View Full Version : Meridian Landing hotels update...

05-05-2009, 07:48 AM

Developer still growing despite economic climate
May 5, 2009

When Jeff Penner set out to develop a string of hotels along the Oklahoma River two years ago, the economy was buzzing and occupancy was riding along a five-year boom.

Now that two of three waterfront hotels are set to open along SW 15, just east of Meridian Avenue, the economic climate isnít nearly as friendly.

"Itís very different than when we started,Ē Penner said. "But Oklahoma City has been very fortunate. Weíre not seeing nearly the impact that the East and West coasts have seen. Occupancy is down, but rates are holding. The bottom hasnít fallen out.Ē

Penner hopes the Staybridge Suites and the Holiday Inn and Suites, an approximately $15 million development, will appeal to traditional visitors to the Meridian/Interstate 40 corridor who are looking for something different during their stay.

The 103-room Staybridge Suites are an extended-stay operation ó "more like apartments you rent out,Ē Penner said. The 147-room Holiday Inn, meanwhile, has corner rooms with an open view of the river and a lounge and patio that connects directly to the riverís shoreline and trails.

The target opening is July 1.

More work to come
More hotel development along the river corridor is to follow. Excavation of old debris is under way as a precursor to construction starting up on an adjoining Hampton Inn. Penner said his development has one more pad left for either a fourth hotel or a restaurant.
Another developer, Champion Hotels, meanwhile, is building a Marriott Fairfield Inn and a Marriott Townplace Suites at Meridian and SW 15.

Pat Downes, development director for the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority, sees more opportunities ahead with the extension of SW 15, which parallels the river, to MacArthur Avenue.

"The extension, coupled with close-by access from I-40 and I-44 will make this area enticingly attractive for hospitality development,Ē Downes said.

"While weíve not been completely immune to the slowdown, there isnít a week that goes by where we donít see an inquiry about restaurants and hotels. Itís the river view that makes opportunities for development in this area more and more palpable,Ē he said.
Hotel development along the Oklahoma river on the Meridian corridor Monday. From front to back, Holiday Inn and Suites, and Staybridge Suites. Photo by JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN
Jeff Penner, executive director for the Greater Oklahoma City Metro Hotel Association, looks at a model of planned motel development along the Oklahoma river on the Meridian corridor Monday. Photo by JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN
Workers install a sign on the Staybridge Suites, one of two hotels about to open along the Oklahoma River. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

05-07-2009, 07:40 AM
very exciting, like to see some taller hotels tho, around 10 floors maybe?

05-07-2009, 08:33 AM
Along I-40 and Meridian? Don't count on it.

05-07-2009, 09:29 AM
i'm always the optimist

05-07-2009, 09:35 AM
That could be interesting, say 12-15 floors. Grand views of some of the metro's most blighted areas from those heights.

05-07-2009, 09:39 AM
i'm always the optimist

Me too, I dont see why I-40 and meridian should be all low rise. Theres mid-rises along NW HWY, so whats the difference? Most cities have 10+ story hotels scattered along all their major highways. Dallas for example. I prefer high rises just for their view. I'd much rather be able to see the city Im staying in rather than just the parking lot from my second floor box. IMHO

05-07-2009, 09:40 AM
I need to clarify; my skepticism isn't purely based on development patterns or history. I'm also aware that it's more difficult to build that high on what is essentially old river bed.

05-07-2009, 09:43 AM
That makes more sense.......I can understand that.

kevin....Do you really think the Oklahoma river is the most blighted part of OKC? You ever drive down south I-35?

05-07-2009, 09:58 AM
The river itself, nope.

But, mentally put yourself 86-100 feet above the land, which is already a wee ways above the river. Think about your general line of sight. It won't be the river unless you're into pressing yourself against the glass and looking sharply downward.

I don't think you gain enough in vantage point to offset the construction increases that get you to those heights.

05-07-2009, 10:02 AM
but a ten story hotel isn't too high, its just a few floors more than the ones ones there now which i believe the tallest is 5-6? but i would like to see just somewhere on meridian them start building i little bit higher

05-07-2009, 10:53 AM
Think about the Hilton Garden on Meridian. I believe it is 10 floors. And it's next to a Burger King, a bank, and a Clarion...not exactlly river view.

05-07-2009, 10:55 AM
that bank 2 building or whatever its called is as well, i think... they need to get rid of that old abandon wendy's and put something in there

a little side note, is there anywhere we can go online, maybe the oklahoma hotel association would have it, but see the hotels planned for the metro and where they are goin?

i'm always interested in that and i can never seem to find any info, there are two hotels being built on expressway now.... its something that u don't know how tall or what company or anything until they put signage up and reach the top floor of construction. Anybody know where i can go to find that info it would be greatly appreciated

05-07-2009, 02:57 PM
But, mentally put yourself 86-100 feet above the land, which is already a wee ways above the river.

Wouldn't that just give you a view above and beyond the immediate area to, say, downtown? I'd rather have that than a view of Chili's. At least higher up you can see some of the city. Meridian is more like a some small town interstate "business loop" that really doesn't offer any good immediate views. At least a higher profile building would you give some a shot at some kind of view.

05-07-2009, 03:00 PM
BDP, I agree. Meridian Ave is kind of small town for the size of city we have, considering it's the major thoroughfare to and from the airport. Seems more like Amarillo than OKC. We do need bigger and more hotels along the airport corridor, as well as one actually on the airport premises, preferably connected to a tram. It's ridiculous you have to drive several miles north from the airport before you hit any real development.

05-07-2009, 03:57 PM
Do you really think the Oklahoma river is the most blighted part of OKC?

The other day, I thought it was ugly, because it was brown. :ohno:

Couldn't OKC invest in major filtration and/or color dye (blue)?!