In late June, the Norman city council approved a proposed plan to build a six-story, 42,500-square-foot retail and office space development at Boyd Street and Debarr Avenue. The project is being developed by Rainey Powell.
While the project was met with praise from some, there was some criticism on social media, as well, ranging from worries over construction and traffic to the potential loss of Campus Corner Market, since the garage would sit where the market is currently. The project isn’t set in stone, with construction potentially set to begin in fall 2018.
What’s interesting about some of the responses to the proposed parking garage are that it perfectly fits in with the philosophy behind Center City, a recent code passed by the city council that impacts development in core Norman.
The goal of Center City is to protect historic homes while funneling multi-use, high-density development in a corridor between Campus Corner and downtown Norman, all while promoting walkability.
Granted, Campus Corner is exempt from Center City code restrictions, at least for now, so the project won’t be impacted by the updated code.
But this proposed parking garage would be multi-use, with shops on the first floor, office spaces and parking above, and is the kind of private investment that Center City will need to flourish.
And Powell has commented on the record that he hopes to provide space for Campus Corner Market in the new facility.
As a community, Norman should embrace this kind of private development that falls in line with standards communicated by Norman voters and elected representatives.