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Thread: Plaza District

  1. #151

    Default Re: Plaza District

    This all looks really slick! Hope it works out:


  2. #152

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry OKC View Post
    Serious question, since this is the Coin Laundry Cafe is it going to be retro styled...by that is it going to be like the buffeterias (a quick google search means I am prob not calling it the correct thing but that is what is stuck in my head right now) of days gone by where entrees, sandwiches, deserts etc would be in individual type compartments where you put in your coins and opened the windowed access door to get your stuff? But instead of the smaller vending machine style of today it was an entire wall, with customer access on one side and employee access to the compartments on the other for restocking. My mother talks about such a place at one of the big department stores that used to be downtown when she was growing up. I have seen them in old B&W movies, often in the "big city".
    I believe the term your looking for is Automat. Which is definitely a concept we had talked about early on. The problem I see in an Automat concept is renovation costs. It would require installing a rather complicated coin operated system, including many small electronically operated doors, as well as blocking off the staff from their customers. All that being said I still love the concept, but didn't think I Was the right guy to do it or that this was the right space to put it in (I have a feeling that the stripping of the inside, with it's complicated plumbing trench and concrete anchors will be costly enough). What we are looking for is much more of a traditional diner format only with a youthful, colorful, modern decor, and bathed in as much natural sunlight as we can get. We want the food to also be classic, home style stuff with a little Hispanic influence. The "feel" of the restaurant would be modeled a lottle more in the vein of a hybrid of Barnaby's in Houston, the Blue Dome diner in Tulsa, Magnolia and Spider House in Austin, etc.. Just a nice comfy place to drink a coffee, eat some eggs and bacon, and read a book or talk with friends. The name Coin Laundry is more just in the sake of preservation, because I HATE the idea of painting over a beautiful hand painted sign.

    Anyway, thanks for the support and thoughts, I Really didn't mean to hijack this thread, I won't post any more self promoting links (unless something far more serious happens), but feel free to follow the blog and share any of your thoughts/concerns/critiques.

  3. Default Re: Plaza District

    Thanks for the info...Automat is what I was thinking of! Now that I had the right word, the right images showed up in google (click on the image for larger view)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I appreciate what you are dong...I like it when a place is repurposed and the history can be retained (but can be confusing to some if the name of the place doesn't match its function...like the Pachinko Parlor which I thought was an gaming arcade featuring those machines). But like the old downtown dept stores that wee converted into residential, like the Montgomery etc.

  4. #154

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry OKC View Post
    Thanks for the info...Automat is what I was thinking of!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    YES!! There's that great Doris Day / Cary Grant movie "A Touch of Mink" where Doris Day works in the Automat, sooooo cool.

  5. #155

    Default Re: Plaza District

    You will see these in large use in asia, especially Japan.

    It would be really awesome to see one in OKC, but downtown would probably be a better place to see it. Or near a large university. I always assumed they made money by having a really high volume of customers, which this type of establisment can easly feed. Really would not work well with the limited traffic of plaza. A restraunt would do well, but not a automat designed to feed tons of people in the shortest amount of time.

    You can read more about why they started to shut down here.

  6. #156

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by OSUPeterson View Post
    You will see these in large use in asia, especially Japan.

    It would be really awesome to see one in OKC, but downtown would probably be a better place to see it. Or near a large university. I always assumed they made money by having a really high volume of customers, which this type of establisment can easly feed. Really would not work well with the limited traffic of plaza. A restraunt would do well, but not a automat designed to feed tons of people in the shortest amount of time.

    You can read more about why they started to shut down here.
    Yeah there are two great concepts that keep getting thrown around when talking to people about our project, the first is an automat and the second being a combo laundromat and bar. Both of these are things I would think would be a great fit in a space like the new retail @ the Level development or a similar "urban" housing development. But the Plaza is mainly people who live in houses, most with access to laundry facilities and also nowhere near the foot traffic to support either of these business models to the level that would be needed to justify it's occupation of what is really a piece of pretty prime "hip" inner city real estate. Not to mention, that the space is only 1500 Sq Ft...

  7. #157

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I believe every apartment at LEVEL has washers and dryers. At least the model does.

  8. #158

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    I believe every apartment at LEVEL has washers and dryers. At least the model does.
    Yeah, it's really pretty impossible to find a large block of people in okc without easy access to laundry services...

  9. #159

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I agree, having a concept that has washers and dryers is wasting space. While a bar laundry mat sound cool, I think it would be underutilized and potentially attract a crowd that you may not want.

  10. #160

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by EBAH View Post
    Yeah, it's really pretty impossible to find a large block of people in okc without easy access to laundry services...
    Well, you can find large areas where people cannot afford or do not have washer/dryers in house, but they typically are not the people who would be at a laundromat/bar... or have extra money to spend... or attract tons of young buisness like Plaza wants to...

    Whatever goes in needs to be universally appealing. I live in that area and love plaza, but I know that I will never be part of that crowd. I am not retro enough, or artsy or whatever. Its not that I feel snubbed or anything, I just know that I don't quite fit in with everything going on so far. A good bar or restraunt, that is not too far titled to a specific crowd of people would be fantastic. Put something down there that will attract all types, not just the local artist and indie crowd.

    A tea house would be cool, but honestly, what kind of mix of customers are you going to see. You probably will not be attracting new people to plaza by large amounts. A good late night diner, restraunt, bar (something similar to speakeasy, mcnellies, JJ's, etc. in that it is not to tilted to certain types of crowds) would be amazing. I know that I would spend more time in the plaza if that was the case.

    Maybe the coin laundry is not the specific venue to provide this type of generic appeal, but it needs to come in somewhere. If they keep putting in artist live/work spaces, or places that are so far out there in their uniqueness (which I am not saying is a bad thing at all), it is going to become an artist only street, that most people will only walk through for an hour on live night or during the festival. Plaza should be working on bringing in places that develop foot traffic by lots of different groups all throughout the week and weekend.

    Sorry that rant went on a little longer than I expected...

  11. #161

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Regarding the bar / laundromat idea, there have been several of them in California and I've never seen any do very well.

    For years I lived in Manhattan Beach and didn't have a washer and dryer; I would say that was true for most the people that lived there. Yet, I never went to either of the two laundry/bar places and it seemed not many others did either.

    And I agree, the demographics in OKC are very different and even less conducive to this concept.

  12. #162

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by OSUPeterson View Post
    Whatever goes in needs to be universally appealing. I live in that area and love plaza, but I know that I will never be part of that crowd. I am not retro enough, or artsy or whatever. Its not that I feel snubbed or anything, I just know that I don't quite fit in with everything going on so far. A good bar or restraunt, that is not too far titled to a specific crowd of people would be fantastic. Put something down there that will attract all types, not just the local artist and indie crowd.
    To be completely honest, that is EXACTLY, what we'd like to do with this space. I mean, dont get me wrong, I want it to be stylish and sort of hip, cool decore etc. But while I am kind of on the fringe of that target group the plaza has been pitching to, I have long thought it was missing something that kind of binds everything together (churches and all). I know that you can't please EVERYONE, but I really do think the district would benefit greatly in an anchor that has certain things that just flat out appeal to most people. In my limited experience on planet earth, nothing brings a community together like a good old fashioned plate of homestyle breakfast food and hot, cheap, cups of good coffee.

  13. #163

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I hope it goes through. Just do one thing if you develop this, please make it open on sundays.

    I would love to be able to walk with our dog and sit outside or ride our bikes down and have breakfast on sunday instead of having to drive north. Nothing is open in midtown for breakfast on sundays, and that is, quite simply, a tragedy.

  14. #164

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by OSUPeterson View Post
    I hope it goes through. Just do one thing if you develop this, please make it open on sundays.

    I would love to be able to walk with our dog and sit outside or ride our bikes down and have breakfast on sunday instead of having to drive north. Nothing is open in midtown for breakfast on sundays, and that is, quite simply, a tragedy.
    I'm still shocked no one has done a breakfast restaurant. Those are some of my favorite places to eat when I'm in Chicago. So many of the concepts have been repeated, but all we have downtown is iHOP.

  15. #165

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Quote Originally Posted by OSUPeterson View Post
    I hope it goes through. Just do one thing if you develop this, please make it open on sundays.

    I would love to be able to walk with our dog and sit outside or ride our bikes down and have breakfast on sunday instead of having to drive north. Nothing is open in midtown for breakfast on sundays, and that is, quite simply, a tragedy.
    You got it buddy! But seriously, I Wouldn't think of being closed on Sundays. My wife and I eat out for breakfast every Sunday morning, it's a ritual.

  16. #166

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I'm thinking of buying in the Plaza District area, but I'd like to get some opinions of the place first. I've spoken to some business owners there, who have been very frank and helpful. What do you guys think the future of this area is like?

    I know the central part of it on 16th Street is looking good, with new development and renovations. Just to the north and south, however, are some pretty terrible properties and a lot of crime (according to the business owners there). Apparently, the crime rates dropped somewhat after those apartments were bought and redevelopment began, but it's still an issue. As for the property in general, I can see a couple directions this area could go:

    1) It will stay the same, with some pretty nice properties mixed with dilapidated buildings. Plaza District becomes stagnant or modestly improves.

    2) Redevelopment continues, the area improves nicely. The dilapidated homes and commerical buildings will be demolished or renovated and "flipped" (many of the houses there are in such poor condition, they simply cannot be saved if the land is to be improved).


    For those who know the area, what is your honest judgment of this area's future? The business owners I've spoken to have expressed guarded optimism, while acknowledging the crime problem just to the south.

  17. #167

    Default Re: Plaza District

    JMHO from someone who's looking into buying in the area as well:

    North of 16th is Gatewood. Despite a few sketchy blocks (largely centered around neglected rental properties) the neighborhood is pretty solid. You have the benefit of living in an urban conservation district, which means they have far more avenues to keep property owners in line. I actually looked on zillow and there are about 11 properties for sale in the neighborhood, with several sales coming in the past few months. There's even one off the locally famous Carey Place. There also appears to be really strong appreciation. That alone makes the neighborhood's future bright.

    South of 16th....that's a whole 'nuther story. That would be Classen-Ten-Penn. The neighborhood isn't as near as bad as it was in the mid 2000's, when that was Sureno's territory (which have now been pushed south of 10th). Its still pretty run down though. They now have a community organization but as far as I'm concerned it is not a historical district. So you're on your own. It could come back, appreciation appears to be alright. But given the fact that Gatewood, which is viewed as a better neighborhood still has some room to grow, its going to be a while before CTP gets redone on a large scale. Only buy here if you're a real urban pioneer.

    The most likely scenario of yours is 2, with Gatewood continuing to show strength and the areas of CTP within a block or 2 of the Plaza District maybe start to improve. I personally am leaning towards Linwood or Denniston Park area for other reasons, but I would buy near the Plaza. Just stay north of 16th.

  18. #168

    Default Re: Plaza District

    IMO, having just moved into the neighborhood on 22nd st, between penn and indiana, I believe the neighborhood will get better.

    More buisness if going to bring more people into the area which will help push the rif raf out. The houses on the backside (to the north) of 16th are pretty run down, but it just seems to be poor white trash, and not ghetto thugs. If you stay on indiana and move north or west, the neighborhood is nice. Hopefully if people are vigilant and report crime and report people who violate OKC housing ordianances, these people will be gone soon.

    Part of the problem is that plaza has developed a mainly artist commune around itself. While this can be the awesome, public art hippy thing that everyone admires, it also brings in a lot of undesirables. Along with low cost housing to support the artist, recreational drug use usually goes up as well.

    If people just do their part and report run down yards, houses, sketchy people, and plaza continues to grow, I cannot see the slums still being in plaza (at least north of 16th) within 5 years.

    Crime is going to exist everywhere downtown. I had more issues when I lived on 16th in Mesta Part across from a state senator than I have seen or heard about in gatewood. Much less skectchy, poor, hood, white trash people walking around for sure in mesta, but at least they keep to themselves.

  19. Default Re: Plaza District

    I agree with what the two previous posters said.

    I live (rent) in the area of Gatewood and 16th. I used to live in Jefferson Park and this area feels significantly less "dangerous". We have lived here for two years now and we feel the area is where we would like to buy. I have small children and it doesn't bother me to raise them here. I am that confident in the future of the neighborhood.

    The Gatewood neighborhood is really a street by street proposition. Some streets are as nice as you'd see in Mesta Park, while others are downright scary. The nicest areas are around St. Francis of Assisi church and school. There are many large, beautiful, well-taken-care-of homes in this area. Generally the area west of and including Indiana/Carey Place, east of Penn, south of 23rd and north of 16th I would definitely consider (although it get a bit less nice between Virgina and Penn). The other area to consider is streets to the north of Classen SAS all the way to the Walgreens. The areas between Gatewood and Douglas can be fairly seedy, especially Blackwelder.

    Like it was said before, unless you are really a pioneer, I would avoid Classen-Ten-Penn. I think it only a matter of time before the neighborhood comes back, but it is pretty rough. Many of the houses are probably tear-downs, but there are some real gems availble for brave souls. I'll admit I'm temped at times.

  20. #170

    Default Re: Plaza District

    I live on 16th St, just a few blocks west of the Plaza District in the neighborhood of Crestwood. If you're looking to buy I'd HIGHLY recommend it. The plaza is a 4 minute bike ride away but the neighborhood is VERY relaxed and "safe-ish", really, a great neighborhood.

  21. #171

    Default Re: Plaza District

    If you like what's going on in the Plaza District, consider reserving tickets to our annual fundraiser, the Urban Pioneer Awards! Tickets are $50 and support our continued efforts--plus it's a great time to get together with folks who care about downtown, inner city, and urban neighborhoods!


    2012 Urban Pioneer Awards

    Skirvin Hilton Hotel
    Wednesday, August 1st 2012 11:30 A.M.- 1:00 P.M.
    Purchase tickets here

    WAYNE AND MICHELLE COYNE TO BE HONORED AS
    2012 URBAN PIONEERS
    It is the Plaza District Association’s pleasure to announce that Wayne and Michelle Coyne are the recipients of the 2012 Urban Pioneer Award. Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips, and Michelle Martin-Coyne, an acclaimed photographer, have paved the way for creativity in Oklahoma City and brought the international spotlight to our state.

    After growing up in the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood just two blocks from the Plaza District, the Coynes purchased their current home there in 1980s. Over the years, they’ve not only seen the decline of the neighborhood, but also they’ve experienced it. Today, they are celebrating the Plaza District’s rise as a center for creativity and entrepreneurship in Oklahoma City.

    “The neighborhood had gotten pretty bad. Years ago, there came a time when we had to sit down and decide if we were going to stay,” said Michelle Coyne. And staying is exactly what they did.

    “Staying and believing in this neighborhood, the Coynes deserve this recognition just as much as any developer, philanthropist or visionary. The Coynes are a symbol of our city’s entire generation of urban pioneers who have chosen to stay and defend the good of their neighborhoods,” said Plaza District Executive Director Kristen Vails.

    However, a neighborhood doesn’t thrive by its people just living there, it thrives by the community its neighbors create. They may be internationally known artists, but to neighborhood kids, the couple is known most for their spooky, out-of-this-world decorations on Halloween. Michelle makes sure her elderly neighbors are doing well, and they both frequent Plaza District events, always taking time to chat with star-struck kids and local artists.

    Even outside the neighborhood, the Coynes are making sure Oklahoma City continues to thrive. Michelle Coyne volunteers on the MAPS 3 Parks Advisory board, and the couple is working to re-open the Womb Gallery, bringing international attention to the arts in Oklahoma City. Whether at the forefront, or behind the scenes, the couple is working to progress the role of art and creativity in Oklahoma City.

    The 16th Street Plaza District has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last several years. As arts and culture continue to grow in Oklahoma City, the Plaza District is providing opportunities for new creative spaces, local businesses and engaging events focused on the arts.

    To celebrate these achievements, each year the Plaza District hosts the Urban Pioneer Awards to recognize those individuals who have been instrumental in the rebirth of our inner city – “Urban Pioneers” who have made the Plaza District and Oklahoma City the vibrant and creative community it is today.

    The Coynes join an impressive list of past Urban Pioneer honorees including Tom McDaniel, Lou Kerr, Meg Salyer, Mark Funke, Mike Turpen, Ann Simank, Steve Mason and Bill and Bob Ross.

    The Coynes were selected as the 2012 Urban Pioneer Award winners by a group of past honorees and Plaza District board members including Tom McDaniel, Lou Kerr, Meg Salyer, Steve Mason, Aimee Ahpeatone and Stephen Kovash.

    The 2012 Urban Pioneer Awards honoring Wayne and Michelle will be held Wednesday, August 1st at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom.

    The 2012 Urban Pioneer Awards will be held Wednesday, August 1st at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. Tickets are available for purchase here. https://plazadistrict.wufoo.com/forms/m7x1z5/

  22. #172

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Wayne and Michelle Coyne to receive "Pioneer Award".

    http://newsok.com/ties-strong-betwee...rticle/3694900

  23. #173

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Drove by today and they were painting the old awning of the gas station to the east of Everything Goes Dance Studio black. It looks so much better now.

  24. #174

    Default Re: Plaza District

    Ah, was wondering about that when I saw the tape around the property.

  25. #175

    Default Re: Plaza District

    First time to visit the Plaza District tonight - lots of good stuff going on there. A return trip to Saints is definitely on my agenda.

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