The University North Park Entertainment District is a proposed mixed-use entertainment development consisting of retail, housing and office space located along I-35 in Norman. Anchored by a cutting-edge arena, the UNP Entertainment District is a public-private partnership benefitting the community, the University of Oklahoma and the city of Norman.
This blend of entertainment, retail, dining, living and office space will be unique to Norman, and the state of Oklahoma. At its core, this district provides the people of Norman an exciting new place to live, work and have fun.
Once completed, the development is expected to generate an additional $15+ million in tax revenue for the city and county. The development will yield 150,000 retail and restaurant square feet, a 10,000 seat arena, a conference center, a new hotel and more than 1,600 senior family, multi-family and single family housing units at a projected completed cost of $460 million.
This world-class arena will anchor the development, as it will be the largest entertainment venue within the district. Basketball games, concerts and more can be held in the new venue. This facility will provide everything you expect, from luxurious fan amenities to top-of-the-line athletic facilities for the benefit of athletes.
Surrounding the arena is an outdoor plaza, shopping and retail, housing and office space.
The University of Oklahoma understands and appreciates the fervent support from the city of Norman and the people who call Norman home.
Playing basketball games and hosting other events in a centralized location surrounded by a retail development naturally drives business to restaurants and other vendors. What better way to attract customers than to have thousands of people descend on the area to cheer on a Sooner victory?
The economic development will translate to increased sales tax revenues for the city of Norman. Additional jobs will become available with the addition of increased business and commercial activities in the city.
Housing in the area is designed to foster an eat/work/play environment in the district. This living style has grown in popularity in cities across the country as individuals increasingly enjoy the ability to live where they enjoy spending their time.
Other, similarly developed districts have popped up around the country with extreme popularity in their respective markets. Texas Live! in Arlington, LA Live in Los Angeles and the Columbus, Ohio, Arena District are all examples of current or planned mixed-use districts built with the same intentions of blending consumers desire to live, work and play in the same area.
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF UNP
The University North Park District is a two-mile stretch along I-35 in Norman between Robinson Street and Tecumseh Road. It is predominantly retail focused and is home to more than a dozen eateries and nearly 30 retail outlets. The district also includes the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center. It has been a success both economically and commercially for the city.
OU Senior Associate Dean for Economic Development and Impact Robert Dauffenbach completed an assessment of the impact of the development on property and sales tax revenues for the city of Norman and Cleveland County.
The growth in University North Park is expected to generate $15+ million in additional tax revenue annually when completed, Dauffenbach found. Of that amount, $9 million in real and personal property taxes is estimated. Additional spending in the district is estimated to increase by $2.9 million. The new entertainment, dining facilities, arena, convention center and hotels are estimated to yield $3.3 million.
Dauffenbach also predicts non-retail development outside the area considered in his study could yield an additional $2.4 million in property tax revenue.
These new business opportunities will be located near the already highly successful UNP South development. Since 2007, retail sales in that 24th NW corridor expanded from about 240 thousand square feet to 1.3 million square feet. Retails rose from $66 million to $335 million. Sales tax collections attributable to the TIF district expanded from $2 million to $10 million annually. Additional annual property tax collections reached $2.9 million annually. Much of this success, and these statistics, were used in Dauffenbach’s predictive report.
The UNP Entertainment District is a natural continuation of existing growth in Norman. Both new and existing businesses will benefit from the development of the mixed-use Entertainment District.
The University North Park Entertainment District is still in the early stages of its development. This is just the proposal of an opportunity, and there are many steps to be taken before a project of this nature is completed.
The OU Foundation, the City of Norman and the University of Oklahoma are dedicated to moving the project forward quickly and responsibly, making sure to follow every appropriate step to realizing the district’s full potential.
The university is thrilled to be working with Norman city leaders and is excited to begin the process of developing a new arena for OU basketball and other city entertainment. The university, by agreeing in principal to sign a long-term lease to play men’s and women’s basketball in the arena, will help the district thrive.