View Full Version : MidTown district gets signage

07-18-2007, 04:54 PM
Midtown uses signs to boost visibility

July 18, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Midtown Redevelopment Corp. decided that if districts around Oklahoma City such as the Asian District and The Paseo could have signs identifying their districts, then so could they.On Tuesday, the group unveiled four distinct signs around the area north of downtown to identify the area as Midtown even as businesses and new development continue to grow in the area.While not an official designation, Midtown is defined as 387 acres of business, residential and health care occupied land in the area bordered on the west by Classen Boulevard, the east by Broadway Place, the south by NW Fourth Street and the north by NW 13th Street.The four red steel markers standing almost nine feet in height were designed by Studio Architecture. Todd Ranger with Midtown Redevelopment said the signs cost a total of about $17,000 to make and install.The Midtown Redevelopment Corp. was formed as a nonprofit about 15 years ago by interested parties in the area to redevelop the then-ailing Midtown. “Our goals are to help solidify the 387 acres in some way to bring a sort of continuity to it and revitalize it with bringing in new businesses and people to live in the area,” Ranger said. The group now has more than 70 members, including 19 board members.But the process to put up the signs was no walk in the park.Ranger said planning began more than two years ago. The group had to jump through a number of hoops with property owners and Public Works and receive easements from the public utilities, in addition to raising money for the markers. Nevertheless, local interests in the area seem to be pleased that the signs now welcome visitors to the area.Greg Banta, with the Banta Companies, whose Midtown projects include renovation of a number of buildings including the Plaza Court, said the signs will help people know where Midtown is located and help to promote growth in the area.“A few years ago you had to explain to almost everyone where Midtown was but today that is not the case,” Banta said. “I think the markers are a great idea. The Midtown Redevelopment Corporation has been dedicated to the promotion of Midtown for a long time. They saw the potential in Midtown years ago.”

Copyright © 2007 The Journal Record

07-18-2007, 04:58 PM
I've seen these around for a few weeks and I wondered what they were. I saw these 9 ft. tall red square poles hiding under tarps, etc. but you could see red peeking out. I'll have to go by and check them out now that they've been unveiled. The one I've seen is around 7th and Walker. I'll try and snap some pics for you out of towners.

07-18-2007, 11:02 PM
I drove by after work and snapped a few quick pics of the one at 7th and Walker. I heard another is at Broadway and 10th. I know there are 4 but I haven't found the others yet. The pics don't do it justice. Walker and Midtown is really cleaning up and this looks like a piece of art. Supposively the tops of these things have solar panels (which I could kind of see) and they light up at night, I just drove by and they were not lit up. Perhaps they aren't wired up yet???

Anyhow, pics:

07-18-2007, 11:32 PM
i like them, they look good.

07-19-2007, 10:07 AM
Thanks for those, metro!

I'll take your word that they look better in person... They look a bit strange and too small in the photos.

But I'm really looking forward to seeing them in person and spending some significant time walking around Midtown on my next visit.

07-19-2007, 10:19 AM
Here's metro's photos from the gallery:

07-19-2007, 11:41 AM
I found a good website related to MidTown.

Midtown Oklahoma City (

07-19-2007, 12:43 PM
4th St = MidTown? A bit ambitious, isn't it? The Murrah Building was Downtown, not MidTown.

07-19-2007, 12:55 PM
I thought the same thing, Luke. I was thinking it should start more like 8th or 9th, the southern boundary of St. Anthony.

But there is tons of vacant and underutilized land north of 4th, some it owned by Banta. And as you go a little west along 4th, it's definitely not the CBD any longer.

In a way it's good they include so much area as it most of it is in strong need of identity and renovation.

07-19-2007, 12:58 PM
In a way it's good they include so much area as it most of it is in strong need of identity and renovation.



07-19-2007, 01:02 PM
Yeah, that one picture says a lot, doesn't it??

On one hand you see the community coming together and trying to create real neighborhoods and promote identity and public art.

On the other hand, you see there is still a long way to go... Or should we say a lot of blank canvas to paint upon? :)

Midtown is so important because it bridges the city's core with the city itself. It's a common problem in many cities, where they once rotted in concentric circles which advanced greatly due to suburban flight of the 60's and 70's.

It takes a lot to turn around that momentum but we are certainly heading in the right direction now.

07-19-2007, 01:08 PM
Oh, believe me, I'm pumped to see all the energy and resources going to this part of the city. The Auto Alley/10th St/Plaza Court area is definitely a crucial link from the Bricktown/CBD to the surrounding areas. It'll be nice to be able to safely walk or ride a bike from downtown to Heritage Hills without having to carefully choose the street and time you should go.

Living in Mesta Park last year and venturing just a few blocks the wrong way, I discovered, can lead to scary people with crowbars. I know. Thankfully, I can run really fast and nothing happened.

It'll be nice to see the whole area safer and nicer for pedestrians.

07-19-2007, 01:12 PM
I know prices are rising in Mesta Park due to these positive changes but it's the one area of town I think will appreciate the most in the next 5-10 years.

Just such a great location with all the cool things in town within walking/biking distance: OCU, Asian District, 23rd Street Corridor, The Paseo, Plaza Court, Restaurants on Walker, Automobile Alley, and of course the Arts District/CBD/Brictown and ultimately the river.

I'm strongly considering buying a home there as an investment.

07-19-2007, 01:17 PM
I loved living there renting a very cool upstairs apartment for $325 month. Last year, however, I got married and that just didn't cut it. As we went house hunting, we found that we couldn't afford a house in the neighborhood (unless we had 50 grand to fix it up). Now we live in a nice house in a decent neighborhood in Del City (where we work). The downtown lifestyle still appeals to my wife and myself very much. As our life situations change, and the real estate climate downtown comes down a bit, we can look there. As it is now, a less-than-ten-minute-drive to Bricktown is still a great getaway. :)

07-19-2007, 01:28 PM
I understand completely. Those older houses can turn into real money pits as well.

There is just so much cheap housing in the metro and there is very little traffic and it's so easy to get around... My good friend that lives in Oak Tree can make it to Bricktown in 20 minutes!

One of the great things about Mesta Park and Heritage Hills is that the elementary school there (Wilson, I believe) is very good. But of course, there are lots of good schools in the suburban districts as well.

07-19-2007, 05:33 PM
I wonder how a home creations home will hold up over 50-100 years.

07-19-2007, 10:57 PM
I drove around and took pics of some more of the markers tonight. I found 3 of the 4 of them. The pics are in my gallery. Link above.

07-19-2007, 11:24 PM
4th St = MidTown? A bit ambitious, isn't it?

It's better than calling it Bricktown. :)

Midtown's going to rock when the renovation's are all said and done. I just hope art is featured and promoted as much as possible throughout the district. With The Paseo being so close by, the region could really shine with a lively approach to art's appreciation. I'd like to see Midtown become something like Harvard Square; a perfect mix of art, retail and dining.

Thanks for those pics metro.

07-20-2007, 09:02 AM
I agree AFCM. I've started wondering though. Are these "markers" really more for Banta's benefit. Of the 3 of the 4 I've found, they've been by HIS DEVELOPMENTS or on HIS PROPERTY. Technically the new geographical borders definied by the city council for downtown OKC, are the same being definied in the article above for MidTown. I personally don't feel Midtown ends at Classen to the west and 13th to the north, I think we can all debate the south border and I think it will change over time possibly. I think MidTown really ends more along 23rd where Uptown starts and possibly as far west as May. There are some really historic areas further west than Classen that are still a part of the old city. Some consider NW 63rd MidTown (including the MidCity Advocate). Nonetheless, the markers are still welcome, however they seem to only be promoting the part of Midtown where Banta's properties are.