Update on Broken Arrow Innovation District

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Update on Broken Arrow Innovation District

The Beck team presented the current state of the proposed masterplan for the Broken Arrow Innovation District to the Broken Arrow City Council. This presentation marks a great milestone of this multi-year, multi-discipline effort of research, analysis, and design. The masterplan identifies a framework reflective of the characteristics that drive successful innovation districts with input from local and national partners ranging from development, engineering, private, and civic realms. Find out more about this innovative project by following the link below.


Broken Arrow Plans for Innovation District

Innovation District update | City News | City of Broken Arrow (brokenarrowok.gov)

Beck Design has been selected by the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation to create a master plan for the 90-acre Innovation District. 

The Innovation District is in the TIF No. 3 boundary south of Florence Street between Olive Street and Aspen Avenue. The project includes developing a schematic layout of physical space with conceptual designs, including story, platforms, and brand experience for the Innovation District.

Beck Designs is a 42-year-old architectural firm with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and New York City. Don Beck, the principal architect of Beck Design, made a presentation to the Broken Arrow Economic Development Authority at its meeting on May 2.

His presentation included several design projects similar to the Innovation District that his team has completed in Oklahoma City, Edmond, McPherson, Kan., San Antonio, and Houston.

“Our firm has also designed several projects in Broken Arrow,” Beck said. “My most memorable one is the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center.”

He says his team is thrilled to be selected for the project.

“It’s exciting, and it’s what we do; it’s a great piece of property…We are thrilled about your opportunity,” Beck said.

Ted Cundiff, Innovation District Committee Chair, also presented a progress update to the BAEDA.

“We’re in our sixth year, this project is something that I believe is going to transform Broken Arrow, and it’s focused on the workforce,” Cundiff said.

Cundiff, the President and CEO of AVB Bank, says he is often asked what an Innovation District will be. He says it will not be an industrial park but defines the project as workforce development.

“We’re creating an environment to bring Broken Arrow’s K-12, Tulsa Tech, and higher education together with private business, so we’re creating internships, research, collaboration for our students and supporting our industries with a constant flow of workforce,” Cundiff said. “This gives our students, children, and grandchildren work and a way to stay here in Broken Arrow.”

Cundiff says he’s appreciative that the citizens of Broken Arrow realized this need and passed a bond issue to support the infrastructure for the Innovation District.

The master plan for the 90-acre Innovation District will take all the information that the committee has gathered over the last six years and couple that with the expertise provided by Beck Design.

The master plan will consider streets, zoning, plating, access, utilities, office space, mixed-use, common area, traffic flows, connectivity, walkability, and more. This plan will also include information on the Innovation District’s absorption rate, outlining the amount of retail, housing, and businesses the district can support.

Beck will deliver a final master plan concept this summer. 

Maritime Display Planned in OKC Park Along Oklahoma River

By: Kathryn McNutt//The Journal Record//April 11, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY – The crew members who served for more than 80 years aboard two U.S. Navy vessels named USS Oklahoma City will be honored at a maritime display to be located along the Oklahoma River on the north shore of Wiley Post Park, 1700 S. Robinson Ave.

The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding for the project with the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority and the USS Oklahoma City Park Association.

“It’s a fantastic day,” said retired Rear Adm. Greg Slavonic, who worked with retired Navy Cmdr. Tucker McHugh for five years to secure a location for the display. “We’re finally across the finish line. It’s an ideal site.”

Private funding for the project will be raised by the USS Oklahoma City Park Association. Slovanic said roughly $600,000 to $700,000 in grants and donations will be needed.

The site selection committee looked at many locations over time. Former Mayor Ron Norick – who was present when the USS Oklahoma City submarine was commissioned in 1988 – served on the committee and felt it needed to be by the water, Slavonic said.

Architect Don Beck has drawn renderings that show how the sail from the submarine will be displayed along an area that is the width and length of the vessel to give visitors a sense of the entire nuclear-powered attack sub.

The sail with its dive planes is the only part that can be acquired and displayed due to security concerns, Slavonic said.

“Also on this display will be pieces of the other Oklahoma City vessel. We’ll have hopefully the anchor, bell, other components from that ship,” Parks and Recreation Director Melinda McMillan-Miller said.

The USS Oklahoma City cruiser, which served the Navy from 1944 to 1979, was converted to a guided missile cruiser in 1957 and was the first U.S. warship to conduct a successful combat surface-to-surface missile shot, destroying an NVN mobile radar station in 1972.

Narrative panels are planned to tell visitors about each ship’s rich history.

The next step for the city is to petition the Department of Defense to request a long-term loan agreement for the items to be displayed, McMillan-Miller said. “Hopefully in two to three years we’ll be able to have all those components in place and we’ll be able to do a big grand opening of the new park,” she said.

McMillan-Miller noted Wiley Post Park is at the southern tip of Lower Scissortail Park, so locating the naval display there “will make a really great progression for pedestrians and people to enjoy our river parks up and down the entire river corridor. It will be a great enhancement and really harkened to the history of our wonderful military personnel and veterans who always make Oklahoma City shine.”

Slavonic, interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, said a lot of Navy veterans live in Oklahoma City.

After more than 34 years of service – including anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare missions and sensitive intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions across the globe – the USS Oklahoma City submarine was formally decommissioned last year during a ceremony at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington.

The U.S. Navy honored City Council Chief of Staff Debi Martin during the ceremony with its Meritorious Service Award, the highest honor a civilian can receive from the National Office of the U.S. Navy League. Martin served as the submarine’s primary Oklahoma City liaison for 28 years, planning tours to Oklahoma City for sailors and officers and coordinating visits to the sub for city officials.

City Councilman Mark Stonecipher, who also attended the decommissioning, said he learned while there the submarine’s mess hall was named after Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Many retired officers who served on the USS Oklahoma City come through Oklahoma City and “they always stop at Cattlemen’s to have lunch or dinner,” he said.

A nonprofit has been established to accept tax-deductible donations to fund the project. For more information or to contribute, email jmchugh5@cox.net.

OKC Zoo Announces Plans for New Marine Mammal Habitat Expansion

As a leader in animal care and wellbeing, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is proud to announce plans for its next expansion project, a new marine mammal habitat. Construction will begin Spring 2023 on this premier animal habitat that will be home to the Zoo’s California sea lions, harbor seals and potentially other species. This additional space will provide an expanded and enriched habitat for these coastal animals while creating an exciting opportunity for guests to enjoy them from a fresh perspective.

While the habitat is being constructed, the Zoo’s sea lion family including males Xander, 19, and Cash, 5, and females Piper, 22, Addie, 22, Pearl, 19, Phoenix, 6, and Isla, 4, as well as harbor seals, Liberty, 20, and Bixby, 10, will all be temporarily relocated to other Association of Zoos and Aquariums member zoos and aquariums. The Zoo’s marine mammal caretakers will be shifting to work in other animal areas throughout this transition.

Wildlife fans interested in “sea”ing our marine mammals before they move are encouraged to attend the Zoo’s sea lion presentations occurring at 1 p.m. daily and 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays now through Sunday, October 30. Sea lion presentations will be a featured attraction at the new habitat that will resume once the project is completed in 2025. Additionally, the Zoo’s Wild Encounter experience with sea lions will conclude on Sunday, October 30.