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Construction starts on MAPS 3 Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City
“Three of the MAPS 3 projects are right in the heart of downtown – the OKC Streetcar, Scissortail Park and the convention center,” said Mayor Holt. “With today’s groundbreaking, construction is underway on all three and dreams are becoming reality. As much as everyone talks about how far our downtown has come, the opening of these three projects will dramatically alter our city within the next two years.”
Mayor Holt was joined by Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer, MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board Chairman Tom McDaniel and representatives from the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, SMG and others.
The convention center, expected to be finished in 2020, will draw events that bring attendees from around the region and world. It will provide a boost to Oklahoma City’s economy and serve as an ideal host for local events.
Its position south of the central business district in the Core to Shore area, along with other MAPS 3 investments, is anticipated to spark the same kind of transformative development that has followed previous MAPS program projects.
About the convention center
The MAPS 3 Convention Center’s total project budget of $288 million, including land acquisition and other related expenses, is the biggest in City history for a single project. The construction contract is $168.2 million, $20 million under budget.
The state-of-the art building will be located east of Scissortail Park along Robinson Boulevard between SW 4th and SW 7th streets. Like the park and many other important landmarks downtown, it will be served by the OKC Streetcar.
The convention center’s sleek and modern design features sweeping downtown views, and materials designed for energy efficiency and resiliency against the weather.
The 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall will dominate the ground floor, featuring three operable walls to divide it in up to four flexible spaces. About 45,000 square feet of meeting spaces are on all levels of the building, and many also have operable walls to make the spaces flexible. The rooms can be configured to provide up to 27 individual meeting spaces.
A 30,000-square-foot ballroom is the main space on the fourth level, complemented by 10,000 square feet of pre-function space and a 4,000-square-foot balcony.
Informal meeting spaces, a kitchen, a potential café space, an expansive loading dock and administrative offices are also planned for the convention center.
The gleaming, angular façade has towering glass walls to make maximum use of natural light and takes its design cues from Oklahoma City’s sky, landscape and architectural character.
Landscaping outside the convention center will use native plants and trees well-suited to the local climate, with a focus on sustainability, comfort and beauty. A central plaza and other inviting spaces will help the convention center’s exterior come alive with activity.
Wayfinding stations inside and outside the convention center will be interactive.
A skywalk will connect the building to the future Omni hotel, which is being developed to complement and support the convention center and is also expected to be finished in 2020.
The City has a marketing contract with the CVB for securing events to be booked at the convention center, and a contract with SMG for facility management.
The CVB and SMG fulfill similar roles now for the Cox Convention Center, which will no longer be marketed and operated at the City’s main convention center when the MAPS 3 facility opens.
About MAPS 3
MAPS 3 is a $777 million, debt-free capital improvement program to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City. It is funded by a 1-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ended in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention Center, Downtown Public Park, Modern Streetcar/Transit, Oklahoma River Improvements, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Improvements, Senior Health and Wellness Centers, Trails and Sidewalks.
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