View Full Version : More new housing planned downtown!

04-21-2008, 09:04 AM
I'm surprised no one posted this over the weekend. Here goes....

Sat April 19, 2008

Housing developers tackle their projects on small lots of land

By Steve Lackmeyer
Business Writer

The days of large, undeveloped tracts of downtown land cleared by Urban Renewal awaiting a developer are over.
But that's not inhibiting some housing developers from seeking out opportunities in less likely spots — even if it means pursuing projects on smaller lots.

Tom Seabrooke, who to date has been a suburban home developer, admits he admires the work that has been completed so far— projects like The Centennial, Block 42 and the Brownstones at Maywood Park.

"I saw them and I thought, I'd like to get in on some of this,” Seabrooke said.

A shifting downtown market
Finding the right spot for downtown housing, however, is more difficult than it was even a few years ago. Seabrooke discovered most swaths of land in the Deep Deuce and Flat Iron districts — where most downtown housing is being built — are already controlled by developers or are up for sale at extravagant prices.

MidTown, with its scattered 25 by 25 foot lots, has a history of attracting smaller infill developments. Along NW 7, west of Shartel Avenue, architect Randy Floyd renovated a series of territorial homes and was then followed by other architects who bought nearby lots and built new houses.

And so it is that Seabrooke is entering the downtown housing market with 21 units, instead of 80, at the corner of NW 7 and Dewey Avenue. He is also planning to build another set of condominiums on a center lot across the street. While the lots are surrounded by older homes, Seabrooke thinks sales, with prices ranging between $220,000 and $320,000, will go well thanks to proximity to St. Anthony Hospital.

"There is really nothing over that way,” Seabrooke said. "This is close enough to downtown, and I can also cater to the people at the hospital. I've had people approach me about these and if I had contracts ready, they'd be signing now.”

Brett Hamm, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., said the emergence of such a development is an indicator that the downtown market is shifting.

"This may be an area where the city has a bit of a learning curve,” Hamm said. "It's similar to when downtown residential development first started – many of the projects were new to city planning and zoning. But permits for this sort of development are being turned around a lot quicker now.”

Seeing the big picture
Hamm acknowledges that while the opportunities for larger scale downtown housing development are currently limited. But he adds more wide open spaces will open up in a few years as the city pursues the Core to Shore plan for blighted land between the Central Business District and the Oklahoma River.
The advent of smaller infill development such as Seabrooke's project is welcomed by Hamm, who wants to see more density downtown.

"These guys are a whole new brand of pioneers,” Hamm said. "The developers like Grant Humphreys (Block 42) and Anthony McDermid (Brownstones at Maywood Park) — they are pioneers too. These guys that do infill, while it's a smaller product, it's no less important in the big picture.”

04-21-2008, 10:46 AM
I saw this article in the paper on Saturday as well. This is exciting news to me who may move downtown in a few years. I would like to have more choices when making my decision.

04-21-2008, 12:46 PM
Am I blind or does the article never mention the name of this development, or really any details at all besides the location?

04-21-2008, 01:12 PM
Am I blind or does the article never mention the name of this development, or really any details at all besides the location?

I didn't see the name of the area, but here is the location:

"And so it is that Seabrooke is entering the downtown housing market with 21 units, instead of 80, at the corner of NW 7 and Dewey Avenue."

04-21-2008, 01:56 PM
7th and Dewey. It's called The Heights on 7th. This is the project I posted renderings of, Jbrown.

It looks kind of similar to Central Avenue Villas. It's a really good project.

04-21-2008, 01:59 PM
Jbrown, they've yet to assign a name to the project, though the renderings are tagged with "The Heights on 7th." They apparently are wanting to work with a marketing agency before coming up with a final name.

04-21-2008, 02:03 PM
can someone post the renderings in this thread or post a link? I'd like to check them out. I live very close by.

04-21-2008, 02:17 PM
Sketch is at OKC Central — All about downtown OKC (

04-21-2008, 02:18 PM
I'd like to see something that a single person could afford downtown. I know there would be a trade-off on size but something in the $100k range would be nice.

04-21-2008, 03:33 PM
Thanks Steve. I figured it was "The Heights on 7th", but wasn't sure.

04-21-2008, 03:53 PM
So uh.. those renderings passed the downtown committee? They look like 80's retro buildings, kind of like the post office.... not very appealing in my opinion.

04-21-2008, 06:09 PM
That rendering is depressing. That is terrifically ugly.

04-21-2008, 06:47 PM
I agree, it's not a "iconic" building, but it's not that bad, in fact, it fits in quite nicely with the surrounding area. I'd like to see more windows or landscaping features for the price range, but it's better and more urban than Overholser Green and Legacy Arts.

04-21-2008, 07:14 PM
It's very drab. Reminds me of buildings I saw in the former Soviet block.

04-21-2008, 07:35 PM
At least it doesn't have tons of surface parking right? ;-)

04-21-2008, 07:54 PM
I think it's an alright building. Not everything is going to stand out, especially in the infill category.

04-21-2008, 09:14 PM
What is the exterior material?

04-21-2008, 10:54 PM
OKC should go for edgy modern buildings, not revamped brownstones or boring modern.