View Full Version : Preftakes working on new downtown development??

06-15-2007, 07:53 AM
Pioneer developer buys three downtown properties

By Steve Lackmeyer
Business Writer

Nicholas Preftakes, a pioneer in downtown Oklahoma City housing, has assembled at least three different properties on the southwest corner of Main and Hudson, but he's denying he has any specific development plans.

The acquisitions started in January with the $1.077 million purchase of the old Carpenter Square Theater, at 400 W Main, from longtime owner Byron Gambulous.

Earlier this month he bought the seven-story Cheek garage at 17 N Hudson for $3.25 million.

His latest acquisition is a two-story office building at 408 W Main bought from attorney Anita Sanders for $1 million.

The combined purchases total $5.327 million, but Preftakes is revealing little about his ultimate plans for the block.

"It is an opportunity for me to hold on to some property for investment purposes, Preftakes said.

But the purchases, and Preftakes' decision to end parking at the garage have some, including Brett Hamm, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., wondering whether something big is in store for the corner.

"Nicholas Preftakes is a visionary, Hamm said.

"He saw downtown housing long before anyone else did. Does he know what he wants to do? He certainly has options. That corner has tremendous potential for retail, offices or housing. Imagine a couple of housing towers there.

Preftakes said the garage, built in 1929, was built with brick, steel and concrete materials that wouldn't be used today.

He and Hamm both said the one-story former Carpenter Square Theater and the two-story law firm are not the best utilization of the corner of Main and Hudson, which is within walking distance of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Myriad Gardens, City Hall and the central business district.

Preftakes said he sought an early termination of a contract with Republic Parking for the auto hotel because "I just don't have any interest to be in the parking business.

"I'll figure out what to do with it, Preftakes said.

"There will be a reuse of the building, but it won't be for parking.

06-15-2007, 08:01 AM
I wouldn't mind the old Carpenter Square being replaced, but I hope he doesn't demolish the Auto Hotel. It would be a great building for lofts.

06-15-2007, 08:08 AM
I agree jbrown, and by the tone of his expression, I think that may be what he was hinting at.

06-15-2007, 09:05 AM
Anyone know what the inside of the old carpenter square theater looks like? This city really needs a 1500 or so capacity venue for concerts and other performing arts. I'm sure that's too small, but since we lost the Continental, I can't think of another theater that could be converted. The Tower would be great, but I don't know how big it really is.

06-15-2007, 09:16 AM
The thing is, I don't think it was originally a theatre. I think it was a department store. It's only 1 story and I doubt it's really ideal.

06-15-2007, 09:59 AM
Probably not.