parking?

  2. Hi Robert,
    As far as I can tell, the park does not yet exist. On the link I have pasted here http://newsok.com/maps3 you can see a timeline of the project on the right side of the page and the earliest the park would open is late 2014.
    Hope this helps!
    Linden

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