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Thread: Plaza District

  1. #26

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I've looked at Crestwood, too. I'll check out your neighborhood as well, Casey.

    I'm familiar with flipping, but I hestitate to describe what I want to do as that. I'm less interested in making a big profit than I am in helping revitalize a part of the city with a lot of potential.

    For me, historic preservation is a must. I've looked at several houses that were "flipped" where the buyer simply gutted everything and replaced it with cheap flooring, cabinets, and countertops. In my opinion it completely obliterated the value of the property because it lost a lot of its original historical characteristics.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Hand-sewn success in Plaza District: Community, hard work inspire Collective Thread owner Zodrow
    By David Page
    The Journal Record Special Projects Editor
    Posted: 01:48 PM Monday, September 12, 2011

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Working capital – or a lack of it – was a prime consideration when Lindsay Zodrow opened Collected Thread in Oklahoma City’s Plaza District in August 2008.

    “We picked this location because it was available, cheap and we could live in it,” Zodrow said of the retail store featuring handmade clothing, housewares, accessories, jewelry and baby items.

    Zodrow, 28, and her husband, Adam, a librarian in the Yukon school system, lived in the store for two-and-a-half years.

    “Living in the store allowed us to save money,” she said. “We grew the business out of our own pocket.”

    Three years after opening Collected Thread, Adam and Lindsay no longer live in the store and the boutique is debt-free.

    And with space no longer required for their home, there is room for expansion of the boutique at 1705 NW 16th St. The expansion opens space for additional merchandise.

    “So far we have mainly had female items, but we are working on a men’s section as well,” she said.

    Clothing in the store is hand-altered. About 45 percent of the handmade merchandise is made locally, Lindsay Zodrow said.

    To find merchandise, she goes online, talks with other boutique owners and goes to craft shows.

    “I check out the other vendors at craft shows,” she said.

    And now that the store is established, vendors find her.

    Zodrow started Collected Thread with no retail experience. Raised in Dallas, she was a studio art major at Oklahoma State University.

    Her interest in crafts and handmade items started early.

    “My grandmother taught me to knit when I was in elementary school,” she said. “My mother let me paint in my closet on the walls. I have always made things for fun.”

    After moving to Oklahoma, Zodrow started going to craft shows with a friend who did clothing.

    “We did that for about nine months,” she said. “The store was sort of birthed out of that concept.”

    Zodrow has worked with other small businesses in the Plaza District to revitalize the area developed at the end of a trolley line in the 1920s.

    “She understands the hard work and dedication it takes to not only make her business thrive, but also to make the entire district thrive,” said Kristen Vails, Plaza District executive director. “The Plaza District would not be the place it is today without Collected Thread’s truly unique store and commitment to our community.”

    Other small businesses in the area on NW 16th Street between Classen Boulevard and N. Pennsylvania Avenue include other independent retail stores, art galleries, studios, restaurants and creative services.

    During the Plaza District’s annual Plaza District Festival on Oct. 1, more than 40 Oklahoma artist booths are expected to line the street. The festival will also include music, children’s art activities and concessions.

    “The association cultivates the business community here,” Zodrow said.

    Opening three years ago was not the best economic timing.

    “We opened in August 208 and then in October the economy fell,” Zodrow said. “So the down economy is all I have known.”

    If you go to the store you are most likely to find Zodrow – she has one assistant who comes in once a week. You will also find Sergeant, the store dog.

    “A lot of customers come in and they do not know my name, but they know Sergeant,” Zodrow said.

  3. #28

    Default Re: Plaza District

    The Plaza District is surprisingly solid. Two stores recently went out of business but 2 new ones are opening in the vacant stores. A sign of a goos neighborhood.

  4. Default Re: Plaza District

    I went to lunch with a friend at Saints, a restaurant-pub on NW 16 in the Plaza District and the food was great. I had a "meat and vegetable" plate and the roast beef was perfect. The carrot-parsnip puree was very tasty and the grilled seasonal vegetables were a fine addition to the meal. They gave us a sample of their shepherd's pie, which is not a regular menu item but an occasional special, and it was very tasty too. Service was efficient and effective. I peeked in the kitchen and it looked very clean. only problem was that we were there during lunch and there wasn't much of a rush, so i want to encourage people to try them out.

  5. #30

    Default Re: Plaza District

    The Plaza District is doing things the right way. It has an organic feel. If you haven't been there you should definitely check it out. Saint's is a very cool little pub. I haven't had the food, but I love the set up...

  6. Default Re: Plaza District

    There was a story that aired on KFOR last night about a woman who passed out in a front yard at NW 15 and Blackwelder. One witness said the girl came from the newly opened Saints Pub. Fortunately someone called the cops before any of the unsavory locals got ahold of her. However, when the cops got there she dug herself a deeper hole (propositioning them and then biting a detention officer).

    Appears the defendant, is the granddaughter of former Chickasaw Chief Neal McCaleb (former Oklahoma House of Representatives, and Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs under G.W.B.).

  7. Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    Fortunately someone called the cops before any of the unsavory locals got ahold of her. However, when the cops got there she dug herself a deeper hole (propositioning them and then biting a detention officer).
    She sounds like an unsavory local.

  8. #33

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    ... when the cops got there she dug herself a deeper hole (propositioning them and then biting a detention officer). ...
    Sadly, given some recent tales in the news, local and elsewhere, such propositioning is not necessarily a fool's errand. The biting gambit, ....... probably not one of her better options.

  9. #34

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Our festival coming up will be a great time to check out all the new stuff, plus lots of fun happening on stage and in the street!

    Quick Details!

    Date: Saturday, October 1st 2011
    Time: 12-10pm (kids area 12-6pm)
    Location: 1700 Block NW 16th Street, OKC
    www.plazadistrictfestival.com

    “Experience Local, Experience 16th”
    Oklahoma City’s all local arts festival.

    Saturday October 1st, 12-10pm
    Free Admission!
    Oklahoma Only Artists & Performing Artists
    Over 50 Artists and Vendors
    Children’s Art Activities
    Performing Artist Stage & Acoustic Stage

    On October 1st, Oklahoma City’s Plaza District will come alive to celebrate local creativity with live music, artist booths, kids’ art activities, and a variety of local concessions at the annual Plaza District Festival. The Plaza District Festival is proud to boast OKLAHOMA artists, performers and vendors only, a truly local event! The festival is free and open to the public drawing audiences from across Oklahoma. “We are so thrilled to host so many great artists and activities,” say Plaza District Executive Director, Kristen Vails, “ our district has grown so much thanks to the community’s support of local creativity, and we are thrilled to give Oklahoma City this exciting day of talent and culture.”

    Over 40 Oklahoma artist booths will line 16th Street, while a stage in the center of the district will highlight local performers and musicians. Daytime performances include Irish Stepdancers, Flamenco dancers, performances by the Everything Goes Dance Studio and sneak previews of Lyric Theatre’s upcoming “Altar Boyz”. The evening will feature local bands from across the Oklahoma City Music Scene, including Kacey Walkingstick, The Wurly Birds, The Boom Bang, Junebug Spade and Brother Gruesome.

    The festival is also proud to highlight a wealth of kid’s art educational art activities. Children will be able to create four art projects alongside art instructors from Norman Firehouse Art Center, as well as paint on an interactive art mural. For the aspiring performers, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will present a “Music Playground”, where children have the chance to experiment with all the instruments used in the symphony alongside professional musicians. Children will also be able to create their own puppets, and then host their own puppet show as well as go on an artistic scavenger hunt throughout the Plaza District. Other activities include a moon bounce, craft booths and face painting.

    Sponsors of the festival, Fowler Volkswagen of Norman will welcome the fall with a variety of campsite activities, and visitors should keep an eye out for Bigfoot in order to win awesome Fowler VW prizes throughout the day!

    Visitors will enjoy local food from OKC’s finest mobile food trucks complimented by local brewery COOP Ale Works. Plaza District merchants will be open for shopping, and a special “Plazafied” pop up shop will be home to artist made, Plaza District themed merchandise. Sales of merchandise go directly to supporting the Plaza District Association to continue to provide these creative events and opportunities. The Plaza District is located on the 1700 block of Northwest 16th Street, just west of North Classen.

  10. #35

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Plaza District buoyed by theater, entrepreneurial spirit
    Residents, visitors say renewal makes district one of Oklahoma City's hot spots.
    BY STEVE GUST
    Published: October 18, 2011

    If the story of the revitalization of the Plaza District were being staged at Lyric Theatre, people might be on their feet shouting “bravo.”

    The turnaround from a once blighted area to destination point has been as dramatic as many stage productions and just as rewarding for the people who have witnessed it and been part of the rebirth.

    Located on NW 16 between Classen Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Plaza District has its share of art galleries, studios, retail shops, restaurants, and creative services. During its annual festival earlier this month, the district showed it can be one of the metro area's hot spots for people from all walks of life.

    “This festival has been growing every year,” said Ashley Smith of the No Regrets Tattoo shop. Smith has been a tattoo artist at the shop for three and a half years. She is pretty clear about how she feels about the Plaza District and the people there.

    “I just love it here,” she said.

    The zeal of young entrepreneurs has seemed to be infectious. That's easily seen across the street from the tattoo parlor at a restaurant/pub called Saints. There might not be a better walking advertisement of the area than Patrick Ireland, owner of Saints.

    He's been in business since June and remembers how he seized his opportunity to be part of the revitalization.

    He got the idea of opening the restaurant after attending the Festival last year.

    “I really thought they needed a nice place to eat and dine around here,” Ireland said while looking at a capacity crowd enjoying food and drink at Saints. “It's a great area here, and it's only going to keep growing. There are a lot of people who don't know about this place. Once they do, they like it and come back.”

    The arts atmosphere of the Plaza District, obvious even when a festival isn't around, is a far cry from not so long ago, when the area was anything but a destination point.

    Dylan Bradway operates dna.galleries with his wife, Amanda. The business is a retailer of local art, apparel and accessories.

    Moving from the Paseo district, the couple first arrived and lived at the studio in 2008. There was nothing artistic or pretty about what they saw then.

    “You could look out and see prostitutes and drug dealers working in the open,” Dylan Bradway said.

    “There were calls to 911 made,” Amanda Bradway said.

    The good news is that those days are over, and the difference is as profound as day and night, she said. The community appears to be regaining the upper hand against crime, thanks to the Plaza District Association.

    “They monitor the crime now, and today there may be some minor incidents, but that's it,” Dylan Bradway said.

    Confirming that is Kristen Vails, executive director of the Plaza District Association.

    She believes the dramatic change is because there are a group of merchants and others interested in returning the district to its once proud past.

    Back in the 1930s, thedistrict had a cluster of shops and eventually the addition of the Plaza Theater. It gave the community its name and became Oklahoma City's fun spot. It stayed that way for decades until a decline began in the 1970s. The decay led to a loss of interest and business.

    That started to change almost 10 years ago when Lyric decided they wanted a presence in the area — a renovation of the old Plaza Theater.

    Mai Cao, a local realtor with an office in the district, is a big fan of the Lyric Theatre, and a fan of selling homes in the area.

    “It's so cozy there,” she said of the theater. “There isn't a bad seat in the house. I enjoyed ‘Rocky Horror' there.”

    After five years of planning and renovation, the theater opened in 2007 and became the district's anchor attraction.

    Cristen Shepherd, with Lyric Theatre, said the 279-seat facility holds Lyric's smaller and more intimate plays and musicals during the fall, winter and spring.

    So far, officials with Lyric are pleased with the revitalization. Just ask Michael Baron, Lyric's artistic director.

    “I could not be more thrilled at the transformation of the Plaza District, even in the year and a half I've been here,” he said. “Our attendance has dramatically increased for our Plaza shows, and I think it's only going to get better.”

    The future of the Plaza District most likely will be shaped by those who continue to work and visit there.

    Lora Newton coordinated children's games during the Plaza Festival as a volunteer and is a frequent visitor and district customer.

    “Whenever I need a gift, I like to come down here and shop local,” she said.
    Baron agrees.

    “The fact that Devon has generously agreed to sponsor Lyric's upcoming ‘Christmas Carol' show for five years is a testament to the faith the business community has in the Plaza District,” he said. “Each day something new is happening.”

  11. #36

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Warren, this is not necessarily meant as a criticism, but your post gives no reference to where the article came from. It was in the Oklahoman and was written by one of their reporters. It is generally considered good form here if you just give a link to an article from the Oklahoman, if possible, instead of posting the entire article.

  12. #37

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I am not sure if this goes into the Plaza district or Uptown but the building SOUTH of the Victorian building at 17th and Classen has a few new occupants. Also the building has been painted a brownish tan color. Next time I am over there I will see the names of the new tenants. I thought one was a record store...

  13. #38

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    I am not sure if this goes into the Plaza district or Uptown but the building north of the Victorian building at 17th and Classen has a few new occupants. Also the building has been painted a brownish tan color. Next time I am over there I will see the names of the new tenants. I thought one was a record store...
    Good news.

    This reminds me, does anyone know if they've started work on remodeling the Braum's there?

  14. #39

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by mcca7596 View Post
    Good news.

    This reminds me, does anyone know if they've started work on remodeling the Braum's there?
    Braum's remodel/new building has been put on hold, probably until 2013 or later.

  15. #40

    Default Re: Plaza District

    hmm... thanks for the info.

  16. #41

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Thanks for posting this. Been meaning to for a month or two now. Yes it is like trolley track records and a florist if I remember right. Anyhow with the remodel of this, plus the new condos going up around the corner by SAS, and a new Braums, this area will be turning the corner.

  17. #42

  18. #43

    Default Re: Plaza District

    From newsok.com:

    Plaza District coming into its own
    BY JONATHAN MELLOW
    Published: January 22, 2012

    The Oklahoma wind bit into my bones as I walked down the avenue towards the heart of the Plaza District.

    It was the first “LIVE on the Plaza” event of the year and it was going to be setting the stage for future shows.

    “We are starting things off with a bang,” said executive director Kristin Vails. “We feel we can capitalize on the changes taking place in OKC. Every second Friday we see a bunch of new faces.”

    With open houses, live music, art showings and parties of all sorts taking place in the district, it was easy to see why people are interested in the Plaza.

    “We believe in Oklahoma City,” said Amanda Bradway, co-owner of DNA galleries. The store was featuring works by artists Dusty Gilpin and Tanner Frady that evening. While people looked at the illustrations and modern typography around me, Bradway voiced what she would like to see in the new year.

    “I want more people to be aware that this is here,” Bradway said. “That there is a place where you can buy local and get involved with art,” a sentiment shared by many vendors in the district.

    The Society, a collective studio established to create a community of working artists, hosted a sketch session on life drawing. Member Joe Garcia pointed out that the live drawing session was born out of their philosophy.

    “There was an evolution of ideas,” Garcia said. “We wanted to test the waters.”

    Phil Danner preferred the intimate setting for drawing the model.

    “We don't want the space to be an exclusive thing,” Danner said. “We want to open up to other creative people. Ultimately, this is what our identity will be.”

    Other stores in the area were bustling with activity. Hip twenty somethings and curious newcomers came and went all evening. The largest crowd was for The Parish, a local church that opened its doors that night.

    No Regrets Tattoo offered $20 Friday the 13th works of permanent art. Warpaint Clothing Co. and featured artist Matthew Lynch handled the flow in their usual laid back manner.

    “We worked nonstop towards the end of the year,” said co-owner Travis Pickett. “A new spring line, a showroom in LA and online orders have kept us plenty busy.”

    Lowbrow culture mecca “Dig It” was riding the wave with a steady flow of customers. It was the same at Collected Thread.

    Owner Lindsay Zodrow seemed whimsically content with the turnout of the evening. She smiled at every patron and even gave out high-fives.

    Hosting people of all ages, and from all walks of life, this tiny blip on the map of our large town has a huge following.

    Read more: http://newsok.com/plaza-district-com...#ixzz1kDtFwMGI

  19. #44

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I would like to take the wife and daughter to check out the Plaza District. When one of these events is happening, what is parking like and where does one park?

  20. Default Re: Plaza District

    I'd like to do stuff like this... not with what I got now.




  21. #46

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Parking usually isn't too bad. The best parking will be next to the Academy in the western part of district. I think live on the plaza is the first Friday of each month.

  22. #47

    Default Re: Plaza District

    LIVE at the Plaza is the second Friday of each month. First Friday was taken by the Paseo District Arts Walk. Both are great events which only continue to grow and they make me proud to live in OKC!

  23. #48

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Great videos! Gotta give Kristen Vails serious props. She is an awesome spokesperson and director for Plaza District.

  24. #49

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Hey guys! Yep LIVE on the plaza is every 2nd Friday! The next one is February 10th and will be "LOVE on the Plaza"...we'll have a photobooth in the Spywagen, plus some fun contests and as always great music and art. Great date night this one! We'll be posting all the details for LIVE later on this week, but you can check out our site www.plazadistrict.org or follow us @LIVEonthePlaza for more details!

    As for parking, that Friday happens to be the last Lyric "Xanadu" show night, so you'll probably have to park in the neighborhoods if you don't find on street.

    --and thanks for the props! Though I think I just got lucky getting to work with such a great group and community!--KV

  25. Default Re: Plaza District

    I keep seeing mention of the Braum's being rebuilt - where is this coming from?

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