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The last big pieces of Oklahoma City’s new Core to Shore project are parking facilities to serve Scissortail Park, the new convention center and convention center hotel.

That piece fell into place at the Oklahoma City Council meeting Tuesday.

The Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority report to the council estimated total costs for the whole project would be $40 million, much of which will come from MAPS 3 money still being collected.

Construction on the convention center, convention center hotel and parking facilities should be complete by midsummer, 2020.

A $14 million funding package to reimburse OG&E for the two key parcels of land and the cost to relocate the extensive information technology infrastructure and substation that are on the land are included in the $40 million.

The estimate is split between $7 million for the land and $7 million for relocation costs.

Once the land is acquired and cleared, an 800-space parking garage across the street east of the convention hotel and another 500-space surface lot south of the convention center can be built.

OG&E property questions

The biggest question from the presentation by COTPA director Jason Ferbrache and Cathy O’Connor, president of The Alliance for Economic Development, was how OG&E determined what their location costs would be.

Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid asked O’Connor at the end of her presentation if OG&E had given her any indication of how they came up with roughly $7 million in estimated costs for them to relocate their equipment.

She said they had not, even though they had talked in broad terms to her about what it might cost.

O’Connor emphasized at several points in her presentation that the $14 million was a “settlement agreement” between the city and OG&E and not based on a detailed list of costs.

She and City Manager Jim Couch indicated they thought the amount for relocation was well below what OG&E’s costs would be.

Clarifications

After her presentation, Free Press talked with O’Connor about the question of the cost of OG&E’s land and relocating equipment.

“We have an appraisal of fair market value and appraisal that places the real estate value of at least 7 million dollars,” said O’Connor.

“Then we have every indication that to replace that kind of facility with the equipment and cost to move it and re-establish it would be well in excess of $7 million dollars. So that’s where the 14 million purchase price comes from.”

Shadid objects

After the council meeting was concluded Shadid talked with the media about his objections to the price of the acquiring the OG&E properties.

He said spending additional MAPS 3 money is a “hidden subsidy for Omni Hotels.”

Omni is a private hotel chain that will build the convention center hotel. The city will not own it like it will own the convention center and other facilities being developed in that extensive set of projects.

“This has always been a hidden subsidy for the hotel. $85 million is such a big number we don’t want to make it 120 million, so we break it up into digestible pieces,” said Shadid who has been the most critical of the hotel deal since its inception.


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