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Over the last few decades, several commercial districts have emerged throughout Oklahoma City. These districts have allowed communities to preserve and utilize historical corridors and assets to create place-based destinations that attract residents from throughout the metro area and beyond. While the economic impact of an increased customer base may be obvious, the cultural impact of a defined identity and aesthetic that districts provide cannot be overlooked. This impact has not been lost on the City of Oklahoma City, in fact it was the inspiration behind their Commercial District Revitalization Program (CDRP), which according to them was created to “provide greater opportunities and assistance for local business districts to create vibrant destinations to shop, work, and play locally”.  

 

Unfortunately, the resurgence of local districts such as Deep Deuce has coincided with the decline of its historically Black population, leaving a cultural and economic void for many of Oklahoma City’s forgotten residents. However, catalysts such as the Northeast Renaissance TIF, NE 23rd Street Opportunity Zone, and the Innovation District have sparked new investment in the quadrant’s redevelopment along with interest in revitalizing its historic corridors.

 

The stage has been set to fill the void with an authentic and inclusive destination that preserves the rich African American history of NE 23rd street and rekindles its vibrant cultural and economic activity while modeling diversity and inclusion.  

 

Establishment of East End Commercial District along NE 23rd street can

 

  • Unify business and property owners and increase leverage for stronger advocacy for NE23rd and the broader NE community

  • Make us privy to vital news and information concerning our community

  • Create a pathway to funding for strategic planning, streetscape improvements and staffing for ongoing marketing support

  • Drive city-wide business to NE23rd street, and

  • Ultimately increase commerce along the corridor and throughout the quadrant.