economic development

Workers erect scaffolding outside the First National Center building in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council discussed making changes to the tax increment finance district, or TIF, for the area affected by MAPS projects.

The council wants to increase the budget for the downtown MAPS district – adding $40 million to bring the total to $165 million.

“The says that the investment so far has already brought in $1.8 billion in private money, and adding the $40 million would bring in another $1 billion,” said The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks.

The site of the MAPS 3 park in downtown Oklahoma City.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Ever since the 2009 passage of the MAPS 3 sales tax incentive that would fund a series of civic project in Oklahoma City, residents have been waiting for the park.

The so-called "core-to-shore" vision would connect the Myriad Botanical Gardens with the Oklahoma River, with an already-built pedestrian bridge bisecting Interstate 40 and connecting the two halves of the 70-acre greenbelt.

Signs dot the lawns of supporters of Norman Forward along South Lahoma Ave.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Voters will decide Tuesday on one of Norman’s largest capital improvement projects in recent memory. Norman Forward is a 15-year half-a-percent sales tax that’s expected to raise more than $200 million for more than a dozen quality-of-life initiatives. But some citizens are concerned it’s too much over too long of a period.

“We can pick the most popular projects and build slowly instead of trying to bite it off all in one chunk,” said Norman resident Jim Seifried.

Suzette Grillot talks with University of Oklahoma economist Firat Demir about how the millions of refugees streaming into Syria are affecting daily life in Istanbul, and could impact parlimentary elections weeks from now.

Then, a conversation about business ethics and responsibility in the developing world with Melike Yetken. She works with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Melike Yetken speaking at an April 23, 2015 policy forum at American University that looked at how NGOs and government agencies are collaborating with the private sector to help solve poverty and development-related public policy problems.
American University - School of Public Affairs / Flickr

Last year President Obama announced a National Action Plan that would follow United Nations guidelines to promote responsible business practices and human rights around the world.

A motorist drives by a police barricade placed along Sheridan Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City in advance of a visit from President Barack Obama Wednesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

President Obama’s visit to Oklahoma dominated the news cycle this week, and basically shut down small portions of downtown Oklahoma City, Durant, Interstate 40 – pretty much anywhere inside a one-block radius of the president.

The White House provided only a six day heads up Obama was headed to Oklahoma, and that caused some rapid rearrangement of events in the area, according to The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt:

A view of Broadway Avenue from the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Four months ago, Oklahoma City hit a snag on the long-awaited MAPS 3 convention center in downtown. In March, the city dropped a land bid for the location they wanted just south of the Myriad Gardens.

Oklahoma City budgeted $13 million for land acquisition, and the current owners wanted $100 million, so they had to figure something else out.

The city hired the consulting firm Populous to do that, and on Tuesday the group unveiled its site evaluations and made its pitch to the city council.

The unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It's been almost a month since the end of the legislative session, and Oklahoma City leaders are now starting to address one of 2015's more closely-followed bills - the fate of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.

The Journal Record Building at 621 N. Robinson Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday the City Council of Oklahoma City approved a revised agreement for the redevelopment of one of downtown’s most historically significant buildings.

401 (K) 2012 / Flickr.com

A new monthly survey report says April results suggest that slow economic growth remains ahead for nine Midwestern and Plains states.

The survey report issued Friday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 52.7 last month from 51.4 in March.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says rising economic expectations from non-energy firms, resulting from lower energy prices, "more than offset economic pessimism stemming from weakness in firms directly tied to energy."

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