Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Coming Up: Authority Chooses Downtown Developer, Plans Negotiations over TIF

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Coming Up: Authority Chooses Downtown Developer, Plans Negotiations over TIF

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority is prepared to work with the city staff to bring Clayco Inc.'s design to the southern half of a site at W. Reno and S. Hudson avenues.

OCURA chose Clayco as the conditional redeveloper for the 3.15- acre property during its meeting Monday morning. The company plans to build two towers: a 25-story commercial building and a 26-story, 253-unit residential tower, with structured parking in between. OCURA Executive Director Cathy O'Connor gave high praise to Clayco and Milhaus Development, which submitted a proposal for a 20-story mixed-use building.

"We think the level of the development proposed by Clayco will create a catalytic project for downtown Oklahoma City and hopefully spur other development," she said. "But both of these proposals requested amounts of tax increment financing that are well beyond what the city of Oklahoma City typically allocates to projects."

She said the city and OCURA will have a lot of work to do to negotiate a TIF package. Clayco partner Larry Chapman said he's not concerned about having to negotiate the TIF package. The company requested TIF allocation equal to approximately 89 percent of the ad valorem taxes generated on the proposed project. The redevelopment is expected to cost $280 million.

"We have a lot of work to do, clearly," Chapman said. "But up until now, there was no ability to sit around a table and negotiate anything. Now we'll sit around the table and talk through the details so we can understand what the trade-offs are. Why is (the project) a good idea? What is the city really going to get? That's what we'll do now. That's what I love to do. I'm looking forward to that part."

O'Connor said there are also some design concerns with Clayco's proposal. She said she recommended that OCURA have the RTKL architecture firm give a third-party opinion on the design. She said OCURA has the authority to approve the design, but the city will have to approve the TIF.

"I don't think either of these issues are insurmountable and can't be solved and worked through," she said. "I do want everyone to know there's work to be done and it's going to take a little bit of time to get all those things resolved. …

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