On Tuesday Oklahoma City officials met with Bricktown merchants and updated them on their desire to build a fire station at the east entrance to the entertainment district. Several Bricktown merchants are worried about the department’s chosen location because they fear it will result in fire engines racing along Sheridan Avenue, endangering pedestrians on busy summer evenings.
At the meeting, city staff acknowledged they did not survey other cities to see whether fire stations had been built in urban entertainment districts and if so, how that worked out. After the meeting, Jim Cowan, director of the Bricktown Association, called the meeting a start, not an end, of the discussion.
A glimpse at the agenda for this Tuesday’s meeting of the Oklahoma City Council shows city staff is asking council members to approve a $771,000 purchase of the property at Sheridan and Lincoln - the very location that concerns several Bricktown merchants. The transaction would also transfer ownership of a former city maintenance yard at Sheridan and Byers to the owner of the proposed fire station property. The council item does not call for any competitive bidding for the city property. The council item also does not include an appraisal for the city property.
City staff did not communicate at Wednesday’s meeting the purchase was scheduled for Tuesday.
Previously, city staff sought to locate the fire station in Deep Deuce, which is turning into the first true downtown neighborhood with a handful of housing developments being built between NE 4, NE 2, Walnut and Oklahoma Avenues.