Hearing some things today that make me wonder if there really will be a fair and open consideration of where the future MAPS 3 convention center will be built. While the public is being told no spot is favored, a very different message is being communicated behind the scenes from too many sources for me to stay quiet a moment longer.
Carefully consider the following questions:
- If there is no favored site, why was the south of Ford Center site shown in all of the renderings and models released to the public during the campaign? How would such displays not indicate a favored site to the public?
- What site was recommended by the Tier Two convention consultant?
- If the new convention center is to be used seven days a week, won’t those visitors take up the parking surrounding the new central park if the convention center is built just east of it, and south of Ford Center? Won’t such a set-up create a scarcity of parking for residents wanting to use the park?
- Aren’t premier parks a potential magnet for economic development? If so, why would OKC want to dedicate half a park’s frontage to a public building? (part of the central park frontage is not going to be available for development due to its proximity to the new I-40).
- Bricktown merchants have said and shown that the walking distance from the site south of Ford Center will devastate their businesses compared to the Southwest Producers Co-op south of Lower Bricktown. What is the risk of Oklahoma City turning Bricktown into another faded once hot district like West End in Dallas?
- What will be more likely to develop on its own, without a massive infusion of public money: A scattering of century-old brick warehouses and empty lots, or the Southwestern Producers Co-op south of Lower Bricktown?
- Can eminent domain be used against a property owner demanding an inflated amount for land targeted for a public project? (like a convention center)
- What should guide downtown’s long-term growth, the price of land or the best and highest use of land?
- Could a convention center, accompanied by a conference hotel, benefit Boathouse Row along the river in the south of Ford Center site? Could it benefit Boathouse Row south of Lower Bricktown?
- Is the Producers Co-op a property that contributes to the impression made on visitors? If not, how will it ever be addressed if not through acquisition of the land for a convention center (a question asked publicly to no response by former Mayor Kirk Humphreys)?