Development Group to Encourage Public/Private Partnerships

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma City Council designed Second Century Development Inc. to encourage a public/private partnership in area redevelopment efforts, said Tiana Douglas, executive director of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority.

"We need capital investment, but it is not possible to get it from the state or federal government," said Jackie Carey, ward 8 councilwoman and member of Second Century. "We need to develop relationships with the private sector for private investment.

"We need to utilize the property that we have and establish more of a tax base and activity center downtown," said Carey.

Second Century Development will not replace the urban renewal authority, which was established to acquire land for disposition to private developers. The board of commissioners will remain intact with all of its existing obligation, said Douglas. The board will be served by the staff of Second Century.

The creation of Second Century has been orchestrated as direct federal funding for the urban renewal authority is discontinued May 22.

"This is a logical time," said Carey. "The urban renewal authority is more or less going out of business in aggressive redevelopment activity. This will put something into its place to replace and extend it. The public/private corporation will aggressively seek redevelopment projects primarily in downtown area."

Douglas said that federal funding for Second Century could rely heavily on Community Development Block Grant funds.

Redevelopment efforts need all the resources possible, said Douglas. In the past, the public sector has been the primary factor.

This week, four city council members were appointed to Second Century: I.G. Purser from ward 1, Beverly Hodges from ward 6, Goree James from ward 7 and also Carey will serve on the board.

The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority recommended that Stanton Young, chairman, and Dr. K.E. Smith, vice chairman, represent the authority on the board of Second Century. If they are approved by the mayor and city council, these six members will nominate three people from the private sector to complete the nine-member board.

"I hope we can move fairly rapidly," said Carey. "There is no sense in having the corporation in place if we can't start getting some action."

The new board will determine the geographical area in which to concentrate their efforts. This could be downtown Oklahoma City or the Centralplex. Carey said it will probably focus on downtown. . .

Capital Improvement Plan Meeting Scheduled Oklahoma City's five-year capital improvement plan will be discussed at public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday.

City employees will explain the plan and respond to comments and questions from citizens. The plan outlines the city's long-term plans for major purchases and projects and sets priorities.

Tuesday's meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, 701 SW 24 St. Wednesday the meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Fire Training Center, 800 N. Portland Ave. . .

Tourism Impact Expected to Rise The economic impact of tourism on the Oklahoma City economy in 1989 is expected to increase from $464 million in 1988 due to Remington Park, Centennial year events and the U.S. Olympic Festival, said Kathleen Marks, executive director of the Oklahoma City Convention and Tourism Bureau.

The tourism industry in Oklahoma is the second largest revenue producer and employs 56,000. …