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Devon Tower to give Oklahoma City projects a boost

By Steve Lackmeyer Modified: December 27, 2009 at 10:03 am •  Published: August 22, 2008

/> 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.”

What is a tax increment finance district?
A tax increment finance district, also known as a TIF, allows a city, town or county to use tax money generated by a new development to pay for public improvements in the development area.

Improvements associated with redevelopment projects can be supported by bonds, with the debt to be repaid by money generated within the TIF district. The downtown TIF is set to expire in 17 years.

Allocations from the fund
•The Skirvin Hilton hotel: $14.65 million

•Legacy at Arts Quarter: $2.5 million

•The Triangle (phase I) $3.6 million

•Block 42: $990,000

•The Hill: $2.65 million

•St. Anthony Hospital: $600,000

Approved, but not spent
•Overholser Greens: $1.75 million

•MidTown Renaissance: $1 million

•Film District: $605,000

•Triangle (Phase II): $3.75 million

Projects pending approval
•Canal extension between Reno Avenue and the end of the north segment: $1.05 million

•Harding and Shelton Reno Avenue garage: $3 million

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