Add to that the potential for 50 percent of any increase in property values at the former Kerr-McGee Tower being renovated by SandRidge Energy, and the downtown TIF budget plan is widely expected to see a bonanza in the next few years.
Brent Bryant, economic development program manager at the city, reports the fund is already growing thanks to the opening of the Skirvin Hilton hotel, Legacy at Arts Quarter apartments and The Centennial — all Urban Renewal projects.
Collections between 2001 and 2006 totaled $6.8 million.
The amount for last year totaled $2.7 million.
Bryant estimates it will jump to $3.5 million next year.
Plenty of takers
O'Connor sees no shortage of takers for any increase in TIF funding — and she said she strongly believes Devon's project will be followed by more high-rises in the immediate neighborhood.
"There is an element of spin-off here,” O'Connor said.
O'Connor, who was one of the key team members credited with putting together financing for the Skirvin renovation, said the TIF has been a critical component of downtown's resurgence.
"Just think about what we put into the Skirvin — we couldn't have done it without the TIF,” O'Connor said.
"And I think that's true with every project we've participated in. They wouldn't have been completed in the time they were done, or to the quality we've seen, without it.”