View Full Version : Why no retail in Bricktown?



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BigD Misey
06-08-2010, 11:59 PM
I understand what you're saying BigD and I'm sure at the time you were there it was very quiet in comparison to what others may have seen. Every commercial area is going to have good days and bad days and ups and downs.

I just have to keep going back in my thoughts to the days when I would have been afraid to set foot east of the railroad tracks and I'm amazed at what I see now. Having to debate about how this area should be further developed seems to me to be a good problem for OKC to have.

Yes, it is a far cry from the downtown i knew in the early 80s! So, it is a dissapointing to see SO MUCH vacancy in bricktown. The way Steves article ended up is right. It will take the larger chains to sustain some regularity. I forsee the impact of those retail stores in Bricktown greatly limited though, with C2S on the table. Especially if more blighted area is addressed in the next maps project.
Its just an evolution of the city, much like here in dallas. Who would have thought such a player in the 80's and 90's (West End) would dry up so quickly. But unlike west end, I think Bricktown has unique elements that will always keep it in the game somewhat (the ballpark and riverwalk), just not for major retail in my opinion, for now. (Just addressing the thread topic)

Kerry
06-09-2010, 11:12 AM
Kerry, Bricktown might need to attract housing but "Bricktown" can't build housing. It takes developers with money or financing available. That's a very difficult find right now.

What do you mean Bricktown can't build housing? If the property owners in Bricktown can't build housing then who can? N. Oklahoma Ave alone has 6 building that could be converted to housing right now.

betts
06-09-2010, 11:22 AM
Yes, it is a far cry from the downtown i knew in the early 80s! So, it is a dissapointing to see SO MUCH vacancy in bricktown. The way Steves article ended up is right. It will take the larger chains to sustain some regularity. I forsee the impact of those retail stores in Bricktown greatly limited though, with C2S on the table. Especially if more blighted area is addressed in the next maps project.
Its just an evolution of the city, much like here in dallas. Who would have thought such a player in the 80's and 90's (West End) would dry up so quickly. But unlike west end, I think Bricktown has unique elements that will always keep it in the game somewhat (the ballpark and riverwalk), just not for major retail in my opinion, for now. (Just addressing the thread topic)

It is disappointing to see so much vacancy in Bricktown. I agree. But it is improving, and significantly, over the last several years. I didn't spend that much time in Bricktown before moving downtown, and I remember it seeming pretty empty. Now that I leave near there, I'm in Bricktown a lot, and most of the time, I'm impressed with the number of people. In the evenings on the weekend, it's incredibly busy. But even Sunday morning when I'm walking to Starbucks for coffee there are people out and about, which I found surprising.

As far as major retail, I seriously doubt that's in the cards for Bricktown. That's why I suggested Bricktown should aim to be like Western: smaller shops with specialty items like the Rhinestone Cowgirl, clothing shops aimed at a particular age group, a shoe store, perhaps a housewares store. Bricktown would be far easier to shop in than Western Ave is because on Western stores are so far apart and it is so pedestrian and parking unfriendly that people usually drive between stores. And yet Western is definitely a destination area for shopping. Bricktown could be too, if either the Bricktown Association would come up with a plan to aggressively market itself to retail or several retailers banded together with a plan to move there. The marketplace is a great beginning, but it won't bring people to Bricktown. It will simply make being in Bricktown more interesting and a more diverse experience than before it existed.

Bazooka Joe
06-09-2010, 11:28 AM
Because it has been positioned as an "entertainment" district. To reposition it will take promotion over time. Most small retailers can't afford to reposition the area in the public's mind, and the Bricktown Assn. hasn't been willing to develop a clear position within the public. It takes investment and vision to do that and they have been willing to let the public decide...so they do based on their own experiences. Since the restaurants are what the destination is, that's what they currently think.

.

thats baloney. The Las Vegas Strip is an "entertainment district" and has legions of apparel shopping available not to mention an actual mall as well. (miracle mile shops).

If Vegas can have restaurants with abundant retail, theres no reason Bricktown can not either.

OKCMallen
06-09-2010, 12:13 PM
thats baloney. The Las Vegas Strip is an "entertainment district" and has legions of apparel shopping available not to mention an actual mall as well. (miracle mile shops).

If Vegas can have restaurants with abundant retail, theres no reason Bricktown can not either.

Are you really comparing the Strip to Bricktown?

metro
06-09-2010, 12:15 PM
Bazooka, the strip has like 4 malls on it (Miracle Mile, Le Boulevard, Crystals, Mandalay Place, Showcase Mall, Forum Shops at Caesars, etc.) and countless retail outlets. Even more than a mall than Miracle Mile is Fashion Show Mall and the newer and higher end Crystals @City Center. However I agree with Mallen, there is NO comparison from the Vegas strip to Bricktown.

Las Vegas Luxury Shopping - CRYSTALS (http://www.crystalsatcitycenter.com/)

Urbanized
06-09-2010, 06:11 PM
I went into that Red Dirt Emporium a few months back and I was impressed with thier selections, but I remember the guy working in there that was was not that friendly, he may have had a bad day for some reason...
Sorry you had an underwhelming experience. I hate to hear that, as hospitality is our longtime goal and number one priority. Even to the point of having a very aggressive mystery shopping program. Hopefully we caught and corrected that. But in the future, if you ever run across that in any of our businesses, please don't hesitate to PM me here or drop me an e-mail. You may contact me by visiting our website (http://www.reddirtemporium.com/contact.php) and clicking on the e-mail link. Sorry, don't want to post the actual mailto link here in an effort to avoid spam bots.

Chad

Spartan
06-09-2010, 07:03 PM
We should have an OKC Talk meetup tomorrow at the Red Dirt Marketplace. I hope downtown will be packed with deadCENTER, Cocktails on the Skyline, goings on at the Civic Center, a home Redhawks game, and the grand opening of the Marketplace.

Spartan
06-09-2010, 07:13 PM
Ok, fair enough...
I lived in OKC for 15 years and moved to Florida for a short stint at the out set of Maps around '96, then to Dallas, where ive been for 14 years. I missed all the action! I would like to say i have a soft heart for OKC. I visit about 8-10 full weekends a year since i still have family there. If you consider me at present an 'out of towner', so be it.
In the view of many of you obviously, it was busy. When you broaden the scope, busy i guess is relative.

Maybe it was the time of day i went. Around noon on saturday this weekend and the weekend it hailed, even when it hailed, i was at the colcord at La Baguette, who had NO patrons at that time. Before, that day, I toured the river walk from Toby Keiths to the fountains at sheridan st. Got some decent pictures of what i call 'some traffic'. But it was sporadic at best. Bourbon St Cafe was full but it was surrounded with empty 'storefronts' if i may use the term loosely. Zios wasn't that busy, Falcone's was empty and it just wasnt what i or those i brought with me from out of town, was hoping for. (I was thinking of joining some of you for the 'Photo Walk' on the weekend in between, but was in Louisiana). Now, I'm not a developer, but IF I were scouting for a developer, and this is what i saw for two weekends out of the month for the last two months, what would you have me say!

While SOME were walking around, it certainly wasn't BUSY by any means. I say this in comparison to some of the towns we want to compare ourselves to. Like KC, Austin, SanAntone and it wasnt even approaching the likes of an elite city like Seattle (The Pier), Chicago (Mich. Ave) or New Orleans when it comes to regular foot traffic, throughout the day.

Look, Ive been on this board for over a year and have offered some "outsider views" especially when it comes to development. Not that i am an expert or anything but I have been close to the 'field' for decades, i can tell you how marketers and developer 'generally feel'. I can give you my opinion, thats all. We ALL post opinions here. Shred me if you will, but it was what I saw!

If you base your opinion of 'busy' on evening and special events, the value is flighty. Its every day, all day that the retailers are interested in...regular foot traffic.

Progressiveboy brings up one of three areas that Bricktown and all OKC should pay close attention to: West End, Deep Ellum and in Fort Worth, Sundance Sq. All historic areas, once thriving. Well West end is dead, Deep Ellum is on the way to Dead and Sundance of all places is struggling, and it pains me to see that. All can be linked to other elements.

When west end had the mall and other retail shops open during the day, things were great! It was rollin' from day thru the night. Then, they lost Planet Hollywood, then the mall virtually shut down leaving only clubs and restraunts. The day time traffic dried up with the exiting of the retailers. Where do people go now? Victory Plaza and new developments along the hwy 75 corridore from Knox, Mockingbird and up to Park. Its new and trendy and full of shops with plenty of daytime traffic. Then throw in the games at AAC and its a success. Its what i hope C2S will be!
Deep ellum struggles because the night life just isn't enough to sustain the value. Sundance is hurting because Tandy/Radio shack moved to another location and likely will file bankruptcy or be bought out, taking a large part of daytime traffic away, virtually starving the mall. Fortunately, i think Sundance will pull through with the help of surrounding development like the Bank that was converted to condos after the tornado. All three have a common theme - regular foot traffic, not just at night, but during the day too. It is the lifeblood of retail development, and at this moment, in downtown, on a regular basis...is not enough to bring the big guns in. Empty storefronts are not a calling card for success.

That is why i think the mayor is on the right track with C2S!
Retail Developers - Hillwood, Harvard Co's and Cordish Cos, Developers who are patient, calculating will wait and see...not if, but WHEN they will move! Only, it will likely happen if C2S happens. ITS NOT BASHING MY HOMETOWN and not a detatched generalization, its an observation, and something i have personally witnessed...but, in the end, is still just an opinion.

PS: You aint kiddin' Rover! Not good at night. Stick around the museum, mckinney ave and Victory Plaza area. Its a little better!

Around the museum? The Arts District in DT Dallas is deader than dead. I appreciate the post and the opinions you share, BigD Misey, and I'll say you're spot on. During the school year I'm usually up in Calgary where we have over 400 downtown retailers including department stores that have been there since the founding of Calgary and never left. The most important thing is keeping downtown pivotal in the community's sense of pride and people will do right by it. Foot traffic in OKC is negligible but it's manageable and it's a start, it's something you can do things with. As for Victory/West End... don't you think the advent of Victory (which has been highly struggling on its own) will make it harder for the comeback of the West End?

Speaking of Victory Park, Steve Lackmeyer went down there and had a very negative impression. A lot of it is empty and it just feels too...blah. Very high-end, high-rent, brand new, flashy, and dead. This is what Core2Shore is destined for in many people's opinions, and what we want to avoid. It's not connected to downtown the way Power and Light is in KC, it's more disconnected the way Victory Park in Dallas is.

Steve
06-09-2010, 07:20 PM
Victory is one of those places that only seems to be lively when there's a big event at the American Airlines center.

progressiveboy
06-09-2010, 07:25 PM
Victory is one of those places that only seems to be lively when there's a big event at the American Airlines center. Agree. Lots of Vacancies.

ljbab728
06-09-2010, 11:03 PM
What do you mean Bricktown can't build housing? If the property owners in Bricktown can't build housing then who can? N. Oklahoma Ave alone has 6 building that could be converted to housing right now.

Kerry, I never said housing couldn't be built. I said Bricktown couldn't build housing. "Bricktown" isn't a person or an entity. It's a district of downtown OKC. It has no money. As I said, adding housing takes developers with money and financing to do that and it's in very short supply right now.

metro
06-10-2010, 09:57 AM
We should have an OKC Talk meetup tomorrow at the Red Dirt Marketplace. I hope downtown will be packed with deadCENTER, Cocktails on the Skyline, goings on at the Civic Center, a home Redhawks game, and the grand opening of the Marketplace.

and the Mayor's Conference.

Steve
06-10-2010, 10:10 AM
Kerry, I never said housing couldn't be built. I said Bricktown couldn't build housing. "Bricktown" isn't a person or an entity. It's a district of downtown OKC. It has no money. As I said, adding housing takes developers with money and financing to do that and it's in very short supply right now.

SANITY! REASON! LOGIC! FACTS! Oh my gosh, am I really reading this????
(OK, I'm a bit edgy this morning. Ignore me)

Spartan
06-10-2010, 11:06 AM
So basically the only sane, logical, and fact-based analysis of Bricktown housing is that right now it is not possible and to simply not expect it or hope for it any time soon.

And people wonder why I'M so negative..

Steve
06-10-2010, 11:25 AM
Never said that Spartan. But too often I see analysis that seem to be rooted in idealism and planning theory - all well and good - but don't take into account real life economics and difficulties in obtaining financing.
Here are things to consider about downtown housing, especially in Bricktown:
- New fha rules making condo financing very difficult
- Lack of comps
- Code issues involving conversion older buildings (for example, the Mercantile building needs a $150,000 fire stairway for the top three floors to convert into housing. This is a big added cost that the owner is struggling to address to get his project started).
- Parking (you say it's not an issue - and it might not be - but bankers think it is)
- Design review (feasibility may demand more windows in a wall that doesn't have any. but will design review say "yes"?)
- Fewer buyers

Spartan
06-10-2010, 12:03 PM
So Steve, do you think parking is a problem or not? I remember you setting me straight last year when I was arguing that the perception of the problem matters a lot more than the reality, and I've read your recent columns in which you attributed Jim Cowan with repairing that perception recently. I guess the question is, which is it? If bankers think there is a parking problem and that is one of a few contributing factors that making real estate projects in Bricktown difficult..well, then it definitely is a problem.

Also the entirety of financial feasibility seems predicated on CONDOS. "Fewer buyers," "lack of comps," "FHA rules," and other things seem to make apartments more attractive, and indeed, a lot of Tulsa's new downtown development that's getting off the ground right now does seem to capitalize on that rental market that swells during recessions like this. Because Oklahoma's economy is still functioning unlike other places and unemployment is still relatively low, you're not going to see Okies give up on the dream of downtown living just yet until the economy totally goes off a cliff. It just makes renting a more attractive temporary solution, and in my opinion, it should be a permanent solution for Bricktown.

And all along I've suggested that the city needs to try and make happen some way to assist financing. It's not me saying this, it was the 2003 Downtown Strategic Action Plan that also advocated this on several different pages of the 50+ page plus report. Tulsa has their Vision 2025 Downtown Housing fund (Vision was their response to MAPS) which issued loans in two phases to downtown developers which get paid back and then put back into the revolving fund and once its whole again will do another round of lending likely after 2015). Obviously the city budget is tight, but it wasn't in 2003. There are other ways that the city can make this happen, too.

Also for downtown housing....what about student housing? The Strategic Action Plan implored the city to enter discussions with OU to put student housing for the medical center in Bricktown. That obviously never happened despite its huge potential. Same now goes for UCO, OCU, OBU, and all the other schools that are beginning to get involved downtown.

None of us are saying Mr. Bricktown needs to add housing to his district. What are we, two years old? Nobody here is so retarded that we think Bricktown is a person and we want to convince Bricktown to change his mind and go ahead and develop some housing (sorry ljbab). We realize that developers, and several different developers at that all with competing interests, put that in motion. BUT developers aren't getting the job done so obviously City Hall, if Bricktown housing is a priority, needs to reevaluate the strategy on how to get that...and might actually want to read a few of the studies on downtown planning that came out during the last decade and were obviously ignored.

Kerry
06-10-2010, 12:09 PM
Why wasn't there any housing being built inside Bricktown limits when money was easy to get. A lot of housing was built around downtown but not in Bricktown proper.

okclee
06-10-2010, 12:11 PM
How is Deep Deuce apartments doing during these tough economic times? Are people still renting in this area? What is the occupancy rate?

Bazooka Joe
06-10-2010, 12:16 PM
Are you really comparing the Strip to Bricktown?

whats wrong with comparing Vegas to it?

besides, what happens in Bricktown stays in Bricktown.

Steve
06-10-2010, 01:00 PM
RE: Sanity and logic comment. ^^^^^^

Spartan, what you bring up in regard to OKC matching Tulsa's Vision 2025 funding is an intriguing discussion, and I'm not dismissing it. But I think you're getting to the heart of it all when it comes to reality, perception, ability, etc.
From everything I've seen on the busiest nights in Bricktown, there is no "problem" finding affordable, accessible parking. But that's a different issue from whether bankers see housing being viable without attached, secured parking for the homebuyers. It's apples and oranges.
I'm not justifying this. Just saying it's an issue.

metro
06-10-2010, 01:28 PM
:LolLolLoli think it's because lack of parking in Bricktown............i kid i kid

kevinpate
06-10-2010, 02:16 PM
... besides, what happens in Bricktown stays in Bricktown.

And cell phones, and FLIPS, and YouTube and Flickr and Facebook anbd Myspace and ......
:poke:

ljbab728
06-10-2010, 10:55 PM
None of us are saying Mr. Bricktown needs to add housing to his district. What are we, two years old? Nobody here is so retarded that we think Bricktown is a person and we want to convince Bricktown to change his mind and go ahead and develop some housing (sorry ljbab). We realize that developers, and several different developers at that all with competing interests, put that in motion. BUT developers aren't getting the job done so obviously City Hall, if Bricktown housing is a priority, needs to reevaluate the strategy on how to get that...and might actually want to read a few of the studies on downtown planning that came out during the last decade and were obviously ignored.

Spartan, you don't have to apologize to me. Of course I understood the meaning of what was being said. I was just trying to emphasize that the ease of adding housing was being over simplified by emplying that "Bricktown" should do it instead of mentioning that real people with real issues to solve would be involved.

king183
06-11-2010, 01:24 PM
I went to the Red Dirt Emporium today. It was empty, but that's to be expected because they just opened yesterday and they're still completing the store space and moving vendors in. I was mostly impressed with what I saw, and I think it has great potential to be successful. I bought some pepper jelly from a lady I read about in the paper. She gave me a sample, which convinced me to buy.

Chad was there doing some work. My only real concern is regarding the vendors. I think for this type of marketplace to be successful, the right type of vendors need to occupy the booths. That seems like a no-brainer, but I saw a couple booths that appear to be occupied by furniture vendors who were selling very large pieces of wooden furniture and thus had maybe three pieces of furniture in it. It seemed out of place amongst the vendors who were selling custom shirts, art, jewelry, pottery, food items, and other Oklahoma items. I don't think anyone really goes to a place like Red Dirt Emporium for their furniture needs, so it seems likely those booths will be "dead" space. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

You all should go check it out when you get the chance. It's definitely a plus for the canal level area.

OKCMallen
06-11-2010, 01:45 PM
whats wrong with comparing Vegas to it?


You're comparing America's adult playground, an internationally known city that has been growing for decades based on gambling and excellent marketing, a city that has no closing or opening time, a city where they have more money for more private development than we can possibly fathom, with planeloads more coming in every weekend from every city in the United States and - no exaggeration- the globe, where pyramids and Eiffel Towers and Coliseums stretch into the sky and where excess, consumerism, and the general spending of money is like breathing...

...to Bricktown.


I'm thinking it's not an apt comparison.

Spartan
06-11-2010, 01:51 PM
RE: Sanity and logic comment. ^^^^^^

Spartan, what you bring up in regard to OKC matching Tulsa's Vision 2025 funding is an intriguing discussion, and I'm not dismissing it. But I think you're getting to the heart of it all when it comes to reality, perception, ability, etc.
From everything I've seen on the busiest nights in Bricktown, there is no "problem" finding affordable, accessible parking. But that's a different issue from whether bankers see housing being viable without attached, secured parking for the homebuyers. It's apples and oranges.
I'm not justifying this. Just saying it's an issue.

So what do you think about this for a story idea, asking developers what IS the solution to the housing problem? (Not just to identify what is causing it) I imagine that the solution isn't just going to come by looking at the root causes, but rather by looking outside the box..

Steve
06-11-2010, 05:06 PM
I've pretty much explored that option - developers are reluctant to go on the record and admit they're in trouble or say things can't go forward with "x" or "y" - but your ideas are noted.

betts
06-11-2010, 05:20 PM
So what do you think about this for a story idea, asking developers what IS the solution to the housing problem? (Not just to identify what is causing it) I imagine that the solution isn't just going to come by looking at the root causes, but rather by looking outside the box..

If they think they can make money, i.e. sell or rent housing at a price that will guarantee them a profit, developers would be on board I would assume. I suspect they either think there's no demand, or the demand is for housing they cannot afford to create. If there's money to be made, and it's a sure thing, you'll find developers. So, somehow they have to be shown there's demand, at price points that make development worthwhile.

flintysooner
06-11-2010, 06:22 PM
Thought this was an interesting article and project:

Dallas Mixed Use Project Defies Market Trends and Hits 100% Leased Mark (http://www.argussoftwareblog.com/argus_software/2010/06/dallas-mixed-use-project-defies-market-trends-and-hits-100-leased-mark-.html)

SHELBY - Exclusive Apartment Living (http://theshelbydallas.com/)

Spartan
06-11-2010, 07:52 PM
I've pretty much explored that option - developers are reluctant to go on the record and admit they're in trouble or say things can't go forward with "x" or "y" - but your ideas are noted.

Right, Steve. Definitely wasn't suggesting something you haven't thought about, and I understand the difficulty in getting developers to talk or admit things aren't going forward. It's so ironic sometimes how badly we need to make these people be successful for our downtown to thrive..ugh.

I've been trying to get some developers to go on the record for my blog and haven't had any luck..not surprising that developers may or may not be supportive of the controversial posts but don't want to appear associated or supportive in any way. Nobody wants to get Bob Funked if they upset the wrong person at City Hall by being associated with voices for change..

Steve
06-11-2010, 08:11 PM
Ah, welcome to my world....

Urbanized
06-13-2010, 01:46 PM
I went to the Red Dirt Emporium today. It was empty, but that's to be expected because they just opened yesterday and they're still completing the store space and moving vendors in. I was mostly impressed with what I saw, and I think it has great potential to be successful. I bought some pepper jelly from a lady I read about in the paper. She gave me a sample, which convinced me to buy.

Chad was there doing some work. My only real concern is regarding the vendors. I think for this type of marketplace to be successful, the right type of vendors need to occupy the booths. That seems like a no-brainer, but I saw a couple booths that appear to be occupied by furniture vendors who were selling very large pieces of wooden furniture and thus had maybe three pieces of furniture in it. It seemed out of place amongst the vendors who were selling custom shirts, art, jewelry, pottery, food items, and other Oklahoma items. I don't think anyone really goes to a place like Red Dirt Emporium for their furniture needs, so it seems likely those booths will be "dead" space. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

You all should go check it out when you get the chance. It's definitely a plus for the canal level area.
Thanks for the good feedback! You should have said hello.

Regarding the furniture, it is from Treasures Past, the fantastic antique store that opened some months ago in Midtown. Jon and Laura, the owners, have been great through this process and their store a wonderful addition to the marketplace. They also brought in Brian Nault of Nault Fine Art Gallery (also located in Midtown), who is in the process of installing museum-quality African artifacts (masks, arrows and other items). Many of the booths are taking on the quality of art galleries, which is a fascinating and somewhat unexpected turn that we are keenly interested in.

What you saw in Treasures Past's booth was very unfinished. They have since moved in a considerable amount of smaller decor items, though the booths are still works in progress, like most in the marketplace.

Interestingly enough, the first thing(s) to sell out of their particular booths were two large furniture pieces, one to a local person and one to a lady visiting from Louisiana. Jon is arranging shipment on that piece. We were interested in whether large pieces could or would sell, and actually believed that the large pieces might possibly serve more as set dressing than anything, but have been pleasantly surprised by all of the activity specifically on large antiques. In fact, a large percentage of our overall sales has been due to furniture purchases. This no doubt would surprise you more than me, but it was still somewhat unexpected for us.

I will try to get some photos posted soon of the amazing centuries' old handcarved stuff from Scotland that he has in there. What is perhaps most amazing is the (low) prices he has on the items. On one piece in particular, people are consistently shocked at how little he is asking for it.

The real pleasure here has been watching the local merchants who have rented these spaces turn them into their own. Each one is developing character that has nothing to do with what I would necessarily put there, which is a good thing I think. I don't mind helping them decide at the front end whether or not their particular products may or may not be a good fit for Bricktown's customers, but after that it has been exciting to see them put their own creativity to work.

Steve
06-13-2010, 01:52 PM
I'm still wowed by the pepper jam. I never, never, ever, ever would have thought about trying such a thing - now I'm the proud owner of a jar full of it and will buy more when it's done. Suan's trick is to get you to try it - and then a sale is almost inevitable.

Urbanized
06-13-2010, 02:04 PM
She has sold more than 10 cases in the past three days.

SkyWestOKC
06-13-2010, 02:13 PM
I might drop by with my girlfriend sometime this week. Interested to see it.

Spartan
06-13-2010, 05:13 PM
She has sold more than 10 cases in the past three days.

Does that cover rent for the space?

Urbanized
06-14-2010, 06:57 PM
Well, I'm not sure what her cost is, but yeah, her retail take covers the rent for the space. By a bunch. When you factor in that her daughter is selling beautiful pottery from the same space, and the ten cases of jelly was after only three days of business, I think the both of them are doing pretty well at this point.

redrunner
06-14-2010, 07:00 PM
All this talk about pepper jam/jelly makes me wanna try it. I've seen jalapeno jelly at the grocery store before. Is it the same thing? What do you put pepper jelly on?

Steve
06-14-2010, 07:02 PM
redrunner, I wish I could describe it. I don't like jalapeno - and I certainly never would have liked a jam with peppers in it. And yet ... this stuff is addictive.
Suan makes this stuff from scratch from her own recipe.

Urbanized
06-14-2010, 07:04 PM
She samples it on a cracker with cream cheese. It IS pretty awesome. I think it is maybe a cherry jelly, but the sweet is so well balanced by the peppers (Scotch Bonnet) that it really creates its own flavor. You can read more by going to her website (http://www.suansfoods.com/index.html).

redrunner
06-14-2010, 07:19 PM
Thanks Steve. Thanks Urbanized. I'll have to get a jar or two this weekend. Her website show's Crescent Market carries it. I should probably buy it at the Red Dirt Emporium since I haven't been inside yet.

metro
06-15-2010, 07:30 AM
I'm still wowed by the pepper jam. I never, never, ever, ever would have thought about trying such a thing - now I'm the proud owner of a jar full of it and will buy more when it's done. Suan's trick is to get you to try it - and then a sale is almost inevitable.

Can believe you've been in Oklahoma this long and have never tried pepper jelly? Have you tried jalapeno jelly? Either one are good over some cream cheese and dip some crackers or plain tortilla chips in it. :welcome55 to Oklahoma!

Urbanized
06-15-2010, 12:16 PM
Thanks Steve. Thanks Urbanized. I'll have to get a jar or two this weekend. Her website show's Crescent Market carries it. I should probably buy it at the Red Dirt Emporium since I haven't been inside yet.
Nothing against Crescent Market, but I agree! Actually though, Suan's is in the Bricktown Red Dirt Marketplace, the new space across the hall from the Emporium. Both Suan and I intend to get her jelly into Oklahoma's Red Dirt Emporium soon but haven't done it yet. Inside the emporium, by the way, we have dozens of other Made in Oklahoma food items, which includes some other great pepper jams/jellies from OKC's own The Prairie Gypsies.

Downtowner405
06-18-2010, 05:06 PM
Guys/Gals - you need to look at retail in Bricktown (and overall) from a macro perspective. There is very little growth in our economy at all. Nationally we have about 9.5% unemployment and consumer confidence is way down. What blows me away is the spirit of the small entrepreneur. There are people with all kinds of abilities and talents, but little money. And here we have a perfect opportunity for them as the Bricktown Red Dirt Marketplace opened.

Now I am sure some may drop out because they didn't have the right products. However, I'm confident we will see a degree of matriculation of many of these vendors to larger space because their business warrants it. And eventually, they may even need storefronts of their own. This is grass roots retail!

I lived in OKC from 99 to 03 and have recently moved back to downtown. And I can tell you that if this marketplace had opened 10 years ago, it would've fell flat on its face. But when I came back, I was stunned at the amount of foot traffic I saw during "non-peak" hours. Another thing that amazed me was that the type of traffic is very different from what it was 10 years ago, when it was mostly locals. Now we have visitors from all over the country and, yes, from foreign destinations as well.

And while the Bricktown Association may have a little something to do with it, the real reason Bricktown is maturing is because of the investment from the private sector which followed as a result of MAPs. The addition of new hotels, Bass Pro, theater, Thunder and leadership at the CVB has brought the life into OKC (I predicted 10 years ago) that we see today.

As Devery Youngblood once put it "Retail always lags." Looks like that lag is about to end - even in this economy. Now that's impressive. And for anyone who doubts me, I suggest you get out from behind your computer, get in your car, drive down to Bricktown, park in any of the readily available and accessible lots and see what I'm talking about.