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June 18, 2012


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Nice try. I almost started to like Oklahoma City until I remembered that's where the Sonics are!

BTW, have you seen housing prices in downtown PHX recently? Everything is worth 50k more this year over last by my recollection. There is a shortage of houses for sale between Central and Scottsdale around Camelback and Indian School. Anyway I'm surprised ...

Enjoyed a great 10 year consulting gig with an OKC-based company and witnessed the early emergence of Bricktown, 2 comments:
1) As Jon observes, "Good things come to places with real economies and civic stewards." This brings to mind an elderly Jack Stewart, (Camelback Inn icon) who fathered the Fiesta Bowl in the early 70's. We won't talk about his politics, but I was there in the initial meetings and saw his civic pride on display.
2) OKC, by contrast, is driven by folks with deep roots in the community. Phoenix, as we know, is burdened by too few HQ leaders and too many uncommitted transplants, for whom the Midwest will always be "home". Feed them meatloaf, but don't talk about that vision thing.

You were warned, Chris.

I'm a Seattle area native and I don't miss the Sonics. I understand the allure and the economic returns, but I can't seem to care about a sports franchise.

Another downtown sports arena? We rebuilt the one in Seattle Center in a failed attempt to keep the team. Now we need taxpayers to approve another one? Oh wait, the taxpayers won't be allowed to decide. Whether we vote for it or against it, the politicians will build it anyway. We'll just have to pay for it.

I was only in Oklahoma one time, for a Thanksgiving in Durant.

Good luck to Oklahoma City. I hope you can build on your success and keep it going through the next few election cycles. (that ended up sounding more cynical than I intended).

Thats ok Buford. Professional sports is just another economic segment of Organized Crime paying tattooed monsters to maim each other. (now thats cynical)

I don't know what Phoenix readers can take away from this...

I saw mention of an onerous regressive sales tax to get the ball rolling for Richy Rich to come and play businessball in OKC. Did I miss a shout out to the efficacy of OK tax cuts?

If there is one thing we know in AZ, it is that Richy Rich needs those cuts too, or else he won't come and play. He'll go someplace else where the poor dumb slobs are more eager to please...

I was warned for sure. As a family however it took 18 months to get the ball rolling. We are still moving ahead, even though we've had a couple offers already rejected that I thought were quite reasonable. I should think this is good news to you since it proves that the move back into the city core is in progress.

Cris M said, "I should think this is good news to you since it proves that the move back into the city core is in progress."

Maybe the fact checkers can back up this "good news".

I recommend an acre in the Dakotas, with a sustainable well.

In my Opinion the movie "the Hunger Games" is more realistic than Arizona politics.

I know several folks who worked at Key Arena for the Sonics. Their jobs are long gone, and they have left town. So I would welcome 40 plus home dates for an NBA team for downtown businesses- if Seatttle doesn't debate this to death!

Thanks Jon for this article.
How a Mexican drug cartel makes its billions || NYT Magazine

Oklahoma has a city?! :o

Well, surprisingly, this IS a fascinating and different (yet remarkably consistent with Rogue Columnist themes) blog.

I'm reminded a little of Canary Wharf.

No doubt the comparison is superficial, but I thought I'd throw it in for what it's worth.

The Bricktown website is impressive and inspiring, by the way. Tasteful and holistic promotion of a neighborhood, where the success and vitality of each business doesn't merely reflect upon itself but feeds back into the rest.

I found this quote at one of Lackmeyer's columns:

"Dolts and curmedgeons will always exist. At some point an adult has to put them in their place so progress can be achieved."

Several commenters raised important questions: who pays for this, and who benefits (primarily)? The taxpayers pay and the toffs benefit, it seems. Still, a healthy city center radiates health rather than blight into surrounding areas.

Here's some interesting information from an Arizona Republic article dealing with exurban development in the metro Phoenix area:

"Estimates vary, but at least 35 percent of metro Phoenix's population is in the southeast Valley, while less than 20 percent of the region's jobs are located there."

This, from an article headlined "Mesa developer's new tactic: Build jobs, then homes".

"Building homes dropped on our priority list in Eastmark during the crash, and building a bigger regional economy became the obvious priority," said Drew Brown, a founding partner and chairman of DMB."

"DMB realized in 2007 that to fill a large development far from metro Phoenix's core with as many as 100,000 people, its east Mesa community would first need much more than housing."

So far so good. Bless me though, I can't tell from the article what the developer is doing to build jobs or the regional economy.

The article mentions some front group, formed to make sure that Boeing could keep testing its helicopters in the area despite residential development; they also brought a military-contractor's "record keeping lab" to the area (250 jobs).

So, shmoozing with the military to preserve existing facilities and slightly extending the presence of defense contractors on the margins qualifies as regional economic development?

The article mentions that the developer paid for the land six years ago but the first housing won't go up "until next year".

"DMB is known for building infrastructure and amenities in its large developments early on."

Wow! I can't wait to see all the infrastructure they've been developing in advance of the houses. It only took six years between the time the City of Greater New York was consolidated in 1898, the realization by the new government that the core of future rapid transit would be subway trains, the issuance of bonds to finance it (since no private company was willing to put up the enormous capital necessary for the project), and the completion of the first contract section (from City Hall to the Bronx) in 1904.

The article also cites the Urban Land Institute "a Washington, D.C.-based real-estate think tank" in labeling the developer's DC Ranch/Silverleaf community in north Scottsdale "one of the nation's best planned large mixed-use projects."

Maybe so. Money can buy a lot of amenities, and that's an expensive community. Still, I wonder if Mr. Talton is familiar with that development and whether his opinion diverges from that of the Urban Land Institute.

I spent a week in Oklahoma one day.

Well now, here's a coincidence. Drew Brown, the "founding partner and chairman" of the east Mesa development company quoted in the Arizona Republic article, is (or was) also Vice-Chair of the "technical assistance program" at the Urban Land Institute, the D.C. based think-tank that touted his company's DC Ranch. Brown is also a member of the Arizona Commerce Authority.

"I spent a week in Oklahoma one day."

LOL :)

One day, I will.

My 10 years' worth of regular visits to OKC were sort of like visiting my Midwest clients . . only with the added twang. Their word was their bond.

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