• Details revealed for boutique hotel in First National Center

    As part of a larger plan by developers Gary Brooks and Charlie Nicholas to completely redevelop First National Center in the heart of downtown, some details have been revealed for a boutique hotel that will fill much of the historic tower.

    The original developers of OKC's Ambassador and Colcord Hotels propose 149 rooms in the office tower built in 1932, while the center and eastern part of the complex built later and not considered historically significant would give way to structured parking with some amount of commercial space at ground level.

    Dubbed The First, the boutique hotel would be operated by Coury Hospitality with the hopes of joining Marriott's Autograph collection, of which the Ambassador Hotel in Midtown joined in 2012. Coury also redeveloped the Colcord Hotel which like First National was formerly office space. as was the Ambassador.

    Besides the hotel rooms, the Great Banking Hall would be renovated and repaired to be used as a public lobby, event space and museum.

    Under the plan, murals, elaborate ceilings, stonework, vaults, safes and other metal finishes would be restored in the grand hall located on the second level of the office tower.

    Earlier this week at the Downtown Year in Review forum hosted by the Oklahoman, Brooks said he hopes to close on the property by January 11th and would start renovation work soon thereafter.

    According to Cathy O'Connor with the Alliance for Economic Development, in addition to the hotel and parking, there would be 210 apartments, two restaurants, 35,000 square feet of commercial space, a rooftop pool and other amenities.

    Brooks and Nichols have been working with O'Connor and the Alliance to receive several financial incentives, including the creation of of a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district exclusively for the First National Project.

    The entire complex is currently closed and vacant in anticipation of the pending sale and renovation.
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