NEWS 9: OKLAHOMA'S OWN IN FOCUS: THE 16 PROJECTS OF MAPS 4
By: Deanne Stein, Bella Roddy
Published: January 16, 2024
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – MAPS 4 is a debt-free program looking to raise more than a billion dollars over 8 years.
That funding comes through a temporary penny sales tax. In total, MAPS 4 will fund 16 projects.
Here are the 16 projects, and what we know about each one so far.
In 2024, the Oklahoma City Council approved a budget increase for a multipurpose stadium through MAPS 4, according to the city. The budget has been raised from $41 million to $71 million, the city says.
With the new funding, the stadium will be built in downtown Oklahoma City. The tax increment financing and other city funds will go toward the stadium’s construction, the city says.
The stadium would include a United States Soccer Federation-approved pitch, seating for 8,000 people, locker rooms and suites, according to the city. The city is hoping the stadium will drive the development of sports-centered entertainment.
“This outcome addresses three challenges,” Mayor David Holt said in a press release from Oklahoma City. “The MAPS 4 stadium project was always funded below the level this city deserves, the project never had a budget for land acquisition, and the land south of Bricktown needs a catalyst. With adoption of this plan by the Council, we have a more appropriate budget for the stadium, we can secure the donation of land, and we will provide the spark this particular property needs. That we can do all of this without general fund tax dollars is a win-win.”
OKC Energy FC Ownership is set to purchase some undeveloped land south of Bricktown and donate 7.2 acres for this project.
The MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board and MAPS 4 Venues Subcommittee must approve the land donation. That would happen in the early spring, the city says.
MAPS 4 Animal Shelter Designs Unveiled
Also in 2024, plans for a new animal shelter in Oklahoma City were unveiled during a MAPS 4 Neighborhood Subcommittee. Now, the new $42 million shelter is one step away from going before the city council.
Community members claim that the current conditions of the shelter are evident the moment you walk through the door. “It is sad,” said Edmond resident Michelle Shoffstall. “There’s so many of them, it breaks your heart going in there.”
The city said that the building is run down and overcrowded. Jake Williams and Avenlee Strand were turned away when trying to drop off two stray huskies they rescued due to overcrowding. However, they say they weren’t impressed with the conditions. “It was kind of stinky,” Williams said. “It’s just not somewhere I would want to put these nice dogs because they deserve a nice place to stay and it’s not.”
The numbers change every day but currently, there are over 400 dogs in the shelter and that’s over capacity by 37 percent, but with the new shelter, there will be more space to save more animals. “They needed larger everything,” said Todd Edmonds, the principal architect on the project. “They just flat out have outgrown the facility, it’s evident when you walk into the facility, that they’re just busting at the seams.”
While there will be more kennels, there will be less per room, to cut down on noise and provide more natural light. There also will be a park setting outside with more outdoor play areas. “Every kennel has an outdoor play area and then we also have an outdoor play area at the front of the building,” Edmonds said.
The surgical suite will be expanded with a designated x-ray area. The plan also calls for a new barn to house farm animals. With an 85 percent adoption rate, the staff hopes to increase that to 90 percent with the goal of becoming a no-kill shelter. “I just feel like it’s going to be easy to reach that goal and exceed it whenever they’re in a new facility that is clean, smells good, is more inviting and comfortable for the public,” Edmonds said.
The designs go before the MAPS Citizen’s Advisory Committee for approval on Thursday and if approved, on to the City Council. Once everything is approved, the city hopes to break ground this fall.
PAYCOM Center Upgrades:
Oklahoma City is set to unveil brand-new renovations at the Paycom Center. The project was approved and funded through MAPS 4.
The biggest and likely most noticeable upgrade is the 14-ton jumbotron that includes a wrap-around video display.
The center scoreboard is more than 24 feet tall and 125 feet around.
It also includes an additional 8-foot upper screen and an inside lower one for courtside fans.
Twelve additional screens will be added throughout the arena, and the total cost comes in at $7.5 million.
MAPS funding also went toward $9 million in new seating plus $2.5 million for new elevator motors.
“There’s still going to be events going on. There’s still going to be games. There’s still going to be concerts and all those. We can’t just let the place fall apart,” said Todd.
But when it comes to the arena, there is one update the city is waiting to hear. One promised earlier this year.
“Stay tuned. Stay engaged, be ready to step up some time before the end of this year when we have to put this on the ballot. And we all need to jointly commit to continuing this city’s momentum and its renaissance,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said to News 9 in July.
A proposal is expected by the end of the summer. The current upgrades to Paycom come in the midst of a three-year contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It ends in 2026.
Neighborhood & Community Parks:
This $154 Million MAPS 4 Project includes $70.2 million to upgrade 105 neighborhood and community parks across Oklahoma City.
According to Oklahoma City’s website, this will include:
- Upgrade parks ($70.3 million)
- Operating fund for park maintenance ($16.5 million)
- New soccer and related facilities ($32 million)
- Oklahoma River enhancements ($12.8 million)
- Community gardens ($500,000)
- Outdoor basketball and pickleball courts ($500,000)
- Placemaking at Lake Stanley Draper ($2.5 million)
- Renovation of Booker T. Washington Park ($5 million)
- Minnis Lakeview Park improvements ($500,000)
- Northeast Community Center enhancements ($2 million)
- New park in Canadian County within OKC ($2.25 million)
- New park in Cleveland County within OKC ($2.25 million)
- New park in southeast OKC ($2.25 million)
- New park in far northeast OKC ($2.25 million)
According to the Oklahoma City Council, the total project budget for youth centers is $118 million.
The plan so far us to create four new youth centers, and to provide funding for operation.
Senior Wellness Center:
According to the OKC Council, the total project budget for the senior wellness center is $31.7 million.
This project will include building a senior wellness center, and providing funding for operation and financial assistance for low-income seniors.
Mental Health Facilities:
The total project budget for mental health facilities is $44.6 million, according to the Oklahoma City Council.
This project will include two new mental health crisis centers, a new restoration center, and temporary crisis housing.
Family Justice Center Updates:
The Palomar Family Justice Center is getting a brand-new building with the help of MAPS 4 funding.
The staff at Palomar first pitched the idea to the city back in 2019. This vision is finally becoming a reality three years later after getting $42 million from the MAPS 4 resolution.
The new building, set to reside across the street, will be 80,000 square feet, nearly triple the size of their current space.
The expansion will also allow them to bring in new partners and a training facility.
The team is already in the design phase of the project and meeting with architects.
They plan to break ground this year and be completely done by 2025.
Bus Rapid Transit project will have $97 million in funding and would be done in 2029, making it one of the last MAPS 4 projects to be competed.
MAPS 4 includes $61 million to build two additional Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines in South and Northeast Oklahoma City.
Sidewalks, Trails, Bike Lanes, And Street Lights:
According to the Oklahoma City Council, MAPS 4 will provide $96.5 million to upgrade the neighborhoods across the city by providing funding for sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and streetlights.
$61 million is for the construction of sidewalks, sidewalk amenities and placemaking. The OKC council says that they will be prioritizing the ‘Pedestrian Priority Areas’ and schools identified by the bikewalkokc plan, as well as other districts and community assets, including the Clara Luper Corridor, Capitol Hill, Stockyards, Windsor District, Old Britton, and MAPS youth and senior wellness centers.
Another $22 million is said to be for the construction of bicycle lanes and related bicycle facilities.
Another $9 million is said to be for trail connectivity to Lake Stanley Draper and the Oklahoma River in south Oklahoma City, as well as trail amenities potentially including bathrooms, fountains and signage throughout the Oklahoma City trail system.
$4 million is said to be for the placement of 1,000 new streetlights in areas that lack them.
According to the OKC Council, MAPS 4 will “transform Oklahoma City’s approach to reducing and eventually eliminating homelessness”. $55.7 million is said to be for creating affordable housing. The $55.7 million is expected to leverage more than $400 million in funding from other sources.
According to the Oklahoma City Council, an $18.9 million “diversion hub” will be created to “transform the city’s approach to criminal justice, relieve pressure on the Oklahoma County jail and help low-level offenders establish a more productive life.” The diversion hub is said to work with low-level offenders to provide a diversion away from time behind bars. Operational costs will be covered by a donation of $20 million.
MAPS 4 broke ground on a new community space in December 2022, in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Innovation District.
The $76.7 million development will offer stores, restaurants, and offices near Northeast 8th and I-235.
The project is planned as a four acre development and will be the site for the Innovation Hall.
The site plans to open in 2024.
Clara Lauper Center:
Oklahoma City is starting the design process for a MAPS 4 project in the northeast part of the city.
This center is honoring civil rights leader Clara Luper.
The Clara Luper Civil Rights Center will be an educational resource and a place for community gatherings. It’s something Luper always dreamed of.
The city said this project costs about $17 million.
The city is also considering turning a historic gas station into a cafe. This center will be at Northeast 25th Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
This $32.9 million project is said to go towards beautification projects across Oklahoma City, which may include gardens, plazas, gateways, bridge enhancements, murals, landscaping, artwork and more.
Located at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds, will be a $82 million coliseum.
The coliseum will replace the Jim Norick Arena – the home of horse shows, athletic events and more. The site is around 35 percent complete, and is said to feature seating for over 7,000 people, a lounge, suites, a full-service restaurant, and a grand staircase.
This project is expected to be completed by May of 2025.