A growing community in the heart of OKC
The Vision Takes Shape
Former Downtown Airpark purchased at auction
Public charrette held to capture what people are seeking from a new urban neighborhood
Ferris Wheel became an instant OKC landmark and gathering place in our city
Our public private partnership became official to continue to build infrastructure, utilities, and other resources
Started building geothermal homes, walkable streets and sidewalks – a neighborhood!
Sold our first house with over a hundred more homeowners since then
Saw the opening of our first shops, eateries, breweries, and office spaces
The district continues to grow with the opening of an elementary school and Phase Two construction
2022 & Beyond
The creation of a entirely new urban district – Wheeler, a place people love
Master Development Plan
Wheeler District features a range of housing options for those who want the convenience and quality of a newly constructed home connected to the amenities and activities of Oklahoma City’s dynamic urban core.
Wheeler represents the creation of an entirely new urban district. A mix of live/work/play spaces like shops, a brewery, restaurants, offices, and small businesses creating a connected and vibrant community.
Rescued from the Santa Monica Pier and brought to Oklahoma City, the Ferris Wheel has become an instant landmark and gathering place in our city. The Wheel is a destination for locals and tourists, neighbors and visitors, young and old alike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who envisioned and created Wheeler District?
In 2005, the historic Downtown Airpark near the Oklahoma River went bankrupt, and it was purchased through an open auction in 2006. In 2014, a public charrette was initiated to better understand the community’s needs and desires, especially as it related to other efforts to activate the shore of the Oklahoma River following Oklahoma City’s transformative MAPS program. Blair Humphreys and his team at Wheeler District, LLC, oversee the development.
What is the development plan for the Wheeler District?
Construction of the 14-acre Phase One of Wheeler District began in 2018 and is complete. It includes 83 single family homes, 10 live/work shophomes, as well as The Big Friendly Brewery & Taproom.
Phase Two construction of 22 acres began in 2020; by the end of 2022, we expect to have added over 120 new single family homes and townhomes, and many more retail, restaurant, and other commercial spaces.
There are currently 10 planned phases of development, eventually reaching a full buildout of the 150 acres to make up the district. Although a strategic vision for the Wheeler District exists, we remain flexible regarding community needs and desires, which will affect later parts of the development. Have ideas? Send them to [email protected].
When will the development be complete?
Wheeler District is a multi-decade project and is expected to take many years to reach completion. Stay up-to-date through our social media channels.
How big is the Wheeler District?
Wheeler District encompasses 150 acres which will be developed over decades. The boundaries are the Oklahoma River to the north, Douglas Avenue to the west and Twin Creek to the south and the east.
Who will enjoy the attractions, retail and restaurants in the Wheeler District?
Wheeler District is for everyone. All of our attractions, small business, shops, restaurants and more are open to be enjoyed by everyone. We encourage you to visit Wheeler District and see it for yourself – do some weekend shopping or grab a happy hour at the brewery.
What is the design philosophy behind the Wheeler District?
The Wheeler community was designed by the legendary urban planning firm Dover, Kohl and Partners, with input from engaged citizens around Oklahoma City. Wheeler District is designed around the idea of being walkable and bikeable. Consider classic neighborhoods in Oklahoma City like Mesta Park, or must-see communities in destination cities like Boston; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; New York City or Seaside, Fla., which were drawn upon for inspiration.
How does the architecture support community building?
Wheeler District’s architecture is created to be compact and mixed-use. Generous sidewalks, integrated bike paths and narrower, safer streets prioritize pedestrians and cyclists. Interior parks, plazas and walking paths make strolls inviting; shops and recreational facilities give a purpose to walking. And homes are close in proximity to encourage and create community.
Will the Wheeler District neighborhood be gated?
Wheeler District will not be a gated community and will actively connect to the surrounding street grid, inviting non-residents to take advantage of the community’s businesses, amenities and connections to the Oklahoma River.
How will Wheeler District connect to the surrounding neighborhoods?
Pedestrian and bike connections will be made to the west at SW 17th Street, SW 18th Street, and SW 19th Street. Wheeler District will reconnect the arterial SW 15th Street through to Western Avenue and open it to vehicular traffic as part of Phase Two and Three development. Additional pedestrian and bike connections will be made north of SW 15th Street.
What was the inspiration behind the design of the homes?
Wheeler Home recruited specialized architects from across the country to design homes for an urban lifestyle with all the comforts of traditional living. Wheeler Home’s construction is unmatched with special features and innovative energy efficiency.
What makes a Wheeler District home different?
Our homes offer sleek modern lines, nostalgic elevations, and a unique blend of materials. Each home has a livable front porch to encourage community with neighbors, discreet garages and intentional outdoor spaces providing multi-seasonal living areas protected from Oklahoma weather.
What makes a Wheeler District home energy efficient?
A: Energy efficiency is the Wheeler standard, with spray foam insulation, 2×6 framing, and Geothermal HVAC units in every home. Wheeler District is one of the few all-geothermal neighborhoods in Oklahoma. Homebuyers also have the option of adding solar roof panels for maximum energy savings.
What is geothermal?
Geothermal is among the most energy-efficient ways to heat and cool a home. By utilizing stable underground temperatures, the geothermal system doesn’t have to fight the extreme heat or cold air in the Oklahoma climate. Thus, they consume less energy and reduce your utility bill costs. Units are also completely silent and tucked out of sight. Geothermal homeowners are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to 26 percent of the total system cost.
Is the Wheeler District part of a TIF district?
Yes. The Wheeler District is part of the Western Gateway TIF district. Oklahoma City, like many other cities, uses tax increment financing (TIF) districts to promote development. Here’s how it works: when private investments within a TIF district lead to higher property values, the resulting increase in property tax revenue is reinvested within the district. The Oklahoma City Council has approved more than a dozen TIF districts which have boosted the city’s renaissance.
Want to learn more about the Western Gateway TIF?
Why was the Western Gateway TIF created?
The Western Gateway TIF was created to encourage development of the bankrupt Downtown Airpark. Because of the considerable infrastructure needed to create a vibrant mixed-use community, a combination of public assistance and private financing was required to make reviving the area economically feasible.
How does the Western Gateway TIF district differ from other Oklahoma City TIFs?
Oklahoma City typically uses an estimate of future tax collections to justify a new bond to provide near-term funding for improvements. For the Western Gateway TIF, the private developer behind the Wheeler District took on the up-front risk, rather than the city. The developers will receive reimbursements after the infrastructure has been completed, rather than up-front assistance.
How much money could the Western Gateway TIF provide for development?
Ultimately, the Wheeler District could receive up to $60 million in reimbursements for its investment in the area. An additional $20 million is eligible to go to the Wheeler Community Foundation to support Western Gateway Elementary School, a public charter school in the area. Once those obligations are met, $40 million could be paid directly to Oklahoma City Public Schools to support a middle and/or high school in South Oklahoma City.
What can the Western Gateway TIF funds be used for?
For the Western Gateway TIF district, TIF reimbursement is only available for authorized infrastructure used by the general public. The developer’s cost to design and build infrastructure for the Wheeler District is expected to be nearly $600 million, which is 10 times the amount of potential reimbursement.
The Western Gateway TIF allows for the reimbursement of authorized infrastructure expenses. These expenses are eligible reimbursement only after the infrastructure has been completed, paid for by the developer and approved by the City. Ultimately, Oklahoma City residents and visitors will enjoy this district for years to come, and economic activity in the area will boost revenue for the city.
How much TIF reimbursement has Wheeler District received to date?
As of January 2022, the Wheeler District has received a little more than $115,000, and the Wheeler Community Foundation has received approximately $38,330.
What is the history of the Wheeler Ferris Wheel?
Wheeler District is home to the historic Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel. After being purchased on eBay in 2008, over $1 million was invested to refresh and refurbish the Wheel. During its time at Pacific Park in Santa Monica, the Wheel served as a backdrop for countless photo shoots and was featured in numerous commercials.
How big is the Wheeler Ferris Wheel?
The Wheeler Ferris Wheel has a diameter of roughly 83 feet and soars over 100 feet above the Oklahoma River. The Wheel features 20 gondolas each of which can accommodate six riders.
When did the Wheeler Ferris Wheel open to the public?
The Wheeler Ferris Wheel opened to the public on July 4, 2016, providing a new public space destination in Oklahoma City.
What else can I do after I ride the Wheel?
Neighbors and visitors can ride the wheel, relax in on-site hammocks, and play lawn games. The park also features OKC’s most “selfied” spot — Hugh Meade’s “O-K-C” sculpture. The metal “O-K-C” letters stand at over 12 feet tall, providing the perfect backdrop for memorable photos.
I want to open a business.
I want to tour a home.
I want to buy Ferris Wheel tickets.
You can purchase Wheeler Ferris tickets online here.