Redevelopment of Wheeler district in the works

February 19, 2017 by  

In order to encourage developers to take on the Wheeler District, the council of Oklahoma City has agreed to use public funds for the project.

Wheeler District and Downtown Airpark are areas that have seen severe neglect, but they will soon see new life through the Western Gateway. The 2.5 million square feet of the district on the Oklahoma River’s south end surrounding Western Avenue will be used for residential, commercial, and retail space, including 2,000 residential units. 3,500 people are predicted to move in and generate as much as $175m. The increase in population and revenue should create long-term positive effects on libraries and education. The city built a Ferris wheel last year to make the area recognizable.

Wiley Post Park sits east of the new district, while Wheeler Park and the districts of Farmers Market and Film Row are north on the other side of the river. When the downtown park and the convention center are finished, there are plans for more development in the area. By approving public financing for the Wheeler District, the council hopes the redevelopment will promote more of the same in the southern end of the city.

The tax increment financing allows around $120m for utilities, sidewalks, and schools. Half of it could pay for financing. Advertising, possibly through flyers, is likely to be a part of it too.