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Thread: Plaza District

  1. #976

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by PhiAlpha View Post
    Yes and without gentrification, the Plaza District would still be a run down eyesore devoid of life like it was in 2007. Losing some of the pioneering retailers sucks but you can't have your cake and eat it too.
    I'm not disagreeing with that, which is why I said it's the price of gentrification. There is a trade off. Also, there are successful urban districts where retailers own and live in the buildings they occupy and don't have to worry about soaring rent prices. It's too bad Tree & Leaf and Collective Thread became victims of the district's own success that they were integrally a part of. Artists and pioneers have always gravitated toward the seedier parts of town, but once rents go up and the economics of the neighborhood change they are no longer welcome and find some other haven for their work.

  2. Default Re: Plaza District

    That house on the NE corner of Blackwelder and 16th got demo'd.

    Couldn't find the thread for it, but remember a rendering from some time ago where this was discussed.

  3. #978

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by krisb View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with that, which is why I said it's the price of gentrification. There is a trade off. Also, there are successful urban districts where retailers own and live in the buildings they occupy and don't have to worry about soaring rent prices. It's too bad Tree & Leaf and Collective Thread became victims of the district's own success that they were integrally a part of. Artists and pioneers have always gravitated toward the seedier parts of town, but once rents go up and the economics of the neighborhood change they are no longer welcome and find some other haven for their work.
    I don't know why these stores closed but I do know soaring rent prices weren't the reason.

  4. Default Re: Plaza District

    Even incremental rent increases can take away the razor thin profit margin needed to support indie retail. It’s not really anybody’s “fault.” The problem is that even popular local retailers are very marginal operations, especially when the owner-operator tries to have a life that doesn’t include watching the store from open to close seven days a week. The moment you hire someone to cover a couple of your days your profitability disappears. It’s an incredibly tough gig, and I think these operators just decided to stop beating their heads against the wall, especially in light of rising rents in the district.

  5. Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    Even incremental rent increases can take away the razor thin profit margin needed to support indie retail. It’s not really anybody’s “fault.” The problem is that even popular local retailers are very marginal operations, especially when the owner-operator tries to have a life that doesn’t include watching the store from open to close seven days a week. The moment you hire someone to cover a couple of your days your profitability disappears. It’s an incredibly tough gig, and I think these operators just decided to stop beating their heads against the wall, especially in light of rising rents in the dustrict.
    Exactly.... I had my own retail operation for 6 years and while I enjoyed all 6 of those years I always joked that everyone made money off my store but me. Especially when I finally broke down and hired an employee after the first 3 years of working 12-16 hours a day 7 days a week. That 16 year old kid was taking home more a week than I did.

  6. #981

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I dropped in last week and talked to Lindsay, the owner of Collected Thread, and she confirmed two things: it was partly the increased rent making it hard to make the profit margins work (Urbanized's point) and the increase use of Amazon has decreased foot traffic. The owner of the building is Tarena Self (it's public record), the same lady who owns the Jesus Saves Building. Rent has been increasing each year in the past ten years and they tried to work something out with her, but she wouldn't budge. That's the short and skinny of it.

  7. #982

    Default Re: Plaza District


  8. #983

    Default Re: Plaza District

    ^

    Yes that front-facing garage is so out of character for the area and has brought a lot of scorn.

    A couple of years back, the Gatewood neighborhood expressed interest in becoming a formal part of a Historical Preservation district, similar to Heritage Hills and Mesta Park.

    I asked a member of the HPCA (the committee that oversees design review for the city) and was told that Gatewood expressed interest and the HPCA made a presentation but in the end they decided not to pursue that designation.

    What this means is that apart from the commercial district along 16th, people can do pretty much whatever they want to the surrounding homes, multi-family and even the commercial buildings outside of that one area of NW 16th.

    In fact, there is almost no protection for any structures to the west of Classen; even along the western edge of that boulevard.

    This was the same issue that almost resulted in the demolition of Classen Curve and there are still lots of historic homes, neighborhoods and other structures that do not require design review or any other type of approval (besides standard permits which are not formally reviewed and/or approved) before there is modification or even demolition.

  9. #984

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by OKC Talker View Post
    I may be in the minority, but I really like the modern styled homes. I'm all for an eclectic neighborhood. If it can be preserved and beautified, preserve and beautify. If it can't, (or if there's empty lots) then build. I can't relate to the outcry, especially from a neighborhood that struggled with boarded up windows less than a decade ago.

    Maybe it's because I'm a no-good, lazy, avocado toast eating millennial

  10. #985

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by aDark View Post
    I may be in the minority, but I really like the modern styled homes. I'm all for an eclectic neighborhood. If it can be preserved and beautified, preserve and beautify. If it can't, (or if there's empty lots) then build. I can't relate to the outcry, especially from a neighborhood that struggled with boarded up windows less than a decade ago.

    Maybe it's because I'm a no-good, lazy, avocado toast eating millennial
    Agreed. I think too much of any one style gets boring (and yes, I do understand that Gatewood's old housing stock is plenty diverse in its style, but I do like the occasional modern house thrown in when there are no restrictions on doing so) - though I could do without the giant front-facing garage. Have always wondered what this house looked like on the inside and was not disappointed. Good for them if they're able to get that asking price.

  11. #986

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I just don't understand the urge to go into an area you really like, tear down the buildings, and replace all the stores with chains. It turns it into a "Downtown Disney" version of what you liked in the first place and ruins it for everyone else.

  12. #987

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by OKC Talker View Post
    I just don't understand the urge to go into an area you really like, tear down the buildings, and replace all the stores with chains. It turns it into a "Downtown Disney" version of what you liked in the first place and ruins it for everyone else.
    No one is advocating for that. Who are you disagreeing with? Or are you suggesting that the person who built the modern home on NW 16th is essentially a "big box" store? Last time I checked there were no plans to knock down any buildings in the plaza district to build a box store.

  13. Default Re: Plaza District

    Modern architecture is not a problem per se - I love modern and think it can often be carefully integrated in a historic context - but in a row of houses that emphasizes the front of the house rather than the garage, building a "snout house" fronted by a garage is not very district-sensitive. Also, in a neighborhood with predominantly historic stock there should be protections against spec tear-downs and tear-downs of historic fabric in favor of modern or heaven forbid surface parking.

    Also even modern houses should respect the scale, setback etc of the surrounding neighborhood when retrofitting. If people want to take a hands-off approach to these matters along 16th that's fine, but in that case it should probably be rezoned to allow for commercial replacement of existing homes, and it may be too late for that as many of the existing homes - especially on the north side - are getting a lot of expensive remodel as residential.

    Last thing I wanted to say was in response to comments about the area being decrepit until recently. This was true of 16th and of CTP, but Gatewood was largely incredibly intact and stable even during the very worst times for OKC inner city neighborhoods. Especially west of Blackwelder and also north of 18th east of Blackwelder. In fact Gatewood was overall probably more stable than Mesta during bad times. So anything that reads a bit like "screw them the neighborhood was a dump before we got there" is a tad offensive, in my opinion.

  14. #989

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by aDark View Post
    No one is advocating for that. Who are you disagreeing with? Or are you suggesting that the person who built the modern home on NW 16th is essentially a "big box" store? Last time I checked there were no plans to knock down any buildings in the plaza district to build a box store.
    Sorry, I wasn't responding to your comments specifically, just to the general sentiment in this thread from the past few days. People do want to knock down homes and want to replace the existing stores with chains that better fit their comfort level.

  15. #990

    Default Re: Plaza District

    agreed, love the house - hate the garage (really, the monster drive way) in front.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  16. #991

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by OKC Talker View Post
    Sorry, I wasn't responding to your comments specifically, just to the general sentiment in this thread from the past few days. People do want to knock down homes and want to replace the existing stores with chains that better fit their comfort level.
    Hell, just look what's happening to Nichols Hills. It's sad.

  17. #992

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Posted on the Plaza District website yesterday. I wasn't sure if it had been posted yet. Art Installation in the new parking lot.

    http://www.plazadistrict.org/news/20...plaza-district

    17025-YOUR+HAIKU+HERE-001.jpg17025_SITEPLAN.jpgatelieraL-17025-v-4-logos.jpg

  18. #993

    Default Re: Plaza District

    180Development (the Strubles) have set up a 'retail incubator' in the form of an Airstream trailer in their pay-to-park lot that will also feature the large art feature.

    From https://www.instagram.com/180development/:


  19. #994

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Parked in this lot last week. Not a fan of the actual parking spots being gravel/crushed granite. I imagine this was done to save money, but there was already a noticeable lip between the concrete and the gravel (although I do drive a small car with low profile tires - making this lip more noticeable for me than for most). Also, it had been raining when we parked there and although it wasn't muddy, per se, the dust and small debris from the gravel plus the rain water dirtied up the inside of our car. I can only imagine how the gravel will erode after a spring or two of multiple downpours. Though if people continue to pay $5 to park there over time I suppose its hard to argue with that approach. Given the quality of the parking spaces and the cost to park there, I'll happily go back to finding a spot on the street.

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