Ferry to museum receives grant
A ferry landing linking the First Americans Museum to other Oklahoma River attractions earned federal funding Friday.
A $4 million grant for Oklahoma City was among $47.5 million in awards nationwide for 12 ferry services announced by the Federal Transit Administration.
Oklahoma City's Embark transit is the only inland agency on Friday's list. Other grants, mostly in the $4 million to $5 million range, went to coastal areas such as New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida.
The First Americans Museum landing will extend the Oklahoma River Cruises service east from Bricktown and Regatta Park. Other landings are upstream at Exchange and Meridian avenues.
The museum landing is a component of plans by AICCM Land Development, a Chickasaw Nation entity and partner with the city of Oklahoma City, to develop the property around the First Americans Museum.
The museum is about a mile downstream from Bricktown. The Chickasaw Nation and city are working to complete construction, with plans to open in May 2021.
Embark spokesman Michael Scroggins said addition of the First Americans Museum ferry landing would be a benefit to AICCM Land Development's plans for a mixed-use development adjacent to the museum, improving connectivity and accessibility.
Embark applied earlier this year for the grant. The 20% local match will be provided primarily by AICCM Land Development and the city, he said.
Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority trustees suspended Oklahoma River Cruises for this year due to COVID-19 related budget constraints. Besides ferry service, Oklahoma River Cruises offers party cruises and private charters.
Conceptual plans for development of museum property were first discussed about 18 months ago and centered on showcasing Native American culture.
A resort hotel, Native goods marketplace, and residential, office and retail space were among early ideas. The first phase of development had potential for $400 million in private investment over 10 to 15 years, according to projections.