Faced with major decisions on the plan, Norman, OK officials have subcontracted a firm to review projections and reports on a proposed OU arena project.
A proposal from the OU Foundation calls for the construction of a new venue that could host the University of Oklahoma‘s basketball programs, and anchor a surrounding development that includes entertainment areas. This development, which would take place in the north section of University North Park in Norman, would be backed in part by $102.7 million in tax increment finance revenues.
The Norman City Council is expected to vote on the proposal in August. In the interim, the firm HVS has been tabbed to review previous projections on the proposal and effectively give officials a new way to analyze the project. Multiple materials have been turned over to HVS, which is expected to deliver its report by the end of June. More from the Norman Transcript:
Center for Economic Development Law firm partner Emily Pomeroy, who is working as a consultant for the city, said HVS has been provided the RTKL master plan and development phasing spreadsheet, the CS&L report, OU business professor Robert Dauffenbach’s report, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce report on economic fiscal impacts, and a recently released report by OU economics professor Cynthia Rogers….
Pomeroy said the Center for Economic Development law entered into an agreement with HVS, on behalf of the city, on May 29, and turned those materials over to the firm.
“They were seeking someone without any vested interest in the project, someone that carries a lot of credibility, so I think that’s why they came to us,” said HVS managing director Thomas Hazinski. “We don’t have any dog in the hunt. We were just asked to do an independent third-party analysis of this work.”
With a city council vote now planned for August, Hazinski said his firm had to get to work right away but expects to have the report ready by the end of the month.
Plans for the development include the 10,000-seat OU arena, plus an entertainment district, hotel, expo center, offices, park areas, residential units, and more. If the proposal is to move forward and the arena is used by OU, it would replace Lloyd Noble Center as the home of the university’s basketball programs.