Oklahoma City took another step toward securing its status as a premier visitor destination by approving a resolution to enter into final negotiations with Omni Hotels & Resorts. The 600-room signature hotel will be the headquarter hotel built at the same time as the convention center.
Neila Crank-Clements is no stranger to community development. In the past seven years she has led the revitalization efforts in three Oklahoma City neighborhoods. Through collaborations with the Paseo Historic District, Classen Ten Penn and Classen's North Highland Parked neighborhoods, Crank-Clements has helped rehabilitate dilapidated housing and build new homes on infill lots.
When The Alliance was seeking a leader for the newly formed community development corporation, Progress OKC, Crank-Clements was the apparent choice.
"Many Oklahoma City residents have already benefited from Neila's revitalization passion and expertise," said Cathy O'Connor, Alliance president. "With her leading Progress OKC we can expand the redevelopment reach and impact throughout the city."
The Alliance recently created Progress OKC to lead coordinated efforts by government agencies, businesses and other nonprofits in revitalizing neighborhoods. Their work includes creating and maintaining affordable housing and encouraging job training and education programs.
Progress OKC's first project is partnering on the restoration of the historic Page Woodson School and Auditorium. The renovated school will provide quality, affordable apartments for low-income residents, while the auditorium will serve as a performing arts venue for the community.
The term economic development is often associated with facilitating new construction, but it can also serve as the catalyst for progress by restoring communities and preserving the rich history infused within existing buildings. A current example of this is the redevelopment of Page Woodson High School in northeast Oklahoma City.
Follow @dtOKCbuilds for picture updates of downtown development projects.
About The Alliance
The Alliance was created in 2011 to better serve the economic development needs of Oklahoma City. With its collaboration with city and private entities, the Alliance acts as a comprehensive resource for business in need of assistance from the public sector.