“Parking is critical,” Bond said, adding he is seeking to create a new financing model that can be adopted by other future downtown developers.
Cathy O'Connor, president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City that oversees the facilities trust, said her staff will spend a couple of weeks evaluating Payne's proposal.
Payne's was the only response to a request for proposals issued last month, and follows several years of fruitless efforts to sell or lease the space.
“It's all still subject to negotiations and finding solutions acceptable to the Cultural and Industrial Facilities Trust and the developer,” O'Connor said.
Respect for memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism submitted letters endorsing the development.
Payne, a former memorial trustee, said he strived to ensure his plans complemented and respected the memorial and its operations. Hiring Hans Butzer, who designed the memorial, was part of that effort, Payne said, adding the architect also is respected in urban design and historic preservation.
Kari Watkins, Oklahoma City National Memorial director, said she hopes Payne's project can start soon so it can coincide with an upcoming renovation and exhibit upgrade of the museum.
“We hope a year from now we're in museum redesign at the same time that they're under construction,” Watkins said. “That would be very exciting.”
Watkins and Payne said they hope the proposed redevelopment can be completed by 2015 — the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the nearby Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
“We would like to move quickly, firm up an agreement with the city and move on,” Payne said. “We're very cognizant that the 20th anniversary of the bombing is coming up, and we'd like to see it ready at that time. The market is ready.”