OCURA Disappoints yet again!!! Unbelieveable! How do they get away with BS like this. First they pick the worst proposal because its probably their buddies, second, they say don't worry, we'll give you the contract, and then you can dilute your proposal even further after you get chosen. I think OCURA should have to do another RFP if the developer is renigging on their original proposal in which they were chosen for.
Midtown condo project sees changes
The Journal Record
December 6, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY – Original plans for the development of a city block in Oklahoma City’s Midtown for condominiums is undergoing changes and fine tuning, but work is scheduled to begin by July 2008.
Chuck Wiggin, developer for the Overholser Green project, originally received approval from the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority in March to develop vacant land between NW 12th and NW 13th Streets and Walker and Dewey Avenues. The block is the former site of Mercy Hospital. Wiggin’s plan, as originally approved, called for 109 units spread out among four buildings, four four-story and one eight-story, starting at about $350,000 per unit and going up to about $800,000 each.“Since that time we have done extensive research on comparable condominium projects in more than a dozen cities,” Wiggin said. Wiggin said after examining recommendations by a consultant on the project, he has determined it would be prudent to change the unit mix and reduce both the number of units and the average size of the units and offer them at a lower price point. The original plans showed units that were about 2,600 square-feet. Wiggin said he is now targeting units that will average between 1,000 to 2,000 square-feet costing between $250,000 to $450,000 each.The number of units will also be reduced to between 85 to 100 depending on market demand and sales. “It’s my hope that we can build 100 units,” he said.
The new preliminary plans will also target a wider market rather than the original concept, which was geared toward empty-nester homebuyers who might be downsizing from a larger home. After carefully evaluating the market, Wiggin said by targeting that small segment it could take nine years to sell all of the units. “In order to make this project successful, we believe that our target sell-out needs to be three-and-a-half years,” Wiggin said. “Doing that means we need to address a wider audience at lower price points.”
The revised plan still calls for an eight-story building on one corner of the property as well as a four-story building, but with the addition of individual town homes with three per building facing NW 13th Street.
Joe Van Bullard, executive director of Urban Renewal, said the townhomes facing north would fit well with the nearby Heritage Hills neighborhood.“I think one of the attractive design features of this, as opposed to his original, was that on the south side of 13th Street you have the residential feel almost of a Heritage Hills,” Bullard said.
Greg Banta, president of the Banta Companies, which is developing the nearby Plaza Court for retail space, and with plans for condos of his own in two neighboring buildings, said he is ready to see some development on the former Mercy site.“I think any development that goes on that site is going to do extremely well and we’re real excited that Chuck’s moving forward with it,” Banta said. “I view everything that happens on there as a positive for Midtown and a positive for our stuff.”
Under the contract with Urban Renewal, Wiggin must start work on the project by July 1. (I'll believe this when I see it)
Wiggin said he would like to begin two phases of construction concurrently for the first 12 units as well as the eight-story building. The initial sales for the first two phases may well determine the ultimate number of units. Wiggin said he remained optimistic that sales would necessitate 100 total units for the project, but will plan accordingly as the project progresses.“If we encounter trouble moving these units then we may have to rethink what our total unit count is,” he said.
Members of the Urban Renewal board discuss various property topics Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Photo by Jennifer Pitts