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The MAPS 3 advisory board taps Architectural Design Group as program consultant

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The city of Oklahoma City will likely bring the company Architectural Design Group on board to help it plan the proposed MAPS 3 projects.

The MAPS 3 program contains eight projects at a total cost of around $777 million. Once a contract is hammered out between ADG and the city, the company will become a program consultant and assist the city in planning, implementing, coordinating and managing MAPS 3.

The company, which worked on the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, City Center parking garage expansion and other structures, was chosen by the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board Oct. 28 from 11 firms that applied to assist. Three of those were given final interviews by the Consultant Review Committee, which held up ADG as the finalist.

A contract must be negotiated and the deal given the Oklahoma City Council's nod of approval before the group officially comes on board.

Meanwhile, the revenue stream for MAPS 3 appears to be flowing as expected, according to a report from the committee last week.

"We are actually just slightly above (projected revenue)," said Eric Wenger, MAPS 3 program manager.

The average MAPS revenue per month is around $8 million, Wenger said, and as of August, the most recent date for which numbers are available, around $40 million was collected.

Voters passed the MAPS 3 plan last December with 54 percent of the vote. The 1-cent sales tax plan to fund the program went into effect in April.

Improvements in the plan include a massive park near downtown, a new convention center, improvements to State Fair Park, development along the Oklahoma River, health and wellness centers for seniors and new and redeveloped trails and sidewalks.

Each project is set to have its own subcommittee, and the subcommittee for one of the more high-profile projects " a new $250-million convention center " is currently looking at what company to hire as a consultant in choosing a site for the center.

Just where the center will be has been the topic of controversy. While the nonprofit Urban Land Institute's recent study declared unsuitable the city's 2008 Core to Shore plans placing the convention center across the street south of the Ford Center and east of the planned park, the location was one of two (the other being a location south of Lower Bricktown) endorsed by Mayor Mick Cornett.

The study stated that the lumberyard, located on the southeast corner of Shields and Interstate 40, would be a better location.

Wenger said the committee's goal is to have a contract with a consultant for the convention center site selection by the end of the year.

above, from left Mayor Mick Cornett, with Oklahoma City Council members Ronald "Skip" Kelly, Pete White and Sam Bowman, discuss a MAPS 3 model in 2009. Photo/Mark Hancock

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