subcommittee unanimously selected the site, located at the former Bob
Howard Downtown Ford dealership, after several members attacked a
consultant’s report on site costs, with subcommittee member Larry
Nichols calling it “nonsense.”
under a timeline approved by the convention center subcommittee, almost
every other large-scale MAPS 3 project would be pushed back to the end
of the program in order to move up construction of the convention
recommendations first must be approved by the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory
Board, to which each MAPS 3 subcommittee reports, at its May 26 meeting
and then by the City Council.
subcommittee whittled down the top three sites to east Bricktown, and
two sites recommended in the 2008 Core to Shore plan: Core to Shore
North (the former Bob Howard location) and Core to Shore South (south of
the Oklahoma City Arena and east of the MAPS 3 park site).
the consultant hired to weigh each site, gave the Core to Shore North
site the best overall score. However, when it came to building costs per
square foot, several subcommittee members objected to Populous’ cost
estimates for the south site, raising the issue of $30 million set aside
for the relocation of an OGE substation situated in what was to be the
Core to Shore South site.
Mick Cornett said in an April workshop between the MAPS Citizens
Advisory Board and the City Council that the $30 million in MAPS 3 money
was always intended to go toward moving the substation and was simply
factored into the cost of the convention center, since it was assumed,
based on the 2008 report, that it would be located in that area.
However, if the convention center is not located on the south site, MAPS
Program Manager Eric Wenger said the project would be $250 million,
rather than the original $280 million noted in the MAPS 3 campaign.
the subcommittee, Populous presented the estimates, which ranged from
$31 to $21 per square foot for three of the options. However, the cost
for the Core to Shore South was $4 per square foot.
The consultants stated to the subcommittee that utility relocation costs were not factored into the Core to Shore South site estimate, setting off a flurry of denunciations from subcommittee members.
project was never mentioned publicly or to the voters of the project,
to be fair,” former mayor and subcommittee member Kirk Humphreys said.
“What was put into promotional literature was $280 million. The $30
million, to quote the mayor, was a figure too small to get anyone to pay
attention. Guess what? I suggest we pay (attention) to $30 million
Wenger said the substation is budgeted as a separate cost.
that is really gullible to say that that is a separate project. It’s a
cost. You’ve got to move that utility. How come on one site you consider
all the costs, but on (another) one, it’s a separate project?” Nichols
Williams, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said the
project was never presented as anything other than a $280 million
convention center during the Chamber’s MAPS 3 campaign.
row over the substation may come to a head before the end of next
month. Wenger said it’s likely the issue will go before the City Council
the preliminary timeline presented to all subcommittees had all
projects except for the convention center being completed by the end of
convention center, the most expensive item, was to have a two-year gap
in between land acquisition in mid-2014 and construction planning in
2016, with completion set for mid-2021.
that timeline met stiff resistance when presented to the convention
center subcommittee, and some advisory board and City Council members
expressed concern that it was the last project to be completed, although
it has one of the highest economic impacts.
A revised timeline was requested, and at the May 10 meeting, Architectural Design Group presented the subcommittee with several options.
tweaking the convention center timeline pushed back final project
completion of three projects: the streetcar, the park and Oklahoma River
up the planning phase further delayed other projects, according to ADG,
which presented the subcommittee with six different options for
speeding up the convention center planning.
recommended one of the 2014 timelines; the subcommittee voted
unanimously to recommend the 2013 timeline to the MAPS 3 Citizens
starting planning on the convention center in 2013, it should be
completed by mid-2018, and would follow MAPS 3 improvements to trails,
sidewalks and the fairgrounds, in terms of completion order.
it would also push back all work on the MAPS 3 central park, other than
land acquisition, until the first quarter of 2019, including work on
the upper park, which is to be located between the relocated Interstate
40 and the future boulevard.
the timeline passed by the convention center subcommittee, the upper
park would not be completed until the end of 2020, and the lower park
would be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
said the city has not responded to changes that occurred since the Core
to Shore plan, and putting the park at the end would help it develop in
ways it could not under a shorter timeline.
think the park would be greatly helped by putting it as far back in the
process as possible,” he said. “As it relates to the park, time is on
their side. Time will benefit the park. If we build the park, if we
build it now, they won’t come.”
said council members have advised they wanted to see the upper park
open at the same time as the boulevard, and that pushing back work on
the upper park could affect other projects, such as the SkyDance
pedestrian bridge, which will span the realigned Interstate 40.
under the proposed timeline, the modern streetcar would have about a
two-and-a-half-year gap between planning and construction; river
improvements would have almost four years of inactivity between
construction and its final stages; and completion of the senior wellness
centers would be delayed by almost two years. The new timeline probably
will not be presented to all of the other MAPS 3 subcommittees prior to
its consideration by the Citizens Advisory Board on May 26, Wenger