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Necessary revisions


Clifton Adcock December 21st, 2011

The massive downtown streetscape and park refurbishment known as Project 180 is being scaled back from its original budget by around $17.5 million, or about 10 percent.

The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust unanimously passed a measure adjusting the budget from the original $175 million to around $157.5 million. The revised budget was to go before the City Council at its Dec. 20 meeting.

Oklahoma Gazette first reported in November that the scale of Project 180 was to be reduced, possibly eliminating plans to renovate E.K. Gaylord Boulevard and other streets originally in the plan.

According to the measure passed last week by the Economic Development Trust, the project’s revised budget includes around $3 million in a contingency fund. The deficit is attributed to unforeseen cost overruns and a $5.2 million, or 50 percent, shortfall in sales- and use-tax revenue in the Devon tax increment finance, or TIF, district, which is generally funded by the purchase of construction materials for Devon Tower.

Project 180 officials are currently deciding streets that will be included in its sixth package, which should be unveiled in the spring, said Public Works Director Eric Wenger.

Other factors could further impact funding for the project, Wenger (pictured) said, including the final ad valorem assessment of Devon headquarters, additional construction sales- and use-tax revenue, interest rates on long-term debt (including the $95 million loan from Devon for Project 180), unforeseen construction and design issues, pricing of future bids and creep in project scope.

Photo by Mark Hancock

 
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