economic development

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 /

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."

Jenks Mayor Lonnie Sims speaks during a press conference on the upcoming vote to renew the Vision 2025 sales tax.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

A Tulsa tax package will be up for renewal by voters this fall, but with a new twist.

Vision2025, a Tulsa County tax plan similar to Oklahoma City’s MAPS project, is a 0.6 percent sales tax passed in 2003. Since then, it has raised over $600 million for various community projects.

But this year, cities affected by the tax plan have the chance to opt out, says Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks.

Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Air Force officials attend the announcement of a deal that will provide more land for Tinker Air Force Base.
Kelly White / Tinker Take Off

On Wednesday Tinker Air Force Base announced it now owns 158 acres of land just west of the base to house the maintenance hub for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46A Pegasus, which is designed to be the next-generation aerial refueling plane.

The land previously belonged to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co., which used it as a yard to serve the General Motors assembly plant that closed nearly a decade ago.

Traffic passes in front of the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Tuesday the Oklahoma City Council approved a request for proposals for a hotel catering to the convention center that will be built as part of the series of projects funded by the MAPS 3 temporary sales tax extension.

During the meeting, the council heavily stressed the importance of building enough parking for the hotel, convention center, and other uses around town, as well as alternate funding to make sure developers can complete the project.

Cory Moates, owner of Moates Excavating, left, and Tim Kent, environmental director of The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, inspect ongoing chat disposal from a site near Quapaw. The pit is the top of a collapsed mine near Picher.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

Monday The Journal Record published its Tribal Economic Impact issue, a deep dive into how Oklahoma’s federally recognized Native American groups fund their services and contribute to Oklahoma’s economy.

Deidre Myers, Deputy Secretary For Workforce Development, Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

At Oklahoma State University’s annual Economic Outlook Conference Tuesday, industry professionals criticized low teacher pay, but forecasted continued job growth in education and several other jobs through 2015.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s Deidre Myers wants employers to think outside of basic qualifications during the hiring process.

Myers questioned the value of requiring applicants to have specific majors like economics or finance when looking for jobs in the business field. She says most jobs require analytic and critical thinking skills…rather than an expertise in a narrowly defined field.

Miran Rijavec Stan Dalone /

A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains states suggests economic growth in the region will slow down in the months ahead.

A survey report issued Wednesday says the overall September index dropped nearly three points to 54.3, from 57.2 the previous month.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says a drop in grain prices over the past year has led to a pullback in economic activity for the heavily agrarian region.

Dave Worley

The manufacturing segment of the Choctaw Nation has announced a $10.7 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for 500 vehicles, modular trailers and water dispensing systems.

The equipment will support the U.S. Marine Corps. The vehicles— known as the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement or MTVR— are designed to work under extreme off-road conditions.

Rebecca Cruise reports on the Xi Jinping's tour of South Asia and its effects on the future of trade between China and those countries. She also outlines President Obama's strategy to help contain the Ebola outbreak devastating West Africa.

Later in the program, Suzette Grillot interviews groundbreaking social entrepreneur Paul Polak about his strategies for pulling people out of poverty around the world.

When Paul Polak visited Bangladesh for the first time he did what he says people with humanitarian aims don’t do enough. He asked the residents what they needed.

“They quickly told me in Bangladesh that they were poor because they made most of their money from farming on small one-acre farms,” Polack says. “And what they needed most to earn more income was affordable irrigation.”

riveraa8 / Flickr Creative Commons

Author and Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program fellow Jennifer Bradley argues that cities like Oklahoma City are vital to a post-recession economy. During Oklahoma City’s 2014 Mayor’s Development Roundtable in May, she said she admires Oklahoma’s progress and improvement.

“When it comes to building a livable, sustainable, and economically viable place, there’s no such thing as finished,” Bradley says.

Oklahoma City Skyline at night
StevenSmith1 / Flickr Creative Commons

Since 2002, Oklahoma City’s mayor has hosted a Development Roundtable to bring together local leaders and outside experts for conversation about the city’s expansion, progress, and improvement.