“We must overcome previously held perceptions about our community. One area of town can affect other parts of Oklahoma City. And re-engaging means rebuilding trust,” Lyons said. “I-240 is a critical corridor between Will Rogers (World Airport) and Tinker (Air Force Base). It is important to all Oklahoma City, not just South Oklahoma City. And Envision 240 must excite and engage external audiences to attract residents and businesses and retail to move back into our community.”
I-240 is not the only part of the city that could use a new shine.
Claus noted some of planOKC's policy guidelines:
• Reaffirmation for high-performing retail centers such as Quail Springs Mall.
• Revitalization for areas such as around Northpark Mall.
• Revision for areas such as Penn Square Mall, which is healthy but surrounded by areas that need retail improvement, and Northwest Expressway, where challenges to commercial-neighborhood relations include stores with deep setbacks from the street and stores disconnected from other stores.
Meeting housing demand over the next 20 years, he said, will require different kinds of building. He said 90 percent of housing being built now is designed for families with children, but that demographic represents just 34 percent of the population and is in decline.
More condos will be needed, Claus said. A city survey showed 9 percent of respondents wanting to live in a condo or town house, but those kind of homes make up less than 1 percent of the housing supply in Oklahoma City.
Another survey statistic sounds like Envision 240's vision: Claus said 70 percent of respondents said they would pay up to $200 more per month to be able to live, work, shop and play in one neighborhood.