MAPS 4 and the Innovation District
More than 150 business leaders in attendance at the October Chamber Forum heard why investment in OKC’s Innovation District is an important part of the MAPS 4 project list.
A panel that included Nair; Katy Boren, president and chief executive officer of the Innovation District; and Jason Angolano, lab and facilities director for Baker Hughes Energy Innovation Center, discussed what’s going well in the district now and how some of the MAPS 4 proposals could multiply the district’s benefits.
The Innovation District covers an area south of the state Capitol, where the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation are, stretching west to Automobile Alley. The MAPS 4 proposal includes a number of projects intended to promote community and collaboration in an area where health, energy, aerospace, technology and research companies rub elbows.
MAPS 4 would create Innovation Hall, a structure that would serve as the district’s epicenter with eating places, meeting rooms and public spaces that foster social interaction. Other MAPS 4 projects would make improvements to the NE 10th Street bridge spanning Interstate 235 to allow for pedestrian traffic and link the area with downtown Oklahoma City. The plan would also provide for the renovation of Washington Park at 400 N. High Ave., as well as the renovation of the Henrietta B. Foster Center to create a minority entrepreneurship center.
“It is a land use and urban design plan that creates the physical circumstances where more companies can grow and start and move but also get people to interact,” said Boren.