The Oklahoma City Thunder are partnering with a developer to pitch Thunder Alley, a proposed entertainment complex outside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder have paired with Hogan Property Co. on the proposal for Thunder Alley, which would be developed on a site just south of Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown OKC, between Robinson Avenue and E.K. Gaylord Boulevard. Under the current plans, the complex would feature restaurants, a basketball court with a retractable roof, and a public plaza with room for food trucks and artwork that includes a basketball with a mirrored finished (rendering above). In addition, the plans leave room for a controlled 70-car surface parking lot that could provide additional truck docking space for the arena.
The vision for Thunder Alley outlined in the proposal–which was submitted to the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, and includes a request for tax increment financing–would effectively provide new amenities and a gathering space with connectivity to the adjacent arena. Construction could begin next spring in anticipation of a 2021 opening, but that will ultimately require Urban Renewal Authority approval. More from NewsOK:
“The development, while it cannot compete with the scale of the adjacent arena, will become an extension of the arena,” the report states. “This will be accomplished by connecting the site with the arena’s southwest entry. A small landscape area will be removed and replaced with a terraced seating area allowing pedestrians to flow directly between the plaza and the arena.”
The proposal calls for a purchase price of the land set at $1.25 million or $18.55 per square foot. Properties elsewhere in downtown have sold for more than $40 per square foot.
The proposal estimates the development will total $10 million for the approximately 18,000-square-foot venue and requests $1.5 million in tax increment financing from the new Core to Shore district approved by the city council last year. Because the land has been publicly owned for decades, the potential increment could hit the full $10 million based on the formula set for the area and whatever ends up being the assessed value when it opens.
Brent Bryant, economic development programs manager with the city, said he could not comment on the request because he has yet to receive it and was unaware of it as of Tuesday. The area is, however, included in the downtown framework guidelines set by the city council which determine eligibility for TIF assistance based on density.
Chesapeake Energy Arena originally opened in 2002 as Ford Center, and has been home to the Thunder since the 2008-09 NBA season–the franchise’s first in Oklahoma City after relocating from Seattle.