Below is a narrative of the services provided to Capitol Hill Property Owners during Year 8 of the Business Improvement District. July 2016 – June 2017.
In the past year the district has experienced several important milestones that will have a major impact on the future of the area.
- In Fall 2017 the OKC Planning Dept. began work to nominate most of the CH BID to National Register of Historic Places. The anticipated date for approval and official listing is Fall 2018. National Register listing would help BID owners qualify for historic tax credits for building rehab; it does not place any restrictions on private property.
- Mason Realty Investors, LLC, closed on the Yale Theater property (227 SW 25th) in December. Exterior repairs have been made and renovation is underway to reopen the historic building as an event center later this year.
- After years of planning and work, the extensive renovation of the former Katz Drug and Langston buildings was complete and summer classes opened at the new OCCC Capitol Hill Center (325 SW 25th) opened in June. In addition to expanded class offerings, the Center includes an art gallery and rooftop patio, which are significant community assets.
- The arts are an important economic driver across the State and Capitol Hill is making strides to utilize this tool. Our new Artistic Improvement committee adopted a strategic plan to focus on identifying local artists, attracting artists to the district, and working with local businesses to improve arts connection through events and on-going displays. An artist networker was held in June and a historic timeline project was kicked-off as well.
- CPA and payroll now under one firm to simplify and improve bookkeeping.
On-going Projects and Community Outreach:
- Economic Development committee working with new partners on a phased approach to development and fundraising for the Plaza (SW 25th and Robinson).
- Capitol Hill and La 29 districts, ULI (Urban Land Institute) and City Planning hosted the first Latino Urbanism Summit in April to educate local developers and bring renewed attention to development potential of the area.
- With Year 1funding from the OK Arts Council grant, Norma Meiss, was brought from the National Main Street Center in June to conduct a District Assessment, including market analysis and talks with BID owners. Findings were presented at the Capitol Hill Board retreat to guide the strategic planning update.
- State Historic Preservation Conference (June 7-9) attendees on a local bus tour were given a brief history of the Knob Hill Theater/Opry building.
- Staff facilitating the Friends of Manuel Perez Park committee, which is working with Parks and Rec. Office to design a Veteran’s Memorial and public park on east side of Wiley Post and the OK River.
- Capitol Hill Library renovations that began last year have been ahead of schedule and completion is set for October 2017.
Advertising and Promotion
- Annual community events – With the support of sponsors and work of many volunteers, Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta Friday Summer Series, 11th Annual Fiestas de las Americas, South OKC Open Streets, and Haunt the Hill, continued to bring visitors, generate positive publicity, and attract after-5 activity and more investment to the district.
- The 3rd OK Cine Latino Film Festival in March included the first Youth Film Workshop with 19 students and brought in many new attendees.
- For each event, press releases and promotional ads – in The Gazette, El Nacional, Hola OK, El Latino, on local radio stations Exitos, LaZeta, and a full TV ad ran on Univision 36, Telemundo 30 and Estrella TV – reach thousands across the city. KGOU featured the district during their investigative story about minority voters in the city.
- With promotions in English and Spanish, our followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter continue to grow and monthly e-newsletters continue to spread news about the district and attract attention to local businesses.
- Historic Capitol Hill was represented at the first Hispanic Cultural Day at the Capitol May 1st.
- The Board approved another 2-year contract with Fowler Dodge as the Calle Dos Cinco Presenting Sponsor.
Landscape Maintenance and Street Clean Up
- In September, with permission from property owners, grant funds and BID contributions, City Planning installed 5 bold green bike racks at locations around the District.
- 12 OKC Thunder banners added color on the major corner street poles and displayed support for the basketball team in both English and Spanish.
- In April, dozens of OU Big Event volunteers helped clean and improve at 15 landscape beds across the district and planted four trees to beautify the businesses near Walker Av.
- First Maintenance, Inc. continues to provide timely landscape maintenance and street cleaning each week.
- City Action Line and OKCPD are contacted and quickly respond to any nuisance reports and security concerns.
On behalf of the Board, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to promote and revitalize the Historic Capitol Hill Business District.
Donna Cervantes, Director
Olde Capitol Hill Council, Inc.
Director’s Annual Reports