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Site near I-40 picked for Oklahoma City streetcar garage

A site near the planned downtown Oklahoma City park is cost-effective and would fit well with future development goals, consultants say.
by William Crum Modified: November 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm •  Published: November 21, 2013

Consultants said Wednesday that a block adjacent to Interstate 40 near the planned downtown park would be the best choice for the MAPS 3 streetcar maintenance facility.

The $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot garage will serve the downtown streetcar, which is to open in 2017. Construction of the streetcar route is supposed to total $94.4 million.

Streetcars will run in a 4.6-mile loop through downtown, between Bricktown and Midtown.

The block, bounded by I-40 and SW 7 Street between Hudson and Walker avenues, is a cost-effective alternative to two potential Bricktown sites, a streetcar advisory panel was told.

Zoning is compatible with use as an industrial maintenance facility, and the land is part of a previous deal between the city and state dating to the relocation of I-40.

The site would include parking lots, and the maintenance garage could be expanded to 35,000 square feet as the streetcar system grows, consultants said in their presentation.

Drawings included the possible addition of a three- or four-story parking structure, and potential for street-level retail development.

The maintenance facility would be tucked into a corner of the site, screened from the nearby park and land to the north that's expected to be converted to residences.

A track leading from the streetcar route on W Reno Avenue would run down Hudson before turning into the garage.

The site ties in with hopes for extending the streetcar line to the park and through future residential developments.

Plans call for the initial route to run within a block of the park. With a budget of $132 million, the 70-acre park is one of the biggest MAPS 3 projects.

by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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