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Potential $1 billion entertainment district unveiled for Norman

Proposed area for Norman's entertainment district.
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Proposed area for Norman's entertainment district.

A coalition of Norman’s economic leaders called “Team Norman” announced plans for a $1 billion entertainment district on Wednesday.

Plans for a new development at Rock Creek Rd. and 24th Ave. Northwest include shops, restaurants, and a multi-purpose performance venue designed to host a variety of events from concerts to OU basketball games and gymnastics competitions.

OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. said the district is what Norman has needed for a long time, and is excited for the university to be the district’s first anchor tenant.

“OU is proud to be a part of this broad coalition of leaders who are coming together to help grow the Norman economy and provide new opportunities for local residents,” Harroz said in a news release. “This new district will be the perfect complement to Campus Corner and historic Downtown Norman."

The development will also include a dense and walkable area for single and multi-family housing.

“It is rare to have such a collaborative effort to produce a master plan, combining resources and assets to create a unique mixed-use development unlike any in Oklahoma – or the nation, for that matter,” said Norman Economic Development Coalition President Lawrence McKinney. “Once developed, this entertainment district will be a focal point for all of Central Oklahoma.”

The coalition expects 80% of the $1 billion cost to be covered by private investments with the remaining 20% coming from public sources, though no money is to be taken from city or county general funds.

Team Norman includes the Norman Economic Development Coalition, the Norman Chamber of Commerce, the University of Oklahoma, and the city and county governments.

The OU Foundation pushed a similar effort in 2018, but ultimately stopped pursuing the idea after it received opposition from Norman city officials.

Hannah France is a reporter and producer for KGOU.
Nyk Daniels is KGOU’s Morning Edition host.
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