Oklahoma City Innovation District and Capitol Environs Land Use and Strategic Development Plan

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
A Region Positioned for Growth

As the city nears its centennial, it’s an exciting time in Oklahoma City, one that will impact the City and its economy for generations. Our work continues the achievements of the Brookings Study and creates a dense, active, safe, pedestrian friendly, and engaging mixed-use environment. The story of our efforts can be best told in three chapters; a master plan for the State of Oklahoma Capitol Environs, the core Innovation District, and an overall Land Use Plan that stabilizes, revitalizes, and develops cohesion for eastern Oklahoma City.

Our plan establishes a blueprint to manifest the vision for the Oklahoma City Innovation District and Capitol Environs, providing existing and future influencers a common purpose as they shape the project’s future towards healthy, sustainable growth.

THE LAND USE PLAN
Revitalizing Northeastern OKC

Defines the land use and corridor priorities for the entire 1,400-acre study area. It establishes the roadmap for future development spurred by the success of the Innovation District. The plan expands on the long-range land use, transportation, and open space policy guidance of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, planokc, especially relating to the urban design, while ensuring that new development is compatible and complementary to the existing context.

THE INNOVATION CORE
Founders Plaza at Stiles Park Redevelopment

The development of the Innovation Core represents an opportunity to reimagine and expand the existing Founders Plaza at Stiles Park, an area immediately recognizable today by the Beacon of Hope monument located at its center. Surrounded by a mix of buildings with active ground level uses, this flexible space provides a neutral ground that can be programmed to accommodate the needs of the diverse users that the Innovation District intends to attract and serve—including those from educational institutions, research entities, corporate players, workforce organizations and community members.

STATE CAPITOL ENVIRONS
Green Spaces and Community Places

Guides the growth and development and maximizes the use of state-owned land, while building new iconic office buildings, pedestrian-friendly retail spaces and tourism destinations that celebrate the seat of the state government.

EFFECTIVENESS
Immediate Implementation

The plan implementation began before it was finalized. City leaders took the near-term priority projects identified, developed budgets, and incorporated them into their next Metropolitan Area Projects capital program. (MAPS 4 is a debt-free public improvement program funded by a temporary penny sales tax that will raise a projected $978 million over eight years.) MAPS 4 was added to the ballot, and in December 2019, it passed with an overwhelming 71.7% approval. The plan will live on through its incorporation into regulatory documents, which is currently underway.

Our outreach program connected with nearly 500 community members through surveys, seven community forums, and 60 user group interviews. There were 15 key stakeholder groups, including the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, and more.
“The best innovation districts in the world have rich, entrepreneurial cultures, are powerful, sustaining economic engines for their communities, and have critical quality of place, manifest in vibrant and connected mixed-use communities. This is the vision represented in our plan.”

Katy Boren, President and CEO of the Oklahoma City Innovation District

After
The 10th street expansion features a bridge that reconnects the Innovation District with Automobile Alley and Downtown Business District. At the street level, 10th street with include a park-like area.
Before
In OKC, not unlike cities across the country, the fabric of the community was torn asunder with the development of freeways. In this case, the east was disconnected from the west.
THE INNOVATION DISTRICT
Regional Economic Expansion

The OKC Innovation District is the core catalyst of the plan. The quality of place is manifested through a vibrant mixed-use district designed to foster a culture of innovation. The project byproduct is $1.2 billion in annual economic impact, including 6,600 jobs with incomes for many likely to exceed local wages, is part of a strategy focusing on creating upward mobility for residents in, and nearby, the district.

The Henrietta B. Foster Center in 1960 (above) and 2019 (below)
A vision of the restored Henrietta B. Foster Center.
Through the engagement process, participants expressed the importance of preserving the historic Jewel Theatre, the Henrietta B. Foster Center, historic homes, and the Booker T. Washington Park, as well as other remnants of the formerly vibrant African American business community.
RESTORING HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOODS
Economic Inclusion

Transforming the Henrietta B. Foster Center into a Minority Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center should provide wealth building opportunities for community members while giving new life to a building with historic significance to the community. The proposal restores the historic mid century-modern architecture of the building.

Project Team

People
Stephen Coulston
People
Cassie Branum
People
Jeff Williams