Plaza and MAPS 3
As director of the Plaza District Association, I really wanted to shine some light on the possibilities this proposal could bring to our district. Aside from the many benefits these projects will add to the entire city, there are a few that have the potential to become incredibly beneficial to the Plaza District.
Convention Center-We need a convention center. The opportunity to have large amounts of visitors spending money (downtown, hotels, food) in our city (and then leaving) is one of the greatest aspects of this proposal. When people travel, even on conventions and conferences, they will shop. What does one do before traveling? Well, they get online and search for things to do. I know, that by the time our new convention center is built, when a traveler googles “things to do in oklahoma city” the Plaza District will come up as one of the places to be. They’ll want to come to DNA Galleries to get a Oklahoma tshirt, or handmade scarf from Collected Thread. They’ll notice there’s a unique performance happening at Lyric Theatre while they are in town. That’s why the Plaza needs the convention center. Our district holds the local, unique flavor that visitors long for.
Transit-While it will be our job to get their attention, they’ll need to be able to get here easily. We’re lucky to have the buses stopping in our district, but the public using the buses are not the public using many of our businesses. While the first phase of public transit will be met with MAPS 3, it will likely not extend this far into 16th. It is important that the groundwork for public transit is laid, and that it is laid now. My hope is this will open doors in public transit to the plaza for the future.
All in all, the increased tourism generated from these projects will not only benefit the Plaza District, but the city as a whole. Many of the other projects will play an integral role in the further development of our district. While not a direct impact for the plaza, the focus on health initiatives associated with the trails, senior centers are so valuable for a state ranked so high in obesity. The cultural opportunities the park and river projects will provide are exciting-venues, public art and gatherings that will enhance the arts in our state.
I posted this blog for, and encourage discussion. Feel free to comment your ideas and views. Also, we will be hosting a MAPS 3 Forum on Monday, November 23rd with Mayor Cornett at 5:30 PM. PhotoArt Studios 1738 NW 16th. Please come to learn more. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.