View Full Version : Raise taxes on empty buildings in Bricktown!



jstaylor62
12-30-2009, 09:40 AM
I am tired of seeing the empty buildings in Bricktown! These building need to be occupied and generating tax revenue. A tremendous amount of tax dollars have been invested to improve the value of that area and it is time for property owners to pony up their share. If the owners are unable to negotiate reasonable lease rates that businesses can afford, then the owners need to be paying a higher tax rate than the occupied buildings to offset the tax revenue loss.

circuitboard
12-30-2009, 09:47 AM
I am tired of seeing the empty buildings in Bricktown! These building need to be occupied and generating tax revenue. A tremendous amount of tax dollars have been invested to improve the value of that area and it is time for property owners to pony up their share. If the owners are unable to negotiate reasonable lease rates that businesses can afford, then the owners need to be paying a higher tax rate than the occupied buildings to offset the tax revenue loss.

That is a great idea, the building owners are being greedy, so they need to pay for being stupid. Lease the damn building at a resonable rate or pay up. These empty buildings make bricktown look ghetto.

OKCTalker
12-30-2009, 10:01 AM
How would this work exactly? You'd give a property owner a certain period of time in which to get a business opened? How much time would that be? And what if the building is empty due to a renovation? And would it be for just retail applications, or would you also include office, industrial and residential? And would this also apply to building owners who couldn't find a tenant because of unfavorable economic times (like now) in which few businesses are opening? Finally, how can you compare ad valorem taxes (paid to the county) with sales taxes (paid to the state, county and municipal governments)? Or are you simply wanting to punish property owners who haven't filled their buildings?

fuzzytoad
12-30-2009, 10:51 AM
In addition to what OKCTalker said, how would this affect buildings that *are* leased out but the current occupants haven't done anything to the upper level of the building they occupy? Not every bombed-out-looking building in Bricktown is unoccupied.

rcjunkie
12-30-2009, 10:56 AM
I am tired of seeing the empty buildings in Bricktown! These building need to be occupied and generating tax revenue. A tremendous amount of tax dollars have been invested to improve the value of that area and it is time for property owners to pony up their share. If the owners are unable to negotiate reasonable lease rates that businesses can afford, then the owners need to be paying a higher tax rate than the occupied buildings to offset the tax revenue loss.

Just what we need, more "BIG GOVERNMENT"

Rescue_Company_One
12-30-2009, 11:02 AM
Not to throw a wrench in your plan but how is that not illigal??? Does that mean the City can raise taxes on my neighbor because thier house has been empty for 3 years or more??? You cant raise taxes on someone just because you dont like what they are doing. As long as what they are doing is legal, They could keep that building empty forever. Not to rain on your parade but thats not the way to get stuff moving down there.

Midtowner
12-30-2009, 11:03 AM
The city could simply declare certain structures to be 'blighted,' seize them by eminent domain and select new developers to acquire them from OCURA upon proving they had a plan and finances in place.

That'd actually work.

circuitboard
12-30-2009, 11:05 AM
The city could simply declare certain structures to be 'blighted,' seize them by eminent domain and select new developers to acquire them from OCURA upon proving they had a plan and finances in place.

That'd actually work.

Another good idea....

rcjunkie
12-30-2009, 11:08 AM
And to cut down on harmful second hand smoke, they could hire sharp shooters to man the roofs in Bricktown and pick off anyone that dare smoke.

I'm hoping you guys are just stirring the pot and not being serious.

NO MORE BIG GOVERNMENT: BIG GOVERNMENT EQUALS LESS FREEDOM

fuzzytoad
12-30-2009, 11:14 AM
And to cut down on harmful second hand smoke, they could hire sharp shooters to man the roofs in Bricktown and pick off anyone that dare smoke.


That's not a bad idea! They could do the same for fat people, and poor people who mistakingly wander into Bricktown.

circuitboard
12-30-2009, 11:22 AM
That's not a bad idea! They could do the same for fat people, and poor people who mistakingly wander into Bricktown.

lol

jstaylor62
12-30-2009, 11:35 AM
Some of you are making this to hard. Bricktown was established to attract bars, resturants and businesses in an effort to generate tax revenue. If a property is not developed or empty, it is losing sales tax revenue and not contributing to the overall success of Bricktown.

Greedy property owners need motivation to contribute to the overall success of Bricktown. Their property needs to be developed and occupied with jobs! They can still choose to leave their property undeveloped or empty, they will just pay a higher tax for the priviledge.

The rules can be very simple. Everyone starts at the same tax rate. The longer your property goes undeveloped, the higher your rate increases. If your building is partially filled, then you pay a partial rate. As their tax rate increases, property owners would eventually be financially motivated to make lease agreements that would get their building occupied.

I have talked to a couple of resturant developers and asked why they did not have a location in bricktown. The first thing they complained about was the cost of the leases. They claimed that they would have to have a higher menu price to cover the increased costs. With the higher menu price, people would be reluctant to frequent the resturant. So they do not come to bricktown and as a result, bricktown has empty space.

Its not BIG GOVERNMENT, its SMART GOVERNMENT

progressiveboy
12-30-2009, 11:56 AM
The city could simply declare certain structures to be 'blighted,' seize them by eminent domain and select new developers to acquire them from OCURA upon proving they had a plan and finances in place.

That'd actually work. Agree! In Dallas, that is what they are doing, however, before they seize the property in question they make a reasonable effort to work with the owner(s) on either renovating the structure(s) in question and give them a certain amount of time to comply with the code of the city. If they do not comply and show a reasonable effort, then they get fined and sometimes a lien is placed on the property. This seems to be working in Dallas as it forges onward to get rid of their unsightly areas and empty buildings by bulldozing large swaths of urban blight and this gives opportunity for the land to be redeveloped and gets rid of unsightly mess. OKC needs to step up to the plate. You all have improved alot but there still is quite alot of urban blight and dilapidated structures around. We cannot use the excuse it's the economy, as in even tough times you still have to keep your property intact and even become more flexible such as mentioned above in previous threads make leasing rates affordable where it not only benefits the owner(s) but allows occupancy to an empty building.

easternobserver
12-30-2009, 11:59 AM
Actually, the City of Oklahoma City declares houses dilapidated and tears them down all the time....

mugofbeer
12-30-2009, 12:09 PM
I am tired of seeing the empty buildings in Bricktown! These building need to be occupied and generating tax revenue. A tremendous amount of tax dollars have been invested to improve the value of that area and it is time for property owners to pony up their share. If the owners are unable to negotiate reasonable lease rates that businesses can afford, then the owners need to be paying a higher tax rate than the occupied buildings to offset the tax revenue loss.

Have you spoken to any of the property owners in the area. I would imagine there is nothing more than most of them would like than to fill their spaces if there were businesses or groups that would move in. This is a pretty poor economy to be starting a business (ie: retail or restaurant) in.

OKCTalker
12-30-2009, 12:46 PM
Let's apply a simple macroeconomic model: Vacant property owners have their taxes raised because their buildings are empty, meaning that they have to further raise rental rates to cover increased costs, further diminishing demand for the buildings. The end result is a market like Detroit's which has tens of thousands of vacant, abandoned buildings and no tax base. All in favor say "aye."

Spartan
12-30-2009, 12:56 PM
I think you mean microeconomic since you're speculating on the effect on consumer demand for space in Bricktown. And you forgot to connect it to the end of the world there at the end.

I think if the city provided free public parking in Bricktown you'd see all of the vacant parking lots getting developed, since those would go out of business. Brewers would take a hit for sure, and they own a lot of the empty space, too..although they're putting 1 business in right now so that's not bad.

OKCTalker
12-30-2009, 01:25 PM
Spartan - No, I was thinking macro. Wiki: "...deals with the performance, structure and behavior of the economy of the entire community." It's not Paul Samuelson, but it's close enough.

fuzzytoad
12-30-2009, 01:27 PM
I think if the city provided free public parking in Bricktown you'd see all of the vacant parking lots getting developed, since those would go out of business.

???

there's tons of free parking in bricktown.

shane453
12-30-2009, 01:54 PM
One method of handling this issue through property taxation has been to tax the value of the land rather than the value of the building; This way the expensive land in Bricktown has the same high tax rate whether it is occupied, renovated, dilapidated, or a parking lot.

jstaylor62
12-30-2009, 02:05 PM
Agree! In Dallas, that is what they are doing, however, before they seize the property in question they make a reasonable effort to work with the owner(s) on either renovating the structure(s) in question and give them a certain amount of time to comply with the code of the city. If they do not comply and show a reasonable effort, then they get fined and sometimes a lien is placed on the property. This seems to be working in Dallas as it forges onward to get rid of their unsightly areas and empty buildings by bulldozing large swaths of urban blight and this gives opportunity for the land to be redeveloped and gets rid of unsightly mess. OKC needs to step up to the plate. You all have improved alot but there still is quite alot of urban blight and dilapidated structures around. We cannot use the excuse it's the economy, as in even tough times you still have to keep your property intact and even become more flexible such as mentioned above in previous threads make leasing rates affordable where it not only benefits the owner(s) but allows occupancy to an empty building.

Its excellent that you mention Dallas. The "Deep Ellum" portion of Dallas is on a downward cycle becuase of "lease speculators". Bars and resturants were there becuase the leases were inexpensive enough operate at a profit and still have an inexpensive cover charge and drink prices to attract customers. Speculators started buying up property and raising their leases. The clubs and resturants started closing becuase they could no longer maintain their inexpensive price structure to attract customers and make a profit. Now many of these properties sit empty becuase the owners are charging to much for their leases. At this point, they have no incentive to drop their prices and get their property occupied. The only clubs and resturants that remain are ones that own their own building. The owners of the "Angry Dog" have turned down offers to sell their property becuase they do not want to see the property end up empty like so many others around them. But I consider "Deep Ellum" very different from Bricktown since there was never a tax generated to specifically develop the area.

sethsrott
12-30-2009, 02:07 PM
Some of you are making this to hard. Bricktown was established to attract bars, resturants and businesses in an effort to generate tax revenue. If a property is not developed or empty, it is losing sales tax revenue and not contributing to the overall success of Bricktown.

Greedy property owners need motivation to contribute to the overall success of Bricktown. Their property needs to be developed and occupied with jobs! They can still choose to leave their property undeveloped or empty, they will just pay a higher tax for the priviledge.

The rules can be very simple. Everyone starts at the same tax rate. The longer your property goes undeveloped, the higher your rate increases. If your building is partially filled, then you pay a partial rate. As their tax rate increases, property owners would eventually be financially motivated to make lease agreements that would get their building occupied.

I have talked to a couple of resturant developers and asked why they did not have a location in bricktown. The first thing they complained about was the cost of the leases. They claimed that they would have to have a higher menu price to cover the increased costs. With the higher menu price, people would be reluctant to frequent the resturant. So they do not come to bricktown and as a result, bricktown has empty space.

Its not BIG GOVERNMENT, its SMART GOVERNMENT

It's socialism is what it is. Just because YOU are unhappy with someoneís PRIVATE choices with their PRIVATE PROPERTY doesn't give you, the city or anyone else the right to come it and 1) tax; or 2) take your land so that government can control urban development. If you don't like what Bricktown property owners are doing with their buildings then buy it or shut up.

Let us just keep dismantling American rights (like the right to enjoy the gains of their own industry. Article 2 Clause 2 Oklahoma State Constitution) let us continue to say "I don't care what YOU want to do with YOUR LAND, I want to do something different with it so I am going to FORCE you through taxation and proverbial 'sword' of the government to develop YOUR LAND the way that I see fit." It is not like they are wanting to turn the grounds into a nuclear waist dump that is hazardous to the health and well being of the public, they are just choosing or may be unable to not develop the property as YOU think they should.

GO TO CHINA WITH THAT THINKING BUT KEEP IT OUT OF AMERICA!

jstaylor62
12-30-2009, 02:30 PM
It's socialism is what it is. Just because YOU are unhappy with someone’s PRIVATE choices with their PRIVATE PROPERTY doesn't give you, the city or anyone else the right to come it and 1) tax; or 2) take your land so that government can control urban development. If you don't like what Bricktown property owners are doing with their buildings then buy it or shut up.

Let us just keep dismantling American rights (like the right to enjoy the gains of their own industry. Article 2 Clause 2 Oklahoma State Constitution) let us continue to say "I don't care what YOU want to do with YOUR LAND, I want to do something different with it so I am going to FORCE you through taxation and proverbial 'sword' of the government to develop YOUR LAND the way that I see fit." It is not like they are wanting to turn the grounds into a nuclear waist dump that is hazardous to the health and well being of the public, they are just choosing or may be unable to not develop the property as YOU think they should.

GO TO CHINA WITH THAT THINKING BUT KEEP IT OUT OF AMERICA!

Seth,

Property owners can not have it both ways. They can not both benefit from government involvement and shun government involvement. Prior to MAPS, the Bricktown area was nothing more than public urinal and dropping place for stolen cars. The only reason the value of the property in the Bricktown area has increased is becuase of the city's efforts in having voter's approve a sales tax collection to specifically develop the area. As a voter at the time, it was my hope that the tax money collected go to develop the area to its utmost potential. Am I wrong for wanting to see the biggest value gained for my tax dollar?

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 02:35 PM
Shane is correct. That is something that has been discussed for ALL of downtown, not just Bricktown. Also, I think everyone would be shocked and pretty excited if they knew the details of MULTIPLE unrelated projects being discussed for canal-front properties. I'd be interested to know if people feel the same way a year from now as they do today on this subject.

A couple of other observations, as someone who has run one Bricktown business for the better part of a decade, is a partner in a second (canal-front retail), as someone who owns no property and has no interest, financial or otherwise, in paid parking operations:

While overly-optimistic leasing prices may have been a legitimate problem in 1999, I don't think "greed" is the problem AT ALL these days. Most of the space down here could be leased for far less than space in successful strip centers or malls (this is actually reasonable, however, owing to the seasonality challenges associated with Bricktown). Of course, it's a lot easier to paint owners with the same "greed" brush...

I think there HAS been perhaps a lack of imagination (owners not willing to develop and sub-divide space on spec to lure tenants), and an unwillingness to break up large floorplates for smaller tenants. I think some owners anticipated that they would be able to lease the entire floor to a large national tenant and the tenant would make improvements. I think they hesitated to make improvements or smaller leases that would preclude such a full-floorplate lease, just for a 500 to 1,200 sq ft tenant (the type that actually would work the best here), OR have to be torn out and wasted based on different tenant requirements. That part is changing. I've seen evidence of it first-hand, and I know more development is on the way.

Next issue: large amounts of free parking in Bricktown would be disastrous IMO. Again, let me point out that I don't own parking lots or benefit from them in any way. In fact, as a merchant that caters to visitors and retail customers, you would think I of all people would want it. However, tons of free parking encourages squatting from people who aren't here to spend money, day parking by workers here and in other districts (quickly eating up the free spaces and still saddling you with the same problem), and perhaps worst of all, free parking caters to juveniles and trouble-makers.

We saw this first-hand in 2006, when we had a problem with juveniles and gang-bangers. It is the same problem that malls (even nice ones) have when kids figure out they can come in, hang out, hassle folks, start fights and such, all while not spending a dime. The difference is that malls are private property and can run off loiterers. You can't do that legally on public streets. Free parking is a red herring; an excuse often tossed around by bad business operators who failed to plan for Bricktown's unique challenges related to seasonsality, event-driven business and other things.

I don't think many of the people on here grousing about empty space have paid much attention to all of the places recently renovated in Bricktown, projects currently underway, and of course can't know about several of the game-changing deals working down here.

I know it's really popular these days to hate on Bricktown, but it's a few years too late, and doesn't give appropriate credit to the great projects that HAVE taken place. Besides, there is a reason national consultants such as Jeff Speck have continued to label the district as OKC's best hope to create a fully-realized urban environment downtown. The district is making more progress right now than ever, and if you're open-minded you will see this upon close examination. Be ready for lots more good news in coming months.

circuitboard
12-30-2009, 02:36 PM
It's socialism is what it is. Just because YOU are unhappy with someoneís PRIVATE choices with their PRIVATE PROPERTY doesn't give you, the city or anyone else the right to come it and 1) tax; or 2) take your land so that government can control urban development. If you don't like what Bricktown property owners are doing with their buildings then buy it or shut up.

Let us just keep dismantling American rights (like the right to enjoy the gains of their own industry. Article 2 Clause 2 Oklahoma State Constitution) let us continue to say "I don't care what YOU want to do with YOUR LAND, I want to do something different with it so I am going to FORCE you through taxation and proverbial 'sword' of the government to develop YOUR LAND the way that I see fit." It is not like they are wanting to turn the grounds into a nuclear waist dump that is hazardous to the health and well being of the public, they are just choosing or may be unable to not develop the property as YOU think they should.

GO TO CHINA WITH THAT THINKING BUT KEEP IT OUT OF AMERICA!

Wow was that a recorder playing back? I swear I have heard this somewhere before.

bluedogok
12-30-2009, 03:02 PM
Have you spoken to any of the property owners in the area. I would imagine there is nothing more than most of them would like than to fill their spaces if there were businesses or groups that would move in. This is a pretty poor economy to be starting a business (ie: retail or restaurant) in.
"This poor economy" excuse doesn't hold water when you consider some of those properties have been vacant since the canal was completed. Proprty owners are not wanting to cut rates because it could impact future leases (this affects all properties, not just Bricktown). Many wod rather sit on an empty space than take a "chance" on missing out on a big deal, to most of them taking less than their perceived value is a "loss" and may not fit their pro forma for paying back whatever financing is on the property.

jstaylor62
12-30-2009, 03:02 PM
Shane is correct. That is something that has been discussed for ALL of downtown, not just Bricktown. Also, I think everyone would be shocked and pretty excited if they knew the details of MULTIPLE unrelated projects being discussed for canal-front properties. I'd be interested to know if people feel the same way a year from now as they do today on this subject.



Thank you very much for providing your insight and personal knowledge of this area! I really enjoy Bricktown and I'm anxious to see it get developed to its full potential.

Sorry about the greed comment, but I'm still bitter about losing Piggys BBQ. When Piggys BBQ closed, the owner stated the reason he was closing was becuase he could make more money leasing his building than operating his resturant. I am selfish and wanted to see him keep the resturant open!

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 03:12 PM
You're welcome! And count me as one of the people who misses Piggy's. Not too many people these days remember Bricktown that far back.

Spartan
12-30-2009, 03:42 PM
Shane is correct. That is something that has been discussed for ALL of downtown, not just Bricktown. Also, I think everyone would be shocked and pretty excited if they knew the details of MULTIPLE unrelated projects being discussed for canal-front properties. I'd be interested to know if people feel the same way a year from now as they do today on this subject.

A couple of other observations, as someone who has run one Bricktown business for the better part of a decade, is a partner in a second (canal-front retail), as someone who owns no property and has no interest, financial or otherwise, in paid parking operations:

While overly-optimistic leasing prices may have been a legitimate problem in 1999, I don't think "greed" is the problem AT ALL these days. Most of the space down here could be leased for far less than space in successful strip centers or malls (this is actually reasonable, however, owing to the seasonality challenges associated with Bricktown). Of course, it's a lot easier to paint owners with the same "greed" brush...

I think there HAS been perhaps a lack of imagination (owners not willing to develop and sub-divide space on spec to lure tenants), and an unwillingness to break up large floorplates for smaller tenants. I think some owners anticipated that they would be able to lease the entire floor to a large national tenant and the tenant would make improvements. I think they hesitated to make improvements or smaller leases that would preclude such a full-floorplate lease, just for a 500 to 1,200 sq ft tenant (the type that actually would work the best here), OR have to be torn out and wasted based on different tenant requirements. That part is changing. I've seen evidence of it first-hand, and I know more development is on the way.

Next issue: large amounts of free parking in Bricktown would be disastrous IMO. Again, let me point out that I don't own parking lots or benefit from them in any way. In fact, as a merchant that caters to visitors and retail customers, you would think I of all people would want it. However, tons of free parking encourages squatting from people who aren't here to spend money, day parking by workers here and in other districts (quickly eating up the free spaces and still saddling you with the same problem), and perhaps worst of all, free parking caters to juveniles and trouble-makers.

We saw this first-hand in 2006, when we had a problem with juveniles and gang-bangers. It is the same problem that malls (even nice ones) have when kids figure out they can come in, hang out, hassle folks, start fights and such, all while not spending a dime. The difference is that malls are private property and can run off loiterers. You can't do that legally on public streets. Free parking is a red herring; an excuse often tossed around by bad business operators who failed to plan for Bricktown's unique challenges related to seasonsality, event-driven business and other things.

I don't think many of the people on here grousing about empty space have paid much attention to all of the places recently renovated in Bricktown, projects currently underway, and of course can't know about several of the game-changing deals working down here.

I know it's really popular these days to hate on Bricktown, but it's a few years too late, and doesn't give appropriate credit to the great projects that HAVE taken place. Besides, there is a reason national consultants such as Jeff Speck have continued to label the district as OKC's best hope to create a fully-realized urban environment downtown. The district is making more progress right now than ever, and if you're open-minded you will see this upon close examination. Be ready for lots more good news in coming months.

This sounds like a post from someone who has a chip on their shoulder about all of the disrespect we give Bricktown property owners. And a lot of that is warranted. I'll be the first to acknowledge that we unfairly hate on Bricktown property owners way too often, and I do know that there's a lot of stuff in the works.

Here's the problem with Bricktown though: There are always grand schemes and plans for nearly every parcel, RARELY does anything come through. When you talk about grand schemes for the canal, I assume you're talking about the infill that the owners of the Zio's building have planned behind there, on what is currently a large surface parking lot. I hope it gets through, but I'm not holding my breath. The Cotton Exchange is a project that should have made it through as well, and that's probably the biggest disappointment in all of downtown (we get projects like The Hill underway, but can't get projects that would have been successful underway b/c of financing problems). They had an excellent real estate team working on it, and Gary Cotton hired the guy who managed the Centennial's sales (which had a long wait list for units). That never happened.

We know that a new pizza place is going in where the old haunted house used to be. Kudos to the Brewers for getting rid of that haunted house..

Aside from that I'm not aware of any additional Bricktown plans currently.

As for the parking, that's partly true. In Wichita where they have downtown free parking, there is more downtown crime. However there is a lot more in their downtown as well. They have a list of dozens and dozens and dozens of retail tenants in their downtown historic district, and Bricktown has 5 (Firefly, Candy store, Painted Door, Red Dirt, The Store, and that's it). Seriously. So perhaps more crime goes with more business? The reason there is virtually no crime in Bricktown and downtown is because aside from tons of restaurants, there is absolutely NOTHING there. Hell Downtown Stillwater has 3 times the retail that all of Downtown OKC has.. What happened to all of these retail specialists that we keep bringing in? We've actually been falling backward because we lost Lit recently.

So pardon my lack of enthusiasm because we've been told for 10 years, ever since I've been in Oklahoma and enamored with Bricktown (which I still am, don't get me wrong), that more retail was just around the cusp. Where is all this retail? This has been years in the making. And then we turn our noses up at the idea of free public parking?

Downtown Wichita - free parking = yes, more crime..but also 20x the retail.

Are we capable of handing a potentially gritty downtown with tons of people and tons of businesses? To me that would be a success.

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 03:48 PM
One other thing: some of the canal level properties are difficult to develop due to low ceiling height issues, which cause some challenges related most importantly to kitchen ventilation in the case of restaurants, but also because of ADA compliance, HVAC and lighting problems, which applies to everyone. I'm not saying that these issues can't be overcome; only that they can be expensive. Putting tenants into space like that is often far more problematic than putting them into new space, cookie cutter strip center space, or even other urban space.

It really does require someone on both the lessee and lessor ends with vision and willingness to depart from the norm. In addition, for long-term success you need to have a tenant who understands how different Bricktown is from everywhere else as a place to run a businesss from an operational standpoint. They have to be willing to exist in a buying season OPPOSITE from traditional retail (feast in the summer, famine in the winter), know how to adequately staff for peak and off times with highs that are higher than anywhere else and lows that are lower, and also to have deep enough pockets and financial restraint to stretch the revenue from the good business months to cover the guaranteed lean times. Sometimes those tenants are difficult to find.

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 03:55 PM
...I assume you're talking about the infill that the owners of the Zio's building have planned behind there, on what is currently a large surface parking lot...
Nope. Sorry I can't say more. Probably shouldn't even have said what I have.

I'm not one to get on here and tantalize or to play "insider with knowledge you don't have," I'm just saying there are a number of things bubbling, and not with speculators or promoters, but with serious people who have impressive track records. I'm suggesting that if people feel the same way they do now about Bricktown by the end of 2010, it won't be for Bricktown's lack of trying.

Spartan
12-30-2009, 03:59 PM
In my experience it seems like Bricktown is the place where serious track records go to die. So I won't be holding my breath or anything, but I would love more than anything to be pleasantly surprised.

Well, not as much as world peace, but you get the idea..

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 04:01 PM
Also, as far as I know, the Brewers are NOT getting rid of the haunted house. The pizza place is going into vacant space in that building that isn't a part of the haunted house. I think they also have plans to build out other canal frontage on spec, which is a refreshing change.

Spartan
12-30-2009, 04:06 PM
That haunted house needs to go.

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 04:11 PM
In my experience it seems like Bricktown is the place where serious track records go to die. So I won't be holding my breath or anything, but I would love more than anything to be pleasantly surprised.

Well, not as much as world peace, but you get the idea..
Cool! Then maybe for once Bricktown will exceed your expectations! It's the least the district can do after disappointing everyone for years.

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 04:16 PM
That haunted house needs to go.
Are you talking about the haunted house, with an entry on the alley side but not taking up any canal frontage, or are you talking about The Dungeon on the lower (canal) level? Or both? They're two different operations.

Kerry
12-30-2009, 04:22 PM
You lefties are wacked. But hey, if you want to count missed opportunity costs in the tax code try this on for size. Let's say you own a home and you live in it. You could rent that same home for $1,000 month. Shouldn't you have to pay taxes on that $1,000, even if you donít rent the house? This is what you lefties are trying to argue. BTW - Democrats have actually tried to do this in the past.

Spartan
12-30-2009, 04:27 PM
I would rather impose a special tax on rent homes because nobody wants to live next to a rent house..


Cool! Then maybe for once Bricktown will exceed your expectations! It's the least the district can do after disappointing everyone for years.

True, but I think we forget that Bricktown "originally" exceeded everyone's expectations.. but that's well in the past. You have to keep pushing.

Urbanized
12-30-2009, 04:32 PM
Good point. We definitely agree on "keep pushing."

lasomeday
12-30-2009, 04:36 PM
The haunted house would make a great hotel or bed and breakfast. Bricktown really needs a variety of places to stay.

Steve
12-30-2009, 05:26 PM
Urbanized is pretty much on target from what I've observed. It's ridiculous to raise parking as an issue in light of how effectively the Bricktown Association has disproven it. Bricktown property owners aren't without blame - and some are clearly not up to the challenge of leasing and developing their space. But some potentially big deals are in the works. We'll see how this next year goes...

Steve
12-30-2009, 05:26 PM
BTW: Place a tax on empty space and you'll end up with more surface parking lots.

kevinpate
12-30-2009, 05:45 PM
BTW: Place a tax on empty space and you'll end up with more surface parking lots.

If memory serves, Tulsa was not so long ago a living example of bldgs getting knocked down, at least in part to avoid a new tax. I don't recall the particulars but do remember seeing something about the Tulsa ballpark area and it making more sense to owners to cover demo costs than to live with the new tax assessment structure.

Steve
12-30-2009, 05:49 PM
You nailed it Kevin. It's a proven reaction elsewhere. Pass that tax and I know of at least property owners who wouldn't flinch at tearing down some pretty cool old brick warehouses. Now, pass a tax on surface parking lots... and that leads to the development you're seeking.

kevinpate
12-30-2009, 05:57 PM
You nailed it Kevin. It's a proven reaction elsewhere. Pass that tax and I know of at least property owners who wouldn't flinch at tearing down some pretty cool old brick warehouses. Now, pass a tax on surface parking lots... and that leads to the development you're seeking.

I uddenly find myself majorly in favor of a mondo mega tax on any surface parking lot located within oh, say, 250 feet of a certain canal in a certain metro entertainment district. I can live with all the others, but as I've noted, well, ok, whined about, before, I've never really gotten past the stupidity (my opinion) of the parking lot along the southeast leg of the canal.

Spartan
12-30-2009, 06:58 PM
Urbanized is pretty much on target from what I've observed. It's ridiculous to raise parking as an issue in light of how effectively the Bricktown Association has disproven it. Bricktown property owners aren't without blame - and some are clearly not up to the challenge of leasing and developing their space. But some potentially big deals are in the works. We'll see how this next year goes...

The Bricktown Association has just shot itself in the foot, imo, after all of the effort they've put towards the "no problem here" image they try and force down people's throats. Anytime there is criticism of progress in Bricktown AND a solution proposed, Cowan or someone else comes along and shoots it down. "No there is no problem here, you don't know what you're talking about, this is why blah blah, now leave us alone. We know what we're doing."

Hmmm..

I think that a lot of people "know what they're talking about" and a lot of people would agree that Bricktown needs some work done. New problems have cropped up. The district is dead aside from restaurants and night life. You need more retail. You need something for during the day. You need more offices, too. You need more hotel, which the only decent hotel in Bricktown is the Hampton Inn--a home run. If they could begin on the Holiday Inn and put a boutique hotel as once suggested in the Merc building, that would be a good start.

Cowan and Bricktown owners can say there is no parking problem ALL day long. But there is, because perception is reality. Nothing would cure that better than public parking. The comparisons between districts without easy parking and districts where parking is iffy is night and day. Solving the problem with parking and making it "easy" would result in a retail development boom in Bricktown, not to mention developing all of the parking lots which would surely bring in some of the things Bricktown needs more of that I mentioned above.

So I just don't see how the debate isn't about parking..

Spartan
12-30-2009, 07:26 PM
Another area with free public parking: Sundance Square in Ft Worth. This is a model I would more highly recommend because the public parking is only after 5 (to discourage office workers from overrunning it), and there is still private parking enterprises for events and stuff..but most of the parking lots HAVE been developed still.

Steve
12-30-2009, 07:32 PM
Spartan, you've been gone. I don't think Cowan is saying there is "NO PARKING PROBLEM." But it's not what people have said it is. Consider that for each sold-out Thunder season opener at Ford Center, hundreds of spaces were offered for free, and yet dozens went untaken.
This isn't a supply problem. It's not a pricing problem. It's a management and education problem. I'll leave it for Cowan or Urbanized to explain their response, but it's also a big mistake to portray them as saying "You don't know what you're talking about, now leave us alone, we know what we're doing."

flintysooner
12-30-2009, 08:02 PM
Maybe the City could intervene like this:
NY's Tavern on the Green restaurant bites the dust (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091230/ap_on_bi_ge/us_tavern_on_the_green)

rcjunkie
12-30-2009, 08:11 PM
Please---enough with the parking problem in Bricktown.
As a season ticket holder for the Thunder, I went to every home game last season and have missed one home game this season, in addition to Thunder games, my family and I go to Bricktown several times a year and I have never had trouble finding a place to park and I have never paid to park.

bluedogok
12-30-2009, 09:21 PM
BTW: Place a tax on empty space and you'll end up with more surface parking lots.
Look at Downtown Dallas in the late 80's to early 90's, that is the only reason why about 40% of the land in the CBD was surface parking. While some were empty from oil boom era demolition with grand tower schemes the majority of demo permits were issued after the bust happened with no future plans other than to avoid paying taxes on improved properties. As far as penalizing those with empty storefronts, I find that a much harder proposition to "creatively" tax.

I think that land in the CBD should be taxed at the same rate whether it has a building or not if there was originally a building on the piece of property, remove the incentive for some to tear down properties to do nothing with but sit on a surface lot and make money with the tax abatement.

I know that JDM Place has some canal level issues since it is very limited in floor to floor height and some of the beams around the old elevator opening but we put a wheelchair lift in the original remodel so the accessibility issues were addressed. I always felt that level was the best opportunity for a fast food type food court and convenience store (something like the one in the building across from First National and Leadership Square, I can't remember the name of it at the moment) because the limited height made it a bit more difficult to put a higher end type restaurant. Some of that flexibility was cut off by some decisions about how restaurant venting was to be done that was made by the building owner when the Mickey Mantle Steakhouse/Stumpy's went in.

jstaylor62
12-31-2009, 05:22 AM
You lefties are wacked. But hey, if you want to count missed opportunity costs in the tax code try this on for size. Let's say you own a home and you live in it. You could rent that same home for $1,000 month. Shouldn't you have to pay taxes on that $1,000, even if you donít rent the house? This is what you lefties are trying to argue. BTW - Democrats have actually tried to do this in the past.

Kerry, the rest of us are discussing the specific issues of developing property in Bricktown, since the area's value was greatly improved by money generated by a public sales tax. If Bricktown was developed by 100% private dollars, then I could could care less about the occupancy.

Kerry
12-31-2009, 06:32 AM
Kerry, the rest of us are discussing the specific issues of developing property in Bricktown, since the area's value was greatly improved by money generated by a public sales tax. If Bricktown was developed by 100% private dollars, then I could could care less about the occupancy.

Well then where is that line of thinking going to stop? You going to start taxing empty stores along Memorial Road. After all, if Memorial was only a 2 lane gravel road property values wouldn't be that high. The problem with liberals is they always turn to the tax code as punishment for not doing something liberals want other people to do. It gets old.

You want to make Bricktown great - take out a loan and start a business down there. The solution is not any harder than that.

jstaylor62
01-01-2010, 07:02 AM
Well then where is that line of thinking going to stop? You going to start taxing empty stores along Memorial Road. After all, if Memorial was only a 2 lane gravel road property values wouldn't be that high. The problem with liberals is they always turn to the tax code as punishment for not doing something liberals want other people to do. It gets old.

You want to make Bricktown great - take out a loan and start a business down there. The solution is not any harder than that.

Kerry, I dont seem to recall the City of Oklahoma City passing a sales tax that generated revenue that was then spent remodling a convention center, building an arena, building a baseball field and canal along Memorial. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Again, we are talking about the specific challenges in developing property in Bricktown.

Spartan
01-01-2010, 09:17 PM
Well then where is that line of thinking going to stop? You going to start taxing empty stores along Memorial Road. After all, if Memorial was only a 2 lane gravel road property values wouldn't be that high. The problem with liberals is they always turn to the tax code as punishment for not doing something liberals want other people to do. It gets old.

You want to make Bricktown great - take out a loan and start a business down there. The solution is not any harder than that.

Are you really a city planner? I'm finding that hard to believe, sorry. I recommend reading up on how city policies can affect development..and turning off the FOX News. After all, it was city policy that made downtown dead during the 60s, so it's going to have to be city policy that levels the playing field once again if we move forward at this point.

Kerry
01-03-2010, 06:17 PM
Are you really a city planner? I'm finding that hard to believe, sorry. I recommend reading up on how city policies can affect development..and turning off the FOX News. After all, it was city policy that made downtown dead during the 60s, so it's going to have to be city policy that levels the playing field once again if we move forward at this point.

Yes I was a City Planner and yes it was city policies that killed downtown but it wasn't city policy that built it in the first place. Entrepreneur and capitalist built the original downtown OKC that we all wish would return. You will create a lot more interest in developing downtown by creating incentives for people to try it than you will by punishing failure. Who in their right mind would want to try and develop property downtown if they would be hit with a special tax if they failed? Answer, no one.

Are you a city planner Spartan?

Spartan
01-03-2010, 06:24 PM
I agree with you Kerry--positive reinforcement is always a lot more effective than negative reinforcement. That is by far a better point to mention than "darn city libs.."

I don't think anybody wants to see a downtown that is completely rebuilt by the city govt, and so far we haven't gotten that. The rebuilding of downtown has occurred as a result of tremendous individual buy-in for downtown improvement. People get it, so individuals are doing what they can here and there.

But because public action killed what the city pioneers built in the first place, it will have to be public action that levels the playing field once again so that the individual pioneers of tomorrow can once again build OKC into a great city. That was simply my point.

kd5ili
01-03-2010, 06:49 PM
I have to jump on the bandwagon here as being extremely opposed to any type of special tax on empty buildings. You start fining (yes, that is what this would be) property owners, then in turn they would have to raise their offering prices, which in turn make those properties even less attractive.

-Chris-