Recently in Oklahoma City there was yet another example of the need for public participation in downtown redevelopment in mid-tier markets. It doesn’t matter what city. Downtown Indianapolis has its own current financing decisions to make. It’s been almost 10 years of parking lots under the old Market Square Arena site. Now, the largest employer in the state has asked the city to loan it $86M so that it can build on its own parking lots. It seems in Oklahoma City the economics are not much different. In these mid-tier markets, the land prices and rents just do not allow new development to pay for itself in the short term. It is obvious to most observers that it is much cheaper in the short term to build far away from existing infrastructure. Until it becomes clear what the long term benefits of compact development will be, how they can be valued, and what the trade-offs are going to be in each affected community; there will be parking lots downtown.