You’re Doing Fine, Oklahoma!



Oklahoma…where the wind comes sweeping down the plain… Oklahoma joined the union in 1907, however it was known as “The Sooner State” long before that. The term “sooners” was originally an insult, used by legal settlers to describe those individuals who had illegally entered the territory to stake their claim on lands before the approved time.

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After the University of Oklahoma named their team the “Sooners” in 1908, the negative association with the term disappeared over time, and now it is a name that Oklahomans wear with pride.

There are a number of industries in Oklahoma City. It’s home to one of the largest livestock markets in the world, as well as a large natural gas and oil industry. Also, Tinker Air Force Base and the US Department of Transportation Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center are based in Oklahoma City.

Prices in the real estate market in Oklahoma City appear to be strong as the median home sales price increased by 8.5% from the same time last year. As of the last week in February,  the average listing price for Oklahoma City homes rose by 1.1% ($1,968) compared to the week prior.

A recent study done by the Urban Institute, examined the 100 largest metro areas throughout the country, ranking them for economic security. The categories they used to determine the “economic security” of an area were:

1. Unemployment
2. Trends in home prices
3. Overall price of housing
4. Number of owners who are behind in payments

During his “State of the State” speech, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett shared the results of this study which looked at Oklahoma City among others. “Well, we did pretty well,” said Cornett, “In fact we were ranked number one in the country and we were the only city in the entire United States to receive straight A’s in all four categories.”

Oklahoma City is not depending upon the numerous accomplishments of past residents; they are taking a look at the future, envisioning what they want for their fair city and have already begun their efforts to revitalize the once declining downtown area.

A redevelopment plan known as the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) was started in 1993 which had as its focus the revitalization of the city’s core. Projects included a new baseball park, central library, renovations to the convention center, civic center and fairgrounds.

Now the Bricktown entertainment district is alive and vibrant as water taxis transport passengers through the water canal to their destinations.

This highly successful venture has sparked growth in the downtown – housing, shopping and other retail stores can be found in this once weed-ridden and dilapidated district, drawing more individuals to the area.

Other popular neighborhoods include Quail Creek, Woodland Park, The Greens, Crestwood and Mesta Park among others.

The Oklahoma City Thunder pro basketball team franchise, formed in 2008 was formerly the Seattle SuperSonics. The team played and lost their first game in Billings Montana against the Minnesota Timberwolves, however in the 2009-2010 season things began to turn around for them, finishing the season at 50-32.

Building on their success, the Oklahoma City Thunders finished the 2010-2011 season at 55-27, capturing their first division title since moving from Seattle – a trend which many believe will continue into the future.

Oklahoma City’s history of drawing strong, independent minded individuals to the area is well known, and it appears that pioneering spirit is still alive and well in the “red person’s” land.