City Council to start entertainment district discussions | News

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The city of Norman amended Tuesday night’s city council agendas to include beginning discussions about a possible tax increment finance district in the northern University North Park area to support the proposed $1 billion entertainment district. 

Ward 7 Councilmember Stephen Tyler Holman confirmed with OU Daily in a text Monday evening that Tuesday’s special meeting will start the public process to learn more about the details of the proposed entertainment district and if it is something Norman residents do or do not want. 

Holman wrote that a statutory review committee and the TIF citizens advisory board will be looking at the discussion and information. 

The city of Norman initially released agendas for Tuesday’s special and regular city council meetings on Thursday. Those agendas did not include mention of the entertainment district of TIF discussions at the time. 

Norman City Council will consider adopting a resolution that declares the intent to consider a project plan and the creation of one or more tax increment districts. The resolution states that the city of Norman wants to develop or help development in the area of Interstate 35 between Tecumseh Road and Robinson Street. 


Resolution to be discussed at Nov. 14, 2023, Norman City Council meeting regarding a tax increment district.




The resolution states that the development of the area depends on the use of tax increment financing to help the public costs of the project. 

A TIF is used to support the redevelopment, infrastructure and community-improvement projects within a certain area with the intent of stimulating private investment in the area in need of economic revitalization. 

A staff report posted as part of the agenda for Tuesday evening read: 

“Under the proposal, a combination of University and private resources would combine to fund approximately 40% of the total arena construction costs, while the University would only use approximately 25% of the event dates. Team Norman has asked the City to consider funding the remainder of the construction costs as well as some additional infrastructure utilizing tax increment financing.” 

Team Norman, city and university leaders proposed a $1 billion entertainment district on Sept. 6. The proposed location for the district is planned at Rock Creek Road and 24th Avenue Northwest, the northern part of the University North Park area. 

Team Norman said in September that 80% of the plan’s $1 billion cost would be covered through private funds and the remaining 20% would come through public sources. 

In September, Holman said it was up for debate how that 20% would be funded. 

The resolution would create a review committee to consider the financial impact of the TIF and would report its findings to Norman City Council. The Norman Planning Commission would review the proposed project plan and make a recommendation to city council. 

The review committee would consist of one representative each from Norman City Council — who will serve as chair —, the Norman Planning Commission, Cleveland County, Norman Public Schools, the Cleveland County Health Department, Moore-Norman Technology Center and Pioneer Multi-County Library System. The committee would also have three representatives from the public, including at least one from the city’s business community who will be selected from a list of seven names submitted by the committee chairperson. 

The resolution would make Norman Mayor Larry Heikkila Norman City Council’s representative and chairperson of the review committee. 

This would be the fourth TIF in Norman; the first being Campus Corner, the second being in University North Park where Target and Crest are located and the third being Center City, which includes Main Street, Porter Avenue and Gray Street. 

The TIF would include ad valorem taxes as well as sales taxes in the area, similar to the other TIFs, except Center City which includes only ad valorem taxes. 

This story was edited by Peggy Dodd, Taylor Jones and Alexia Aston. 

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