Bricktown Canal Expansion Goes Down The Drain

Wednesday, November 30th 2011, 9:38 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Plans to expand the Bricktown canal are drying up. City council members say they won't be able to pump any money into the project.

The plan was to expand the canal south from where it currently ends just west of Zio's.

Back in 2008, live on News 9, the head of the Bricktown association announced grand plans to expand Bricktown.

"It will involve extending the canal, where the canal will go all the way to Reno," said Jim Cowan.

The developer would pay the $32 million for the parking, residential and retail project. The city would kick in a million for the canal expansion using TIF money: property taxes generated by the new development.

But developers had to change their tune when the economy went down the drain.

"Preliminarily they were going to be complete in 2010.  We all know what happened in 2009 with the financial crisis," said Brent Bryan, the economic development program manager for the City of Oklahoma City.

Without a development, there was no TIF money. So, on Tuesday, the city council pulled the final funding ending the canal where it is.

Still, the city hopes the sun hasn't set on developing downstream.

"I wouldn't say it's never going to happen, we still have hopes that that could happen," said Bryant.

But Bryant says they want to tie any expansion of the canal into new development.