The Village Builds Future with Plans for City Center
By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Village is undergoing the most ambitious project the city has ever undertaken, and the city manager calls it crucial to the area's future.
Unlike most places, The Village has no downtown, no center. There is a plan to change that, and it's been about overcoming obstacles. The largest hurdle is being overcome this fall.
Like a lot of city managers, Bruce Stone has big dreams for his city. The bankrupt, blighted Vintage Lakes apartments on north Pennsylvania Avenue held none of them.
“Twenty to 30 percent of our crime came out of those apartment complexes,” said The Village city manager Bruce Stone.
So when the opportunity came to buy them, The Village took it. The apartments were demolished and cleaned up.
“There was about 153,000 square feet of asbestos ceiling tiles in the apartments we had to abate,” Stone said.
It's taken years, but it's finally prime real estate in the heart of The Village, and there are plans for 130 homes, condos and town homes to become the pulse.
“Being able to offer new housing in The Village is something pretty rare,” said the city manager.
The last time a new neighborhood was built was 10 years ago, and before that, a 30 year gap. More important than new homes is the other things the demolition opens up opportunities for.
“It's really crucial to our plan to create a town center in The Village,” Stone said.
The city plans to build a future with a corridor including a community center that will represent The Village. It's already begun on one end where developers are building retail space.
If everything goes smoothly, the new housing portion of development plans could break ground within six months. City leaders are keeping an eye on the economy and housing market which could alter or slow down the project.