- Omni Hotel and Resorts recently broke ground on a $241 million property in downtown Oklahoma City, just one piece of the $1 billion building boom going on in the area, according to AI.com. Alabama-based Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor for the mixed-use project.
- The 17-story Omni Oklahoma City was designed by Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, and will feature 605 rooms, 29 suites, seven dining venues, 78,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space and more. The city is putting more than $85 million toward construction of the convention center-adjacent hotel, The Oklahoman reported, because consultants assured officials that a hotel was critical to the success of the $288 million, 275,000-square foot MAPS 3 Convention Center, also under construction.
- Other downtown-area projects include the 70-acre, $132 million Scissortail Park, which extends from downtown to the Oklahoma River. The park will feature sports facilities, recreational areas and restaurants, and the north and south ends of the space will be connected by the Skydance Bridge, a 380-foot-long pedestrian bridge.
Small and mid-size cities often had been overlooked when it comes to construction activity, which favors large metros like New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Dallas that are dense with people and businesses. But other cities are experiencing construction booms, too.
For example, Memphis, according to Curbed, has seen $13 billion of construction projects during the past four years, all aimed at revitalizing the city's downtown. Just a few months ago, plans were set in motion for more than $1 billion of construction projects, including 500 units of luxury housing, a Loews hotel and other commercial and residential developments. This is in addition to the One Beale project that will deliver hotel, retail and office space to the city's riverfront.
Some experts explain this new development as the natural boom-and-bust cycle, as well as companies and their employees taking advantage of areas that metros like New York City can't provide. Cost of living is a big consideration. In cities like Nashville, young professionals can buy a home for significantly less than what it costs to rent or buy in places like San Francisco or Seattle.
Technology has also played a role in this trend, as many people are no longer tied to one location but can work from anywhere.