View Full Version : Deep Deuce II gets green light

07-22-2004, 08:18 PM
Deep Deuce II, the new apartment development just east of Deep Deuce apartments, got the green light today. This is good news for Deep Deuce, Bricktown, and all of downtown! Urban Renewal is looking for developers for this proposed apartment complex! I bet it won't take long to find a developer for the site! Sounds like they're entetaining proposals from national developers, not just local developers!

It's exciting to see all of the residential development going on downtown! With all of this development, retail will follow, and downtown will again be a 24 hour destination!

I'll bet a small grocery store of some sort gets built soon. There's an empty lot just southwest of the Bus Station. I thought it would make a great place for a downtown supermarket similar in nature ot Crescent Market, or maybe a nice Albertsons or something. This would be the perfect location for such a grocery store, because it wouldn't put another big box retailer in Bricktown or the CBD. Plus, it wouldn't be a discount store like Wal Mart. But it would still be a good size grocery store to service all of downtown.

Here's the article:

Urban Renewal seeks developers for The Hill
by Darren Currin
The Journal Record

A commercial and residential development may soon be coming to the area known as Walnut Hill or "The Hill," just east of downtown.
The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority on Wednesday agreed to send out a request for proposals from potential developers interested in undertaking a redevelopment project in the area that is bounded by Interstate 235 and Stiles Avenue on the west and east, and between NE Second Street and a railroad right of way on the north and south.

"There is approximately six acres in that area and we hope to pick up a little bit more from the ODOT right of way that is against I-235 by the railroad tracks," said JoeVan Bullard, executive director of the authority.

Additionally, Bullard noted that it was important to make the request for proposals known so that the project can be fueled by the momentum that is under way in the central core of Oklahoma City in terms of urban redevelopment.

With the wave of downtown housing under way in such projects as Deep Deuce, The Montgomery and the proposed Legacy at Arts Central, Oklahoma City officials have said that they believe "The Hill" could be another attractive area for developers to target for additional housing units.

Robert Annis, deputy director of the authority, explained that the guidelines for the proposals are broad and the authority expects to see a variety of proposed developments that will most likely include a mix of single-family housing, multifamily housing and commercial uses.

Bullard also added that because Oklahoma City is being recognized nationally because of its downtown redevelopment efforts through the MAPS program, he expects to receive a number of proposals from not just local groups, but out-of-state developers as well.

"I know of two local groups that are interested, but I also think there is going to be interest from developers in the Fort Worth/Dallas area and around the country," he said.

To attract a diverse group of developers to "The Hill" project, the authority will market the request nationally. Once the request is officially sent out, developers will have 90 days to respond. Bullard said that the period could be extended to allow the authority more time to negotiate with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for its right-of-way land.

During Wednesday's monthly meeting, authority member Jim Tolbert told the group that once all of the proposals have been received it was important that the local architectural community have an opportunity to review the designs and share their input.

"They should be injected into the review process at a stage where they can have an impact," said Tolbert.

Last year, the authority hired M&M Wrecking Co. to demolish and clear the Walnut Hill site for development. The company removed some concrete and construction material infill that at a previous period had been buried on the site.

07-22-2004, 08:37 PM
Ahhh, so Walnut Hill is Deep Deuce II. Yeah, I like that they're marketing the property nationally...that should yield some fresh concepts to OKC.

Actually the site I envision for a grocery store is one of those printing distribution houses in the Flatiron district. Put an Albertsons and other functions (banking, video rentals, etc) in there, and create a unique way for patrons to enter through those upward-sliding doors!!

07-22-2004, 09:26 PM
Again, I like you're thinking. Your ideas are so much more unique than just locating a big box retailer on an open lot downtown.

You know, they keep talking about having a Deep Deuce Town Square. Why not just make the whole Flat Iron District a big Utica Square type development? All of the individual buildings are already there. Just close off the streets, and make your Town Square there. With the Galleria parking garage and all, a Utica Square type development probably wouldn't fit well on that site anyways. But Flat Iron could be easily be converted to a market square shopping area.

07-22-2004, 09:55 PM
Patrick, I think the city fathers envision a community that involves the Research Park. I also think they're thinking upward multiple stories. I think any retail will be simply ground floor level.

But if that's the case, what about unique 4-5 story retail? The first two floors with recognizable names such as Crate & Barrel and Old Navy, with brand name bookstores/restaurants/bars on the second level, with office or housing on levels 3 - 5? Or a lab space with first floor Mac store? Just because it has more than one story doesn't mean it can't be town square-like and have attractive landscaping.

07-22-2004, 10:17 PM
Yeah, you're right. Not sure what I was thinking! :)

Aren't most of the buildings in Flat Iron only 2 or 3 stories? I didn't think they were too much taller than that. Maybe I'm mistaken.

Regardless, I still think we need to stick with retail and restaurant on the lower floors and residential and office on the upper floors.

07-22-2004, 10:30 PM
I agree with Patrick...there should always be residential upstairs from makes it easier for retail to stay alive and it gets more retailers interested in the property.

I would really like to see OKC add a couple of really nice markets to the areas where the apartments are starting to go up. There is going to have to be one soon.

Does anyone have a figure on how many housing units OKC expects to pop up downtown in the next few years.

Also, thinking about 2007, when the BIG 12 tourny will be in OKC, I think OKC really, REALLY needs to think hard and come up with an awesome idea of something to spend money on and build by then. There are going to be soooo many out-of-towners then, so something extremely unique would be awesome...I don't even have an idea of what it could be. But just something so when people come in to downtown, they will see it and think "WOW"...never thought an Ok city would be this cool!

07-22-2004, 10:31 PM
Yep, on the 2-3 story buildings...anyway, I'm glad something's happening there...

07-22-2004, 10:40 PM
Well Nuclear, we will have the Land Run sculpture completed by will be the world's longest sculpture!

Also, it will be 2007 when that tourny comes......our state's centennial celebration will be coming up, so OKC should be looking spiffy!

Hope the Conncourse (or I guess The Underground as it's now called) is improved by then. I'm guessing that the completion of the Skirvin Hotel will help that out somewhat since the Skirvin is connected to the tunnel system.

Maybe we'll have MAPS III on the drawing board by then!

Not sure what else the Centennial Commission has planned for the state's centennial celebration, but I bet they have more in the works!

Hopefully our fair grounds will look a little better tan they do now.

I wish I had a figure on the number of new housing units going in downtown, but I don't. A lot of that depends on what other announcements are made, as it seems new housing plans downtown are being announced quite frequently here lately.

07-22-2004, 10:49 PM
I think some things that would really be awesome for the Bricktown area, and would help toward that out-of-towner amazement, would be for OKC to install dancing water fountains all over the riverwalk and bricktown. I'm talking major fountains like the ones you see in front of the Mirage and MGM Grand in Vegas. Anything OKC can do that is extremely impressive will help with OK's image in general. I think the light shining into the sky at night will be very cool too.

Another thing that would really impress people, which I think will be happening then, is tons and tons of cranes in the sky near downtown. With all the apartment complexes, Dell, and other things being planned for downtown, It will be cool to see how many cranes are in the air at once.

07-22-2004, 11:02 PM
Well although not on the scale you'd probably like, the dancing fountains idea is actually already being developed. The plaza across from the theater will have dancing fountains, that will dance in tune to surrounding music from live performances, music played over a speaker, or whatever! It's currently being developed.

But unfortunately, that's only in one location, and the fountains won't be on the same scale as those at the Mirage or MGM Grand.

I love cranes!!!! They sure looked lovely when the MAPS Projects and Hammons Hotel projects were going on!!! Hopefully more development will continue.

Hey, have any other ideas on what the city could do to prepare for 2007?

07-22-2004, 11:02 PM
Maybe city staff could come up with some public funds and raise private funds for major public art installations facing the Ford Center on the two giant walls of the Cox Convention Center...something dramatic that brightens at night. Icon suggestions, anyone?

07-22-2004, 11:10 PM
My gosh.....that would sure be nice. The south side of the Cox Center really looks drab! Maybe engraved and painted pictures from our city's local attractions could be placed there. Anyone have any ideas?

This makes me think of something. Floater, you know, they never did paint a mural on the wall belowthe Santa Fe Rail Road tracks just off of the canal. The city fought so hard to keep the whale mural off that wall, saying it didn't fit in with the area! Now there's just a drab wall with nothing on it. I just don't understand people! I for sure thought they would paint something on that wall!

07-22-2004, 11:12 PM
Plenty of things...I think OKC needs to put in tons of permanent sky lights...the ones that dealerships sometimes use to attract people. Put in a set of these spinning lights on 6 or 7 of the bricktown/canal buildings to let people know who are traveling through and who are coming to the games, that this is the place where things are happening. Also, for the weekend or however long the tourny is going on, I think OKC should put on a major fireworks show after the last game. It's the little things that OKC can do that will really impress people and make them remember OKC. OKC needs to show the people that it is willing to spend the money to entertain them. And OKC does need to spend the money...go all out. It's not everday that you get this big of a tourny, and if OKC really impresses the out-of-towners, they will show the BIG 12 that they didn't make a mistake by bringing the tourny here and that it needs to come back often.

07-22-2004, 11:14 PM
I'm not sure if anyone remembers this idea that was floated not too long ago. I saw it in a story in either The Oklahoman or The Journal Record. It mentioned a possible canal extension from where the canal crosses under Reno Avenue, and extend it west to the Myriad Gardens. Imagine taking a water taxi from the Ford Center after an arena football game or major NCAA basketball tournament, stop at Toby Keith's Road House down the canal, and then stroll over to Bricktown 16 to catch a movie! Unfortunately, taking out three or four blocks of Reno is bad, seeing as how it is a major artery. I guess that is why the idea stayed an idea.

Continue the Renaissance!!!

07-22-2004, 11:43 PM
Oh, it's more than an idea! It's part of the city's Master Plan for the canal! MAPS money is going to pay for a stub that will come west off of the canal just south of Reno where the canal begins to turn east. someday, the city hopes to extend this stub back around under Reno and meet back up with the canal's start. Also, off of this loop the city hopes to extend the canal along Reno, under the railroad tracks, under EK Gaylord, in between the Ford Center and Cox Center, then north along Harvey, and finally west into the ponds at the Myriad Gardens! Not sure how many years it will take the city to complete this, but it still planned for future expansion. Norm Bekoff with Water Taxi told me that a few years back.

I think the city's primary focus will be to extend Zone G of the canal (the portion that comes out of the Oklahoma River) to meet up with the south canal....they'll never connect but at least will be close. You'll have to get off a Bricktown water taxi there and onto a river boat, or vice versa! But currently about 300 feet separate the two segments.......more importantly a rail road crossing separates the two segments, and the city will have to build a railroad bridge over the canal to accomplish this task!

07-23-2004, 08:54 PM
Yeah, it's frustrating to still see that wall bare. There was actually a proposal to paint a mural on the railroad wall, which would have featured contributions from different ethnic communities in the area. But it ran into legal obstacles.

I'm curious to see how the canal between the Ford Center and Cox Center would work. Would they seal off the street altogether to auto traffic? Or have roadways on either side of it? In any case, there appears to be enough set back to permit a dropoff point at both centers.

It's good that a loop is in the plan, because the actual displacement distance from the beginning to end would be minimal. With a loop, there is the visual interest and lengthened ride. The water taxis' continued success has surprised city leaders, for the ambassadors are doing all they can to add value to the ride.

For those two Cox Center spaces, how about a widescreen TV, similar to scoreboards and New York's Times Square? Besides that, I still think the great Jim Thorpe is due a fitting memorial associated to the Ford Center.

07-23-2004, 09:00 PM
I think that would be awesome for that area. Scrolling marquis telling recent news and upcoming events, and a huge plasma t.v. to do the same thing!

07-23-2004, 09:21 PM
I think that would be awesome for that area. Scrolling marquis telling recent news and upcoming events, and a huge plasma t.v. to do the same thing!

Well, now I don't think that particular site is good for a permanent scrolling newsreel. The place just doesn't see enough traffic to get the attention (Leadership Square on Park and Robinson would be better). The widescreen maybe could be installed just for the tourney and other mega-events. I don't think the everyday traffic is there to put it to good use. If someone could independently finance it, that would be a different story -- stick it on!!!

07-24-2004, 08:56 PM
Personally, I still think they need to expand the south side of the convention center out with another ballroom and 20 more meeting rooms....that would match the north side of the convention center.......both sides used to match before the north addition was constructed. We can always use more convention space.
That would give the south side a more urban look, plus prevent the problem of having to fill those empty spaces with something!

In regards to the canal extension, I believe the plan was to close off Reno between the Ford Center and the Convention Center, and make a traffic loop for the Ford Center on the northwest side. Drop off for the convention center would be on the north side. There could be a water taxi drop off on the south side!!! This is similar in nature to what San Antonio did with a recent Riverwalk Extension. Anyways, in regards to our plans for such an extension, that's just what I've heard, and take note that such plans may be 20 years off, if at all!

The stub will be created for sure though, as that money was budgeted in MAPS I and still has not been spent!

07-24-2004, 09:09 PM
That's true, we could use such space for expansion. And no matter how far off those plans may be from fruition, I think they're A-OK.

07-24-2004, 09:26 PM
I'm confused...whats the "stub" with MAPS I funding?

07-24-2004, 09:40 PM
Sorry. Let me explain. The canal stub, will be a short canal extension built off of the canal south of Reno! It will originate at the bend of the canal where the canal starts heading east on the south side of Reno. The stub will head west a few hundred feet. It will allow for further extension of the canal back towards the canal's point of origin and possibly to the other points I listed, but as of now only this stub will be built. Make sense? The stub will stretch over close to the U-Haul self storage building....between that building and Reno.

This stub was part of MAPS I and just hasn't been completed yet, but the money is there.

07-24-2004, 09:45 PM
Ok, I understand now...I was confused because you talked about expansion but said it would be a while if ever if it happened...then you talked about the stub!

07-24-2004, 09:48 PM
Yeah, the canal stub will just make it easier to link onto the canal for future extension (to the west) in the future!