Renaming withdrawn for Civic Center park in Oklahoma City

Downtown Oklahoma City will not be home to a Larry Nichols Park — at least not in front of the Civic Center Music Hall.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: April 3, 2012
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Sentiment changes

“You had one sentiment on the council, around the horseshoe, and then we found out it was going to be called Larry Nichols Park, and it was completely different,” Shadid continued. “So to put it out there that it was going to be called Larry Nichols Park, and then it (the park redesign) passes, and then to pull that back, I'm not understanding that.”

Nichols was traveling Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

The park makeover started last month, and is funded through Project 180, the $141 million tax increment finance district created through the construction of the new $750 million Devon Energy Center. While most companies and developers seek tax increment funding to assist with their own infrastructure and parking, Project 180 was created after Nichols asked the city to use the tax increment funds to improve downtown streets, sidewalks and parks.

At the end of Tuesday's council meeting, Shadid singled out the foundation with more criticism. He called its efforts to get approval for the park makeover heavy-handed.

“They did this without his (Nichols') permission,” Shadid said. “You don't throw his name out there lightly. He's a great leader for Oklahoma City.”

In an interview later Tuesday with The Oklahoman, Troy said she did not believe the park naming had anything to do with the collapse in opposition to the makeover. She clarified her group did consult with Devon Energy executives a few weeks before filing the application to rename the park.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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