Looking to future
Dedmon said construction will start this summer on the police headquarters, with the courthouse construction to follow in 2014. The parking won't be built until the two buildings are completed. The entire project is expected to be finished in 2016.
Oklahoma City Planning Director Russell Claus, meanwhile, is studying how best to use the new police and court complex to stimulate redevelopment of the west fringe of downtown.
“There is a lot of vacant land in the area, a significant amount of which is owned by the city or in association with the city,” Claus said.
“The redevelopment of Main Street would be imminent if we could change the dynamic on those currently vacant or underutilized properties.”
Claus noted that a block south of the Civic Center, along Sheridan Avenue, a vibrant redevelopment known as “Film Row” has taken root.
But the block of Main Street between the police and court complex and Film Row has remained largely blighted.
One option, Claus said, could be to build a parking garage between the police headquarters and court that could also serve the Civic Center Music Hall and other government entities. By doing so, he said, surface parking lots that litter the area could be developed quickly.
“That side of town has great access, great proximity, and a great view of the downtown skyline,” Claus said. “From many a perspective, that area is definitely going to develop with just a bit of a catalyst. And redevelopment of the police and court complex can assist in that process.”
It will be designed in a way that it will be more usable, but we also want it to be inviting to the public and architecturally pleasing.”
Deputy Police Chief Tom Jester,