View Full Version : Ideas for Bricktown

07-26-2004, 10:38 PM
Bricktown is a huge success, but it's still developing. What kinds of things would you like to see in a future Bricktown? What do you think will be there in 5-10 years from now? Should the city invest anymore money, or let private enterprise run the show?

I personally would just like to see more urban development like the north canal area. I hope the south part of the canal doesn't end up looking suburban, but the Bass Pro and movie theater are scaring me. More buildings like Sonic HQ right on the canal with little or no surface level parking would be what I want to see in that area. An extension of the canal would be the only public project I foresee happening down there, with all the rest being private development.

07-26-2004, 10:43 PM
As you've already said, I think the only public projects that will need to occur are extensions to the canal....mostly extension of the south canal to make a closer fit with Zone G, and extension of the canal stub (which will be built going out west from te theater towards the Santa Fe railroad tracks) between the Ford Center and Cox Center, and into the ponds at the Myriad Gardens.

The rest of the development will have to be done on the private side.

As I've mentioned in other posts, I'd like to see a shopping district, similar to Utica Square in Tulsa. No malls please!!!!! Try to stick to smaller unique stores. More hotels would be nice. San Antonio's Riverwalk is filled mostly with hotels and restaurants! Regardless, a good mix of space would be nice! And it all needs to retain the Bricktown theme!

07-26-2004, 10:48 PM
Oh yeah...more music venues would be great as well! We could have our own litle Oklahoma Opry right here in Bricktown.....a theater from Vince Gill/Amy Grant and Reba McEntire would fit nicely with Toby Keith's new development!

An arts and crafts village would be a great addition! Maybe on the park portion of the canal! If we're not going to do something with our old Farmer's Market, maybe we could build a new one in Bricktown!

07-31-2004, 10:11 AM
How about an indoor golf course and combine it with a 100 lane bowling facility called Century Lanes? THAT would be unique.

07-31-2004, 10:56 AM
I definitely agree with mranderson about putting a 100 lane bowling alley in Bricktown, and I hope that someday soon Randy Hogan can revive negotiations with Sega Gameworks to open a Bricktown location here in Oklahoma City. Combine the two projects, and that would make one hell of an entertainment area when coupled with Bricktown 16 and Toby Keith's new restaurant.

A lot of bowling tournaments televised on ESPN I noticed are held in Las Vegas. The last nationally televised bowling tournament was at Boulevard Bowl in Edmond back in 1991. The tournament was covered by ABC Network. However, Boulevard Bowl has since gone downhill since its private owner sold the facility to AMF, and AMF changed the name to Boulevard Lanes. It's halfway decent, but not nearly as nice as it once was.

The remainder of Oklahoma City's bowling facilities are ancient to say the least. Heritage Lanes on N. Pennsylvania attracts too much trouble for bowlers to feel comfortable there. I remember when I was seventeen I had to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or be eighteen and show photo ID. I was alone, going there to meet friends, and security wouldn't even let me in. Windsor Lanes and 66 Bowl are both housed in ugly buildings that never left the 1950's- the decade when good architects must have disappeared, for anything from the 1950's was dog-ugly... the buildings, houses, even appliances! Cars were nice, though. Penn 44 Lanes is in the same situation.

My point? No good decent and sizeable facilities to go bowling exist in this city, and Bricktown is the perfect mold. At least I think so.

07-31-2004, 08:13 PM
Gameworks was a loss; it would have gotten Bricktown rolling, and on the national map because it was a prototype that included bowling. Bricktown may be okay without significant retail, but it needs additional diversions, whether it's an arcade or a bookstore.

Sometimes I think we need to think outside of the box and come up with some diversions that haven't been packaged as we know it. I mentioned awhile ago about a combination laundromat/cyberlounge/cafe that could serve Bricktown residents. Hot Rod may be familiar with a Seattle version called Sit 'N Spin. The trouble is, such resident-oriented concepts aren't commonly found in family-friendly entertainment districts.

So what new concept could work in Bricktown? Mranderson mentioned a golf course: what about having a complex that combines such a course plus the indoor climbing walls?

Also from an earlier age, what about an Oklahoma Store that not only sells native products and Oklahoma museum gifts, but also involves Bass Pro-style interactive activities, such as a cow chip throwing pit, or horseshoe throwing? A cooled Blazers ice lane where two players can try to score on one another? We'll have the Native American Cultural Center, but it could include Native American musical instruments. A country music video karaoke (where you see yourself)? The activities could change seasonally, or yearly.

But I agree with BG: while the landscaping is beautiful, Lower Bricktown is not an urban waterway. With standalone elements on their own pad sites, it does seem somewhat suburban. Maybe that's why Lower Bricktown deserves a separate identity.

07-31-2004, 08:20 PM
"Cow chips" and horse shoes? I thought we were trying to shed that hayseed image. Next someone will suggest seed spitting, a rink to see who can spit their "chaw" the farthest, and greased pig contests. We might as well go back to the old west with the shoot out at high noon. :o

The Blazers bit I like. Plus we could add some manequins with teeth to slapshot into to see how many teeth we could knock out... THAT would be hesterical :D

07-31-2004, 09:43 PM
No, there's a tourism reasoning behind it. It's not an Oklahoma City thing. The World Cow Chip Throwing Contest is a yearly event in Beaver, OK that draws visitors from around the country and was listed as one of those things you have to do before you die (or other list like that). A reference to the event would definitely be part of the display.

I don't see anything wrong with horseshoes. Anyway, again, we are talking about an Oklahoma store. We can't ditch our equestrian/equine heritage.

08-01-2004, 12:48 AM
I mentioned awhile ago about a combination laundromat/cyberlounge/cafe that could serve Bricktown residents. Hot Rod may be familiar with a Seattle version called Sit 'N Spin. The trouble is, such resident-oriented concepts aren't commonly found in family-friendly entertainment districts.
own is not an urban waterway.

Yes, Floater

I am familiar with Sit 'N Spin. I used to go there, in fact, when I was going to the Univ of Wa. It was a cool place to hang-out (so to speak) or meet people. It was too far away from my residence to wash clothes as it is located in Belltown - due north of our CBD, but you could certainly meet people.

Such a concept would be better suited for Deep Duece than Brick. I envision Brick more as a tourist destination where locals also actively support. Deep Duece is more of a true urban community in the works (just like Belltown in Seattle) and a Laundry/Urban Hop spot would not only due better there but may be more family friendly since that is what it would serve (ok maybe not little kids, but certainly teenagers - to hang out).

I do think we should stick with the more touristy attractions for Brick, big name or local attractions that appeal to tourists that locals can not only be proud of but could also support themselves.

In fact, I imagine that suburbanites make up the biggest draw to Bricktown after tourists today! Occassionally I look at things from Norman or Edmond or Midwest City and going downtown is one of the high-points, especially for urban activities. OU is so proud of downtown OKC that it prominently lists going to OKC as an activity for newcoming and existing students alike! That was not the case ten years ago.

But I agree Brick needs a few diversions I just dont want EVERYTHING going on in OKC to just go to Brick. I do want most of the development for the next ten years or so to occur downtown and we have many other downtown districts that need their fair share of development.

Auto Alley may be another appropriate location for a Sit 'N Spin type of attraction as the clientel of AA is a bit older and definitely single (not that DD is not) and AA already has that urban enclave feel to it.

08-01-2004, 05:21 PM
I wonder if future plans for Bricktown involve making the Lower Canal area more "urban." I mean more in the way of 3-4 story buildings right on the canal with shops/restaurants at the ground level and apartments/offices above. I hope something like this can be created for the area where the Bass Pro parking lot abutts the canal, and across the canal from this site. You would have the urban Upper Canal zone by the ballpark, a more suburban area with the theater, Sonic HQ, and Embassy Suites, plus that big waterfall, and then another more urban area before the terminace.

As for new Bricktown attraction, I think more music venues and retail shops would really be the best thing. Maybe one of those Dave & Buster's arcade/pool hall/restaurant concepts. San Antonio doesn't have a lot of big tourist attractions along its Riverwalk, the restaurants, shops, and river itself are the main attraction. Having more residential down there, especially above the canal (why haven't they been doing this?) would really make the area special.

08-01-2004, 07:11 PM
I think a Dave and Busters would be a great fit for the Canal, but it depends on how it's constructed. I've seen them multilevel as part of a mall, and by itself along a highway. The latter does nothing for its site appearance-wise, looking more like a concrete warehouse than a place of fun. So, if we have a Dave and Busters, they should build up, not out. That's probably the only way a canal-side D & B could fit anyway.

08-03-2004, 01:57 AM
I think the reason why more residential hasn't been built in the upper floors of the buildings on the canal has a lot to do with who owns them.....namely, Jim Brewer. He's kind if sitting on his properties at the moment waiting to make as much as he can off of them! Doesn't make sense to me, but oh well! Seems like he would start out by filling his buildings with tenants, and then raising rent as the area filled.
I'm not so sure I like the idea of a 100 lane bowling alley on the canal. I think we have our anchors in place now, and we need to start focusing more on smaller venues like shops, restaurants, and venues! A 100 lane bowling alley in Bricktown somewhere might not be a bad idea though, just not right on the canal!

I actually think Lower Bricktown being built compact, but still having a somewhat suburban image would be okay The North canal has a very urban image, that flows to the south canal (Lower Bricktown) which has a suburban feel, and then into the park area of the canal! I think as time goes on though and more is built, the entire canal will take on more of an urban feel though! We just need to be careful that we don't locate too many large, big box retailers or other similar attractions on the canal. Buildings need to be built close together and be connected, like the warehouses are on the north canal!

08-03-2004, 03:31 PM
I don't think Bricktown should allow big box retailers like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. I personally don't like that they allowed Bass Pro, but it's there. I'll be interested to see how the new developments on the Lower Canal come together. If it's not urban like the original part, then it's just a well-landscaped drainage ditch through suburbia, and no one wants that.

08-03-2004, 03:40 PM
BG, I doubt they'll allow such big box stores to locate in Bricktown. Even if they did, the Urban Design Committee would at least mandate some brick exterior. I still think that to make it more urban, they need more "unpredictable" elements along the canalfront -- vendors and live music performers. During peak times, they could hire street performers such as jugglers, mimes, stilt walkers, card magicians. Expansion of office space (unlikely beyond Sonic) and housing would lend it new dynamics as well.

08-03-2004, 03:58 PM
Is there a master plan that dictates development around the canal? If not, there should be one and every developer building something should have to adhere to its guidelines. Every new ground level restaurant should be required to be at least 2 stories and front right up against the canal. All parking should be behind, or even better, combined together in a parking garage. The facades should all be brick but can be mixed with stucco, stone, wood, glass, etc. All buildings should include extensive landscaping. Is there anything like this in place, or some set of guidelines the Urban Design Committee follows? It seems like they'll approve anything regardless of what it looks like.

08-03-2004, 04:55 PM
Actually, the designs do have to be approved by te Bricktown Association and Urban Design Commission, so there are restrictions. The owner of Nonna's a few weeks ago described all of the red tape she had to go through just to change the appearance of one of the buildings in Bricktown. I think Bass Pro will be the only big box retailer on the canal. I think of all big box retailers, it was probably the best fit for the area. It's at least started the ball rolling, which is what I think the city was hoping for.

Randy Hogan actually has the master plan for Lower Bricktown, and it was approved by Urban Renewal. I haven't seen it in awhile, but last time I saw it, it showed pretty dense, compact development along the canal. It appears that all of the buildings he's building on the canal, with the exception of Bass Pro, which really isn't part of Bricktown, all have brick in their structure. Even the movie theater has brick in its structure.

08-03-2004, 05:19 PM
If another chain similar to Bass Pro (different specialty, but similar marketing) comes along, then we can try to get them at Brick Town.

After finding out the Tulsa metro did not have to fork over a dime, I am wishing we would have started a bidding war with Cabels. The winner would have paid their own way.

08-03-2004, 05:59 PM
Well Mr. Anderson, that actually wasn't completely true! To get Bass Pro to locate in Broken Arrow, Bass Pro did require the building to be financed. The developer of that land is paying for the financing and Bass Pro will just be leasing. The developer took loans out from the city of Tulsa or Tulsa county, or something like that, and will have to be pay back the money from lease payments paid by Bass Pro. So the situation is somewhat similar. It would've been like Randy Hogan owning the building but borrowing the money from OKC to build it and lease out to Bass Pro. Regardless, Bass Pro wasn't coming to the Tulsa area without someone financing the building!