‘oNE OKC’ block party raises awareness about large redevelopment project

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Northeast 23rd St. Project marks the start of what many hope will be a full resurgence in northeast Oklahoma City.

Centennial Health just opened its doors earlier this week, which they said will help their clients get better care.

It’s one of the city’s largest African American communities.

Decades ago, Northeast 23rd Street had several businesses along its path, but things changed.

“What I know is that there has historically been blighted at least in the last few decades,” said Dr. Quintin Hughes, presidents of NEOKC Renaissance, Inc.

Including an old auto shop that sat vacant for a number of years.

“When I first started talking to our physicians about, hey, this may be our spot – I got some really strange looks,” said Centennial Health CEO Scott Potter.

But, the bold idea panned out. And, Centennial Health, which used to be called Oklahoma City Clinic, moved into that old auto shop. The primary health care facility is now at the center of a revitalization project for the part of town.

“We want to invest heavily in primary care, and this is an area of town that had none,” Potter said. “I think there may be one other doctor in this zip code.”

Northeast Oklahoma City is missing what many areas take for granted.

“There aren’t even a lot many gas stations on this side of town,” Hughes said.

Now, a team of entities, including the city of Oklahoma City, are partnering to bring new life to the community with more grocery stores, restaurants, housing and retail.

On Saturday, developers will announce half of the new businesses that are going to the area. The ‘oNE OKC’ event includes a block party for the public.

“It’s designed to showcase and strengthen the economic development and also to build unity within northeast Oklahoma City and surrounding OKC metro area,” said Katawna Stephens.

The goal for the district is to have a majority of businesses owned by minority tenants, creating more jobs and support for residents there.

“I’m excited,” Hughes said. “Northeast Oklahoma City is definitely the future of Oklahoma City in general, and essentially we want the whole state to know.”

The clinic was paid for through private and public funding. Developers Pivot Project will start redeveloping a vacant property next to the clinic in August.

Meanwhile, the public is invited to the ‘oNE OKC’ event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in front of N.E. 23rd and Rhode Island.

For more information, click here.

United Voice mission statement: A coalition of Oklahoma’s media outlets, brought together in a united voice to promote a healthy dialogue on race.

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