An artist’s conception of a proposed hotel that would be attached to downtown Oklahoma City’s new convention center.
Provided / Omni Hotel and Resorts

Earlier this week, the Oklahoma City Council voted 7-2 to pursue negotiations with the developer Omni for a proposed hotel attached to downtown Oklahoma City’s new convention center that’s part of the MAPS 3 series of projects.

Workers install a stone façade outside one of four Senior Wellness Centers being built as part of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 program.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Several Oklahoma City civic leaders gathered Tuesday evening for a town hall meeting to discuss the city’s 10-year general obligation bond issue, which voters won’t decide until next year.

Ian Borrows battles the waves in the Canoe Singles (C1) Men event at the team trial in Oklahoma City on May 7, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Canoe and kayak slalom athletes competed in Oklahoma City this weekend for their chance to represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The team trials coincided with the opening of Oklahoma City’s Riversport Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center. The new $45.2 million Riversport Rapids center at Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District is part of the MAPS 3 one cent municipal sales tax.

An artist’s conception of the new convention center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Populous and GSB Inc.

During Tuesday’s Oklahoma City Council meeting, Ward 5’s David Greenwell said it’s hard to get excited about things like the proposed MAPS 3 convention center until you see some of the architectural renderings.

Those were presented this week, and one of the issues with this new convention center seems to be parking.

Ward 2 councilman Ed Shadid, who’s pretty vocal about his concerns when it comes to using public money for large-scale projects, raised the point during the architects’ presentation.

homeless person holding a sign
AR McLin / Flickr

Oklahoma City councilmembers John Pettis and Mark Stonecipher introduced a new ordinance January 19 that adds more restrictions to panhandling laws that went into effect in December.

The new ordinance would change the definition of "aggressive" to include panhandling within 50 feet of a school bus stop or an elementary campus.

Updated January 26, 9:35 a.m.

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.

The site of downtown Oklahoma City’s new convention center will run along S. Broadway Avenue.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council closed its meeting with an executive session, and when they emerged, it look less than 30 seconds to cap months of speculation and uncertainty over the site of the MAPS 3 Convention Center.

The council moved to pick a site known as East Park 1, located south of the Chesapeake Energy Arena from SW 3rd to SW 7th streets between Robinson Ave. and Shields Blvd.

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.

Sue Wyglendowski grooms one of the 16 collies she brought from Mantua, Ohio, for the 2015 Collie Club of America National Specialty Show at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Last week, Oklahoma City said it would reopen the search process for the site of the MAPS 3 convention center, and on Tuesday the city council voted to abandon the originally planned location near the Myriad Gardens.

The previous site plan for the downtown Oklahoma City convention center.
Courtesy rendering / The Journal Record

Tuesday afternoon Oklahoma City leaders announced they would start looking for a new site for the convention center that's part of the Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS 3, proposal voters approved in 2009.

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.

MAPS Turns 20

Dec 6, 2013

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the original Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) program.

By voting for a temporary one-cent sales tax, the citizens of Oklahoma City enabled the city to collect nearly $310 million dollars to help fund nine "quality of life" projects in downtown Oklahoma City.

The resulting development and renovations sparked a genuine revitalization of downtown Oklahoma City. 

Provided / City of Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved a route for the first phase of a streetcar line as part of the MAPS 3 series of projects.

The 4.5-mile route framework connects Bricktown, Midtown, and a future convention center and downtown park also approved as part of MAPS 3.

OKC Taking Up Streetcar Route Sept. 24

Aug 23, 2013
City of Oklahoma City

Members of the Oklahoma City Council are expected to take up the route of a planned streetcar next month.

A news release from the city says the council will consider a MAPS 3 route framework for the streetcar Sept. 24.

OKC Boulevard Still Work In Progress

Jul 8, 2013
City of Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation continues to seek public input on the future development of the Oklahoma City Boulevard. The new street is part of the re-alignment of Interstate 40 near downtown.

Many residents expressed concern over early versions of the boulevard during a series of public meetings on the proposal, which included a longer elevated portion of the roadway.