The Edmond Sun


February 20, 2014

Big plans made for Edmond’s downtown

EDMOND — A presentation by Freese Nichols consultants of Fort Worth was made Wednesday to city staff and local business leaders regarding the Downtown Master Plan.

The Central Edmond Urban Development Board has revisited plans made in a 1998 Downtown Master Plan. Wednesday’s meeting hosted by the Urban Board was one of a series of meetings made by the consultant group. The city hired the group to make recommendations to protect the future development of Broadway.

“You’ve got an anchor of Fifth Street where the Jazz Lab and some of that mixed use is,” said Wendy Shabay, an associate urban planner with Freese Nichols. “There are some residential opportunities to fill around that.” Residential focused development could serve as a bookend on Broadway and Fifth Street.

Some shared parking strategies could be developed in the downtown area of municipal government, she said. This could include building a parking lot over the Citizen’s Bank drive-through as well as at the parking lot for the First Methodist Church, she said.

Potential opportunities to bridge the University of Central Oklahoma to the Central Business District by developing mixed use residential living on the east side of the railroad tracks as well as west of Boulevard.

“One of the keys to this is in order to pull this off, you’ve got to think about parking in another way,” Shabay said. “You can’t take blocks of surface parking for one use and be able to have success in what everybody needs to do.”

The Central Business District area goes from Danforth to Ninth Street, to slightly west of the railroad tracks and then borders the University of Central Oklahoma and then to Ninth Street and Boulevard. This study will be limited in scope from Danforth to Fifth Street. The idea could be repeated one block north of Campbell just east of the railroad tracks, she said.

“Then you really start to have a bigger development block and abandon that part of Campbell,” she said. “What’s nice about that is you have Old North to anchor at the other end of Campbell.”

Long-term plans for transit have been identified for locating transit east of the railroad tracks and a few blocks north of West Edmond Road.

The Regional Transit Dialogue Steering Committee has identified three rail corridors that could link to the $120 million modern street car system being constructed with an intermodal hub in downtown Oklahoma City. RTD calls for the hub to link Edmond, Norman, Midwest City and Tinker Air Force Base.

Commercial in-fill with transit parking to also be able to utilize  the Downtown Festival Market would provide connectivity for pedestrians. Retail frontage south of Edmond Road would work well with residential frontage behind it, she said.

“One of the things we heard is UCO may be looking for a performing arts center,” Shabay said. “One of the things we certainly heard from all the downtown users is we need some entertainment to bring more people into the downtown area.”

She said constructing a performing arts center on Broadway near Fifth Street would be an iconic investment for the city. Another parking garage would help pull in the retail off of Fifth Street.

The use of placing circles on key intersections was also discussed.

Private investment and the use of private/public partnerships was given as a way to fund the projects. Developer Pete Reeser suggested that the city of Edmond should follow the lead of Oklahoma City with something similar to a MAPS plan. | 341-2121


Text Only
  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Lambrecht Construction to build office

    The commercial site plan of a physician’s office was approved recently by the Edmond Planning Commission by a vote of 4-0.
    Lambrecht Construction plans to build the office at 3917  E. Covell Road in the Fairfax Business Office, north of Covell and west of Sooner Road, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg City to improve traffic flow

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one

    Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
    Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
    In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.

    July 26, 2014