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Thread: Tower Theater

  1. #101

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    I think I would be willing to volunteer a weekend of work at this place to see it get the attention it deserves from a devoloper, or the general public.
    The current owners should organize an event like this. Seems like a good opurtunity for a grassroots effort.


  2. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    I'm all for preserving it, but it's had plenty time to have something done. You know the place is going to need some demo, paint, etc. Things that the community can come help out with. Obviously you don't want every joe off the street helping out because they need to be competant and know how to handle historical places, but there a lot of us out there that would help out.

    If someone had "poured their pocketbook" into it, we would have seen some progress after what 3 years of them owning it. If it's a sound plan, then there are plenty lending opportunities out there. It's incredibly easy to get financial help, you just have to actually look for it. You can't use the economy excuse in OKC because it's not true here.

    I'm just so sick and tired of all these people flowing through the place and just wasting time. It's just like the Skirvin project. The people of the city know what potential is in the building and people keep making promises they don't keep. Is it going to take the city to get The Tower done too????

  3. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Lending institutions are all connected nationally. The economy DOES affect these types of projects.

  4. #105

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    not at the bank of bombermwc

  5. #106

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    bombermwc, it sounds like you're pretty high on the potential success of the Tower Theater. Why don't you go ahead and finance the project so it can continue to move forward?

  6. #107

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Often times you need someone to get a project started and they can only take it so far.

    I'm really grateful this group got the ball rolling and came up with a vision for this property. I'm sure they are more disappointed than anyone that they haven't been able to pull this off -- at least to date.

    But I think it's incredibly unfair to criticize them or the project in general. We need more of these types of efforts.

  7. #108

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    There are many costs associated with projects like this that the public never sees. The architectual & engineering costs on these projects would make most people choke. These must be done and approved before the first screw is turned.

  8. #109

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by Drake View Post
    There are many costs associated with projects like this that the public never sees. The architectual & engineering costs on these projects would make most people choke. These must be done and approved before the first screw is turned.
    It seems they should have done more feasibility studies and determine the final or projected cost before announcing the renovations. It was even stated that the investors/owners did not have a lot of experience in development?? Perhaps another developer will come along and make this happen. This would be great especially restoring the "Tower Neon Sign" to its original self.

  9. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    One of the things the Tower Neighborhood Working Group is looking at is how we might gain control of the Tower facade through an easement to one of the non-profit groups in the neighborhood and raise the funds to restore it. There are already some Historic Route 66 matching grant funds available for that work. We will also look into doing some work with the area's parking lots and finding a way they to attract some public or grant money to upgrade and landscape them.

    We are not looking for volunteer labor to clean out the theater or anything like that, but we might organize a litter pickup on a Saturday later this fall or early spring as a way of involving the community at large and attracting some attention to the Tower project.

    I'm sure that there are a number of people around town that have the same opinions as bombermwc and though I understand the frustration, I don't have much patience with them. Urban preservation and redevelopment projects are terribly difficult and those who haven't had any direct experience in a similar undertaking might want to learn a little more about the subject before they start jumping on people they have never met. Of course, this is a public forum and people are free to say what they like and I wouldn't want it any other way.

    Finally, anyone with spicific ideas, wanting to volunteer some time to make some phone calls, do some research or make a tax deductible contribution toward refurbishing the Tower marquee can do so through Uptown 23 Development Corporation, a 501-C3 non-profit, via US mail to 315 NW 23rd Street, OKC, 73103. The funds donated for this effort are being held specifically for, and will be used 100% for the Tower marquee project. Also, feel free to private message me about this.

    Thanks for all the supportive comments.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  10. #111

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by progressiveboy View Post
    It seems they should have done more feasibility studies and determine the final or projected cost before announcing the renovations. It was even stated that the investors/owners did not have a lot of experience in development?? Perhaps another developer will come along and make this happen. This would be great especially restoring the "Tower Neon Sign" to its original self.
    Feasibility studies require one facet of financing, every step is usually a different financing package, so a project can be effectively stalled or terminated at any step along the way. We have projects here that are pretty much completed, the initial funding was approved and they were basically told that the project was a go a year ago. So we do CD's and get ready to submit for permit and are told to hold off because now the funding is stalled because of the rest of the economy, not what it is like in OK or TX.

    As CuatrodeMayo stated, financing is all tied together nationally if not internationally. Your local bank may be your "source of funding" but if is a large enough project they can't commit that much of their assets to one project so they look to "sell" the project to a national financier. Our Lake Travis project is still stalled, it has gone from overseas banks to bonds, etc. It is stalled because of the national crunch, not a local one. There are very little "local" financing anymore. Much of it has to do with the bust in the 80's, most don't want to get tied up in one market segment and get caught short like IndyMac did or WaMu may with defaulted mortgages. We are agonizingly stalled on many projects because of this.

  11. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Thanks for the informative post bluedogok.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  12. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Well I'll close my trap when something has actually happened.

  13. #114

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    ODG, do you have an estimate on how much the sign restoration is going to cost?

  14. #115

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    I heard that the total cost would be around $50,000. I thought they had received some sort of grant to restore the sign so I don't know if this is the cost after the grant or before.

  15. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    At one time I believe that the budget was in the $50K range, but the sign has continued to deteriorate and costs have continued to rise. I think it is more likely to wind up costing at least $75K. I believe that there is a $15K Historic Route 66 grant already in place for the sign work.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  16. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by trison View Post
    I heard that the total cost would be around $50,000. I thought they had received some sort of grant to restore the sign so I don't know if this is the cost after the grant or before.
    I was told that number was just for the neon lighting.

  17. #118

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    It appears that the Tower Theater is getting a new roof. Has anyone heard what is going on if anything?

  18. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    That is the first work I have noticed since I moved nearby months ago.

  19. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Roofing replacement is about to get underway on the retail/office space fronting 23rd which includes the theater lobby as well as the auditorium poriton of the theater building. There is some renovation work on the second floor office space that should begin in a month or so. There is no work taking place on the theater portion at this time.

    I have been meeting with representitives of the surrounding neighborhoods and City Council to find a way to get this project moving. It is terribly important to this area and the city as a whole to get the theater shaped up and in use. There are dozens of high quality musical and other performance acts passing through Oklahoma City every week in route to other cities that have venues of the same size and type as the Tower. If the Tower was in business, the place would be booked at least 3 nights a week.

    2009 is the year that the T O W E R lights go on or my name isn't . . . . what ever it is.

    Michael

    Pray For World Peace . . . pass it on
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  20. #121

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    I have been away from Okc for 20 years what is the address of the Tower theatre?

  21. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated


  22. #123

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Thank's wsuougz. Been there many times, brings back alot of memories. Glad it's being saved.

  23. #124

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    I am so happy to hear that! I have been hoping someone would buy and renovate that place for years. 23rd street is getting much better and this will only help!

  24. #125

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Do we have a general idea what the capacity of the Tower would be as a music venue?

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