View Full Version : Holiday Inn Express



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12 13

Rover
03-12-2013, 10:02 PM
This is an okay project, but please don't confuse it for a high quality project. As long as they continue to allow cheap and noisy through the wall air conditioning units they will be marginally better than motels.

OKCisOK4me
03-13-2013, 12:45 AM
This is an okay project, but please don't confuse it for a high quality project. As long as they continue to allow cheap and noisy through the wall air conditioning units they will be marginally better than motels.

Amen

bombermwc
03-13-2013, 06:45 AM
And please tell me how you would give each room it's own unit without making it cost twice as much?

And did they remember all the utter crap they approved in lower bricktown? Please

LakeEffect
03-13-2013, 08:06 AM
And please tell me how you would give each room it's own unit without making it cost twice as much?

And did they remember all the utter crap they approved in lower bricktown? Please

They have no say or sway over Lower Bricktown.

HangryHippo
03-13-2013, 08:08 AM
They have no say or sway over Lower Bricktown.

Cafe, how is Lower Bricktown excluded from design reviews? Or is it under the watch of a different review board?

Steve
03-13-2013, 08:14 AM
The city never placed Lower Bricktown under the design ordinance. Design for Lower Bricktown is regulated by the Urban Renewal Authority.

LordGerald
03-13-2013, 08:16 AM
Cafe, how is Lower Bricktown excluded from design reviews? Or is it under the watch of a different review board?

It's because the BDC doesn't have purview over Lower Bricktown. It's under a different review board, not sure if its Downtown Review or another, or if at all.

HangryHippo
03-13-2013, 08:21 AM
The city never placed Lower Bricktown under the design ordinance. Design for Lower Bricktown is regulated by the Urban Renewal Authority.

That's our problem!

BoulderSooner
03-13-2013, 08:56 AM
The city never placed Lower Bricktown under the design ordinance. Design for Lower Bricktown is regulated by the Urban Renewal Authority.

thanks for the great blog post steve

LakeEffect
03-13-2013, 08:56 AM
It is certainly part of it. The other part is that there isn't a major planning vision that guides either of these bodies.

That's not entirely true. Bricktown has regulations and design guidelines that should shape design issues. They also have their Strategic Plan, a great work by AJ and others.

LakeEffect
03-13-2013, 08:57 AM
That's our problem!

And when the City informally approached the owner of Lower Bricktown about having design review... well, you can imagine the answer.

HangryHippo
03-13-2013, 09:17 AM
And when the City informally approached the owner of Lower Bricktown about having design review... well, you can imagine the answer.

I sure enough can. Can the city implement design review without his consent? Is it something property owners have to agree to be bound by? Or how does that aspect work?

LakeEffect
03-13-2013, 09:58 AM
I sure enough can. Can the city implement design review without his consent? Is it something property owners have to agree to be bound by? Or how does that aspect work?

It's a zoning overlay or base zoning (depending on the type). They City would have to initiate a rezoning and send it through Planning Commission and City Council. Doing it without his consent would normally never work. The City just withdrew its application from the NE 8th and Lincoln area where they were rezoning a whole neighborhood without consent. While this is different, the politics involved are not dissimilar.

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 10:00 AM
Besides, Lower Bricktown is built out isn't it. I thought KD's took the last site.

HOT ROD
03-13-2013, 10:03 AM
officially - yes. technically - HE%L no.

BDP
03-13-2013, 10:13 AM
And please tell me how you would give each room it's own unit without making it cost twice as much?

Well, all you're really saying is that bricktown is not worth the cost of quality projects, as it's certainly not impossible to install a better HVAC system as they do it all the time in more worthy districts. Unfortunately, approving cheap and junky features like these A/C units only ensures that bricktown will continue to not be worth the cost of high quality projects.

If they just told them no, then they would either fix or not build it. And the, if they didn't build it and there weren't enough rooms in bricktown, the prices would go up, which would then in turn attract better quality developments. If the city cares about bricktown's long term feasibility, it would wait for the right developments that don't just help to perpetuate low standards.

Rover
03-13-2013, 10:20 AM
And please tell me how you would give each room it's own unit without making it cost twice as much?

And did they remember all the utter crap they approved in lower bricktown? Please

Not sure what you are asking about each room it's own unit. That is what through the wall air conditioners are...they are just larger window units. What would you think of a new apartment building built downtown with window air conditioners hanging out of each window? It is cheap, inefficient and loud. There are better options when they care to build a quality and sustaining product. There is no need to add a hole in the wall in each room.

A couple of years ago I had the head of franchise development for Hilton say to me that even they consider hotels with these types of units to be the same level as a motel and ones with central systems to be real hotels. But most franchise companies give the franchisee the option of systems. The better operators choose a higher level of construction while the others tend to go the cheapest. Often it is indicative of how they will run the hotel and what they think of their guests. If they think they have to rely on return guests (business people) they put in the better systems. In entertainment areas and suburbs they put in the cheaper through the wall as they don't rely on the same guest returning and therefore care less about their satisfaction with the stay as long as it meets minimum standards. In those, they rely on the franchise reservation system to drive bookings demand, not guest satisfaction at that particular hotel. You tell me what we want downtown...limited service hotels in lesser quality construction who don't care if their guests come back, or quality full service operators with good construction standards that want their guests to return.

BoulderSooner
03-13-2013, 11:09 AM
any word on how this meeting went?

Anonymous.
03-13-2013, 11:33 AM
officially - yes. technically - HE%L no.

Not sure if the Cotton Exchange site/lot(s) counts as part of Lower BT, but it remains.

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 11:44 AM
Not sure if the Cotton Exchange site/lot(s) counts as part of Lower BT, but it remains.

Lower Bricktown is anything south of Reno. According to this map there is one spot left. BTW - get ready for a holy-**** moment when you see how little space is actually used for revenue generation.

Lower Bricktown (http://lowerbricktown.com/#map)

BoulderSooner
03-13-2013, 11:48 AM
Not sure if the Cotton Exchange site/lot(s) counts as part of Lower BT, but it remains.

lower bricktown is south of reno

Anonymous.
03-13-2013, 11:50 AM
I figured, but it still is the only remaining canal fronting lots.

BDP
03-13-2013, 11:52 AM
Lower Bricktown is anything south of Reno. According to this map there is one spot left. BTW - get ready for a holy-**** moment when you see how little space is actually used for revenue generation.

Lower Bricktown (http://lowerbricktown.com/#map)

Crazy, huh?

Too bad the city is so gung ho on this boulevard thing. Whenever I see that empty tract of land behind Harkins where the free was, I think "maybe lower bricktown can have a second chance". Then I remember the boulevard.

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 11:55 AM
If we have gotten to the point that the type of AC units is now the point of contention than I say we have made great progress. Alas, I wonder how people who favor a more 'big city' type of AC unit feel about the site plan for the Staybridge.

HangryHippo
03-13-2013, 12:01 PM
If done right, I feel like the Boulevard has a chance to be a wonderful addition to OKC, but if screwed up (which is highly likely), it's only going to highlight the POS that Lower Bricktown turned out to be.

Rover
03-13-2013, 12:02 PM
If we have gotten to the point that the type of AC units is now the point of contention than I say we have made great progress. Alas, I wonder how people who favor a more 'big city' type of AC unit feel about the site plan for the Staybridge.

It is not a "big city type of AC", it is the indication of the quality of construction and businesses we prefer. This is not an elitist requirement. It is not the type of AC that is the point of contention, but the quality of the building we expect. It is time we in OKC quit favoring the cheap and quick over the good and sustaining type of city. You can put crap next to the sidewalk and it doesn't make it quality urban. You can clad a barn with brick and it doesn't make it a quality building. Let's quilt looking only at the superficial aspects of design and put some meat on the bones.

BoulderSooner
03-13-2013, 12:04 PM
If done right, I feel like the Boulevard has a chance to be a wonderful addition to OKC, but if screwed up (which is highly likely), it's only going to highlight the POS that Lower Bricktown turned out to be.

next to lower bricktown the blvd is already decided ... it will be above grade (to go up and over I40) until about the middle of the harkins building then be at grade with an intersection at oklahoma (or less likely at exchange) then go below grade to go under the new railroad bridge ..

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 12:13 PM
Well either way Rover, it is nice to know we are debating the merits of the AC unit instead of the setbacks from the street. For the record, I am not opposed to either style as I think it is important that Bricktown (or any urban district) has options for all price ranges with the majority being somewhere near the middle. Bricktown doesn't have any upper-end but it doesn't have any roach motels either.

Rover
03-13-2013, 12:17 PM
Well either way Rover, it is nice to know we are debating the merits of the AC unit instead of the setbacks from the street. For the record, I am not opposed to either style as I think it is important that Bricktown (or any urban district) has options for all price ranges with the majority being somewhere near the middle. Bricktown doesn't have any upper-end but it doesn't have any roach motels either.

JTF, I would think you of all people would be discouraged by the preponderance of this level of construction downtown. You don't seem the type to want to keep putting suburban level quality construction in downtown. Setback or no setback, a building downtown in the heart of our city should be built to last many many years. Cutting corners speeds up development but you pay for it later. I would think sustainability would be one of the first guidelines in your playbook. The debate is about a fairly insignificant design treatment at the front door, but not about the overall quality of the building type. Seems pretty short sighted and superficial.

BDP
03-13-2013, 12:25 PM
next to lower bricktown the blvd is already decided ... it will be above grade (to go up and over I40) until about the middle of the harkins building then be at grade with an intersection at oklahoma (or less likely at exchange) then go below grade to go under the new railroad bridge ..

What a mess.

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 12:25 PM
I thought the AC unit was neither urban or suburban. Is the rest of the building not built to code thus causing it to collapse at some point in the future?

On second thought - never mind. It really isn't worth arguing about.

Rover
03-13-2013, 01:03 PM
That is the measure of quality we want...whether it collapses or not? LOL

Plutonic Panda
03-13-2013, 01:05 PM
Well, all you're really saying is that bricktown is not worth the cost of quality projects, as it's certainly not impossible to install a better HVAC system as they do it all the time in more worthy districts. Unfortunately, approving cheap and junky features like these A/C units only ensures that bricktown will continue to not be worth the cost of high quality projects.

If they just told them no, then they would either fix or not build it. And the, if they didn't build it and there weren't enough rooms in bricktown, the prices would go up, which would then in turn attract better quality developments. If the city cares about bricktown's long term feasibility, it would wait for the right developments that don't just help to perpetuate low standards.+1 amigo

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 01:28 PM
That is the measure of quality we want...whether it collapses or not? LOL

Its a better measure than the type of AC unit. We're talking about how to make air cold. Now maybe if they were putting swamp coolers in then we might have an issue regarding quality.

Rover
03-13-2013, 01:35 PM
You are hung up on arguing. The point is not about the type of AC, but the level of investment, planning, and infrastructure of the building. It is typical of a certain level of commitment to quality. Glad to know that you think window units and PTACs are quality building components. You would rather win an argument by trying to make something superficial than discuss the true issue. If the idea of urbanism is to get building up and not be concerned about sustainability, then I guess it doesn't matter. AC is AC right? Buildings are buildings. There is no difference right? All is good as long as it is within 10 ft of the street. Somehow I don't think our fellow urbanists would agree.

There are a thousand ways to cheapen building construction...most of which the average person is ignorant of and wouldn't recognize with casual inspection. Mechanical systems are usually hidden behind walls or taken for granted and an easy way to take substantial cost and quality out. Meeting minimum standards isn't that hard.

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 01:52 PM
No, I am just saying that sustainability and quality don't hinge on the method of cooling air. It is a Motel 6 not the Waldorf.

hoya
03-13-2013, 02:04 PM
The building looks good to me. I'm not an expert on urban planning, or air conditioners, or construction techniques. To my untrained eye, this development is exactly what we need in Bricktown/DD. It certainly looks urban.

Now, what I gather from this thread is that a different type of air conditioning system than the one they are using is normally associated with higher quality development. More expensive to build, cheaper to maintain. Now just looking at the photos here, I don't see the traditional "window unit" that I envision when I hear that term, certainly not like we had in our house when I was growing up.

I don't have enough of a background on this sort of development to know what associations to make. Some people seem to be painting it as a Motel 6. I don't want them building something that will be a rat trap in 25 years, but neither do I think that every new hotel needs in Bricktown needs to be the Waldorf Astoria.

Right now I think there's still a strong disagreement between members of this board over exactly what we envision for our downtown. Some want "affordable" while others want it more exclusive. Every bit of for-sale housing in Deep Deuce is out of my price range. The only way I'll get to live in the Brownstones is if I hole up there during the zombie apocalypse. If all the development in this area is in the same price range, I'm sure it will be a very nice area, but it will also be inaccessible to most people in OKC.

I guess I'm having a difficult time envisioning what level of hotel this will be. JTF seems to think it is "good enough" for Bricktown. Rover does not. Part of that may be a debate on what is quality construction, but part of it may be a different opinion on what the end product should look like.

BDP
03-13-2013, 02:05 PM
No, I am just saying that sustainability and quality don't hinge on the method of cooling air. It is a Motel 6 not the Waldorf.

Well, it does when the method results in unsightly design and increased noise pollution. It is a very visible and tacky solution that, in turn, has the effect of cheapening its surroundings.

It's no different than if someone built a large house next to yours and used window units as its method of cooling air. It would have a negative effect on the neighborhood and is exactly why a lot neighborhoods don't allow it.

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 02:30 PM
I guess will we just have to agree to disagree. However, time will tell so if it turns out bad we will all know for the next time.

Urbanized
03-13-2013, 03:46 PM
If the window A/C units are an issue - and as I have said before in other posts, I agree they are not optimal - that needs to be changed in the design ordinance for Bricktown, not offered up spur-of-the-moment at a design review meeting. Judging by many of the comments I see here and even from committee members themselves sometimes, I think there is generally a VERY poor understanding of the purpose and purview of this committee. Their job is to review new projects and determine whether or not they comply with AN EXISTING, VERY COMPREHENSIVE SET OF DESIGN GUIDELINES, which were compiled over the years BY A VERY QUALIFIED AND TRAINED GROUP OF PLANNERS within the Oklahoma City's Planning Department, PEOPLE WHO HAVE VERY SPECIFIC AND COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION AND TRAINING in this regard. The guidelines were developed with community input, and using the best practices gleaned from basic urban planning principles and other successful and similar districts throughout the country.

The BUDC is not SUPPOSED to be the taste police, despite comments and actions to the contrary by them and by others.

Much like judges don't write the laws but instead interpret laws already on the books - written by lawmakers, not judges - this group is SUPPOSED to enforce the existing guidelines, pure and simple. Over the years I have become convinced that some of them not only don't bother to familiarize themselves with the EXISTING, COMPREHENSIVE GUIDELINES (Steve makes this point in his blog post), they often don't seem to even read the DETAILED PACKETS THEY ARE GIVEN BEFORE MEETINGS ON EACH PROJECT BEFORE THEM. It is not uncommon to show up and be asked by a commissioner, "OK, so tell me what you have here...", with the impression being given that they haven't even studied the plans. It's as if whatever pops into their heads in the moment - while reviewing a plan on-the-fly - should be considered gospel. These plans are often at that point only after hours of expensive work by an architect, and hours of consultation with City planning staff.

The idea that it's OK to review these expensive plans and make on-the-fly recommendations/demands THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EXISTING GUIDELINES is pure arrogance and self-indulgence. It creates project delays, requires additional expense on the part of developers, and surely has a chilling effect on future development.

If a new wrinkle emerges that justifies attention, fine. They (or anyone else who thinks it should be changed/amended) need to take it up with the Planning Department and have the existing design ordinance modified before some other project is proposed with similar issues. The air conditioner thing is a perfect example. Instead of simply bitching about it or saddling an existing project with expensive design changes based on whim, GET WITH THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT AND HAVE CHANGES MADE. In this case, it seems like a worthy subject to address.

As for the entrance, I think the first one was fine. It boldly identifies the entrance, puts a modern twist on a building that other than that still closely echoes the historic buildings around it (this is a very appropriate approach to infill construction in an HP district, though Bricktown is NOT even technically an HP district). I also think it visually honors the bold modern architecture of Aloft, which can easily be seen from the street in front of Holiday Inn. I doubt this was an accident.

Again, as Steve pointed out in his blog post, the original entrance proposed pretty clearly complies with existing design guidelines, and comments made by the most critical committee member (who is by the way not an architect or a planner by trade) make you wonder if he is even familiar with the existing guidelines for the district he represents. It appears that he is instead relying solely on personal taste, which is an incredibly slippery slope. If he's not relying on personal taste he is apparently relying on a bad interpretation of the guidelines, which maybe even more concerning.

Now, based on taste-based committee member comments that I believe are out of bounds, the developer had to pay their architect to come up with new designs that don't IMO "fix" anything. I think the most recent options are at the best watered-down/dumbed-down versions of the original, and some of them are not very good at all. The architect was obviously casting a wide net in an effort to find SOMETHING that resonates with the undocumented personal taste of a committee member. The only thing accomplished here is expense and delay, all borne by the developer, who appears to be trying very hard. It's a shame that they were required to change it, and even more shameful that the project is now delayed once again due to BUDC members not attending this meeting and a quorum not being reached. If I were the hotel developer, I would frankly be pissed. Heck, I'm not even attached to the project and I'm obviously worked up.

Instead of indulging their own egos, committee members for this and other like boards would be best served to study, study, study, both the existing guidelines AND the individual project/staff recommendations, and to act accordingly. Every project includes a recommendation by a trained, professional planner on the City staff, usually either "approve" or "deny" with detailed explanations as to why staff is making the recommendation. If committee members stuck faithfully to these recommendations and defended them vigorously as much as possible, Bricktown (and other districts subject to similar reveiw) would be much better off.

-30-

Rover
03-13-2013, 04:37 PM
However, time will tell so if it turns out bad we will all know for the next time.

LOL. I thought it was you, or maybe Spartan, that admonished me that the time to be up in arms was up front and not to wait until the die is cast. That's what a good activist does, I was told.

Just the facts
03-13-2013, 05:24 PM
LOL. I thought it was you, or maybe Spartan, that admonished me that the time to be up in arms was up front and not to wait until the die is cast. That's what a good activist does, I was told.

Good point. I'll tell you what, you convinced me. As Urbanized pointed out, if they want to increase the standards to cover this I would be all for it.

Stew
03-13-2013, 06:36 PM
It is not a "big city type of AC", it is the indication of the quality of construction and businesses we prefer. This is not an elitist requirement. It is not the type of AC that is the point of contention, but the quality of the building we expect. It is time we in OKC quit favoring the cheap and quick over the good and sustaining type of city. You can put crap next to the sidewalk and it doesn't make it quality urban. You can clad a barn with brick and it doesn't make it a quality building. Let's quilt looking only at the superficial aspects of design and put some meat on the bones.

Hey why don't you lead by example and build the kind of hotel that meets your level of quality.

BigD Misey
03-13-2013, 06:48 PM
I think every Holiday Inn has PTAC's these days. Not to be confused with window A/Cs that protrude from the windows.
Not entirely unsitely for affordable accomodations.

Mel
03-13-2013, 08:17 PM
I may not be the smartest poster here but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Rover
03-13-2013, 08:31 PM
I think every Holiday Inn has PTAC's these days. Not to be confused with window A/Cs that protrude from the windows.
Not entirely unsitely for affordable accomodations.

That is not true that they all have PTACs. And it isn't an aesthetics issue. They waste energy. Are noisy inside and out. And you create an additional penetration through the exterior wall for each unit creating future structure problems with air and water infiltration. And, many create condensation stains on the exterior because of inadequate condensation removal technique. They lack proper control of ventilation air and do a poor job of controlling humidity. But they are used to avoid the cost of a proper central system. So, it isn't a visual issue as they are often disguised behind decorative grilles.

Rover
03-13-2013, 08:36 PM
Hey why don't you lead by example and build the kind of hotel that meets your level of quality.

That is your answer to improving standards? Anyone suggesting a better way must first build a building or develop a city if you want to comment on urban planning or design? I guess architects and engineers are only right if they are willing to also become a developer. Lol.

BigD Misey
03-14-2013, 05:48 AM
WOW. Thank for the correction. But, i dont remember saying PTACs are the best suited.
But, you are correct, i should have typed ALOT of newly costructed Holiday Inn expresses have PTACs.
Also, and this is just an opinion, not what is holy and absolute, i dont feel they are unsightly. Maybe ive just stayed in well maintained ones. But, It hasnt deterred me in the past.
(Entering: 'ignominious viewer' mode now)

Anonymous.
03-14-2013, 09:10 AM
Looks like all of the rubble is moved from the site and the clean slate is ready to be built.

Rover
03-14-2013, 09:58 AM
WOW. Thank for the correction. But, i dont remember saying PTACs are the best suited.
But, you are correct, i should have typed ALOT of newly costructed Holiday Inn expresses have PTACs.
Also, and this is just an opinion, not what is holy and absolute, i dont feel they are unsightly. Maybe ive just stayed in well maintained ones. But, It hasnt deterred me in the past.
(Entering: 'ignominious viewer' mode now)

You would be correct in saying MOST HI Exp go with PTACs. That is because they are considered at the lower end of the hotel spectrum as budget priced limited service hotels where people pretty well have low expectations. If they are clean, safe and have free cereal for breakfast they have done their job.

Pete
03-29-2013, 09:44 PM
From today:

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/holidayinnexpress32913.jpg

betts
03-30-2013, 06:32 AM
You would be correct in saying MOST HI Exp go with PTACs. That is because they are considered at the lower end of the hotel spectrum as budget priced limited service hotels where people pretty well have low expectations. If they are clean, safe and have free cereal for breakfast they have done their job.

I expect a waffle maker in addition to cereal these days. My expectations have risen! ;)

kevinpate
03-30-2013, 08:11 AM
I expect a waffle maker in addition to cereal these days. My expectations have risen! ;)

nah. Bacon, bacon, bacon and, oh yeah, more bacon is where life (or at least mornings) should begin. If there also happens to be some reasonably fresh sausage gravy for a biscuit or three, that's like hap hap happy birthday to me.

Spartan
03-31-2013, 03:02 PM
If the window A/C units are an issue - and as I have said before in other posts, I agree they are not optimal - that needs to be changed in the design ordinance for Bricktown, not offered up spur-of-the-moment at a design review meeting. Judging by many of the comments I see here and even from committee members themselves sometimes, I think there is generally a VERY poor understanding of the purpose and purview of this committee. Their job is to review new projects and determine whether or not they comply with AN EXISTING, VERY COMPREHENSIVE SET OF DESIGN GUIDELINES, which were compiled over the years BY A VERY QUALIFIED AND TRAINED GROUP OF PLANNERS within the Oklahoma City's Planning Department, PEOPLE WHO HAVE VERY SPECIFIC AND COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION AND TRAINING in this regard. The guidelines were developed with community input, and using the best practices gleaned from basic urban planning principles and other successful and similar districts throughout the country.

The BUDC is not SUPPOSED to be the taste police, despite comments and actions to the contrary by them and by others.

Much like judges don't write the laws but instead interpret laws already on the books - written by lawmakers, not judges - this group is SUPPOSED to enforce the existing guidelines, pure and simple. Over the years I have become convinced that some of them not only don't bother to familiarize themselves with the EXISTING, COMPREHENSIVE GUIDELINES (Steve makes this point in his blog post), they often don't seem to even read the DETAILED PACKETS THEY ARE GIVEN BEFORE MEETINGS ON EACH PROJECT BEFORE THEM. It is not uncommon to show up and be asked by a commissioner, "OK, so tell me what you have here...", with the impression being given that they haven't even studied the plans. It's as if whatever pops into their heads in the moment - while reviewing a plan on-the-fly - should be considered gospel. These plans are often at that point only after hours of expensive work by an architect, and hours of consultation with City planning staff.

The idea that it's OK to review these expensive plans and make on-the-fly recommendations/demands THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EXISTING GUIDELINES is pure arrogance and self-indulgence. It creates project delays, requires additional expense on the part of developers, and surely has a chilling effect on future development.

If a new wrinkle emerges that justifies attention, fine. They (or anyone else who thinks it should be changed/amended) need to take it up with the Planning Department and have the existing design ordinance modified before some other project is proposed with similar issues. The air conditioner thing is a perfect example. Instead of simply bitching about it or saddling an existing project with expensive design changes based on whim, GET WITH THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT AND HAVE CHANGES MADE. In this case, it seems like a worthy subject to address.

As for the entrance, I think the first one was fine. It boldly identifies the entrance, puts a modern twist on a building that other than that still closely echoes the historic buildings around it (this is a very appropriate approach to infill construction in an HP district, though Bricktown is NOT even technically an HP district). I also think it visually honors the bold modern architecture of Aloft, which can easily be seen from the street in front of Holiday Inn. I doubt this was an accident.

Again, as Steve pointed out in his blog post, the original entrance proposed pretty clearly complies with existing design guidelines, and comments made by the most critical committee member (who is by the way not an architect or a planner by trade) make you wonder if he is even familiar with the existing guidelines for the district he represents. It appears that he is instead relying solely on personal taste, which is an incredibly slippery slope. If he's not relying on personal taste he is apparently relying on a bad interpretation of the guidelines, which maybe even more concerning.

Now, based on taste-based committee member comments that I believe are out of bounds, the developer had to pay their architect to come up with new designs that don't IMO "fix" anything. I think the most recent options are at the best watered-down/dumbed-down versions of the original, and some of them are not very good at all. The architect was obviously casting a wide net in an effort to find SOMETHING that resonates with the undocumented personal taste of a committee member. The only thing accomplished here is expense and delay, all borne by the developer, who appears to be trying very hard. It's a shame that they were required to change it, and even more shameful that the project is now delayed once again due to BUDC members not attending this meeting and a quorum not being reached. If I were the hotel developer, I would frankly be pissed. Heck, I'm not even attached to the project and I'm obviously worked up.

Instead of indulging their own egos, committee members for this and other like boards would be best served to study, study, study, both the existing guidelines AND the individual project/staff recommendations, and to act accordingly. Every project includes a recommendation by a trained, professional planner on the City staff, usually either "approve" or "deny" with detailed explanations as to why staff is making the recommendation. If committee members stuck faithfully to these recommendations and defended them vigorously as much as possible, Bricktown (and other districts subject to similar reveiw) would be much better off.

-30-

Urbanized - you've done a lot with the city in the last 20 years. Curious, have you thrown your hat in the ring for this committee? You'd certainly be qualified.

Spartan
03-31-2013, 03:05 PM
LOL. I thought it was you, or maybe Spartan, that admonished me that the time to be up in arms was up front and not to wait until the die is cast. That's what a good activist does, I was told.

The time to evaluate these things is up front, when a difference can be made, rather than to complain later when you could have made a difference. For me, when a project is DONE that's when I don my homer cap and pretend (convince myself if I can) that it's a wonderful addition to our city. Like Legacy, you'll notice I'm the least critical person on that, but if a NEW one was proposed...you better get out of my way. Does that make sense?

We pay professionals to be qualified to assess building permits, renderings, and site plans. We should take advantage of this process.

Rover
03-31-2013, 05:54 PM
The time to evaluate these things is up front, when a difference can be made, rather than to complain later when you could have made a difference. For me, when a project is DONE that's when I don my homer cap and pretend (convince myself if I can) that it's a wonderful addition to our city. Like Legacy, you'll notice I'm the least critical person on that, but if a NEW one was proposed...you better get out of my way. Does that make sense?

We pay professionals to be qualified to assess building permits, renderings, and site plans. We should take advantage of this process.
Very much agree. Well stated.

HangryHippo
04-01-2013, 08:26 AM
Very much agree. Well stated.

+1.

Urbanized
04-01-2013, 11:34 AM
Urbanized - you've done a lot with the city in the last 20 years. Curious, have you thrown your hat in the ring for this committee? You'd certainly be qualified.
Thanks for the kind words. I would love to participate in that process (though there are PLENTY of FAR more qualified folks in the community), but it complicates things that my company is a City contractor. I'm not sure if I would even be ALLOWED to throw my hat into the ring on something like that, but also I think the relationship would potentially undermine my ability to make decisions that on occasion can (and even should) be politically unpopular. Decisions made by bodies like BUDC should be made without consideration of how "doing the right thing" might affect your own personal livelihood. As we have seen in the past, that leads to some pretty neutered decision-making.

Pete
04-03-2013, 02:01 PM
Found these more detailed renderings:

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/hiexpress6.jpg


http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/hiexpress7.jpg


http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/hiexpress8.jpg

CaptDave
04-03-2013, 02:09 PM
I honestly do not see much to fuss about in that design. This is the original is it not?