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07-19-2007, 08:31 AM
Personally, I'm excited, while at the same time a little disappointed the River Redevelopment Authority might be getting to excited and making a bad decision with design work. I really wish the hotels would have to have a minimum of 6 stories at least, and can't be stucco facade. The area is prime real estate and we sure don't want to turn it into another Lower Bricktown.

By Steve Lackmeyer
Business Writer
With a major "investment” along the Oklahoma River being announced today by Devon Energy, hotelier Jeff Penner can think of no better time to start construction of the first two hotels to directly face the waterway.

Details of the announcement are being kept a secret, but Penner says he has seen enough momentum along the restored river already to inspire investing $40 million on up to four hotels adjacent to a Meridian Avenue boat landing being built by the city for a boat service launching this fall.

"The river is the deciding factor we are doing this,” Penner said. "If the boat ramp weren't here, we probably wouldn't be doing this.”

Site preparation has already begun for a 97-room, four-story Staybridge Suites and a 143-room, six-story Holiday Inn. Penner, a partner in the venture that also includes hotelier N.G. Patel and Patriot Hospitality LLC, said negotiations are underway with franchises to build two more hotels along the stretch between the river and SW 15 just east of Meridian Avenue.

Penner said he has worked closely with Pat Downes, development director for the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority, to ensure the hotels fit into long-term plans for the waterway.

"We've made major concessions we ordinarily wouldn't have,” Penner said. "For example, it was important to Pat Downes that we not having parking facing the trails. And we won't ... We definitely intend to play off the river. This Holiday Inn has a lounge that sets off a patio that will overlook the Oklahoma River. Our goal is to set this in a park-like setting along the river.”

Penner said he hopes restaurants will follow suit and he foresees the area becoming the west anchor for the river parks.

The site itself would ordinarily not be an ideal candidate for development. Penner's group is spending $1.2 million to remediate debris dumped on the property in previous years. Without the city's investment in the river, Penner said his group probably wouldn't have considered such an investment.

Such investment is no surprise to Ron Norick, who as mayor in 1993 convinced voters to pass the Metropolitan Area Projects that included construction of dams, trails and other amenities along a waterway that was for decades derided as an ugly ditch that needed to be mowed three times a year.

Since the MAPS improvements on the river were completed, the city has seen a wave of ensuing investment, including the Chesapeake Boathouse, the American Indian Cultural Center, a Dell office campus, announcement of three boathouses by area universities, Penner's hotels, and today's announcement by Devon Energy.

Norick also anticipates big plans are in store for the property Chesapeake Energy recently purchased along the river east of Western Avenue — which is across from the former Downtown Airpark being redeveloped by former Mayor Kirk Humphreys. Norick predicted Devon's investment will help take the river to the next stage of development.

"It's huge,” Norick said. "This to me has got to be the final piece of the puzzle to the river. We have the dams, we have water impounded, we're building docks and this announcement will add the final piece to the river.”

Larry Nichols, chief executive officer of downtown corporate anchor Devon Energy, said the river is a prime opportunity to continue Oklahoma City's renaissance.

"The Oklahoma River is the most exciting redevelopment project in Oklahoma City right now,” Nichols said. "Enthusiasm that originated downtown through the MAPS projects is extending to the river where there is great potential for future growth. The river is an important part of our history and it remains an important aspect of our continuing development into one of the nation's great cities.”

07-19-2007, 09:32 AM
What's the major announcement by Devon today?

07-19-2007, 09:56 AM
Wow, this Devon announcement should be very interesting.

And it sounds like it is completely separate from the CHK property and the former airport owned by Kirk Humphrey.

So, with the hotel announcement, could there be a total of 4 big development projects planned for the river??

07-19-2007, 09:57 AM
I wonder if there is a press release from Devon regarding the time and location of this announcement?

Very interesting...

07-19-2007, 09:57 AM
My money is on Devon building their new headquarters down on the river as opposed to building a new skyscraper downtown. I hope this isn't the case, but it wouldn't surprise me.

07-19-2007, 10:02 AM
Here's a graphic from the article in the Oklahoman:

07-19-2007, 10:55 AM
My sources at Devon tell me that the press conference held today @ 10:30 AM was about the following:

UPDATE: Let's just say that I won't be using my sources at Devon anymore.

Devon Energy to Form Marketing and Midstream Master Limited Partnership (

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Devon Energy Corporation announced today that its board of directors has approved a plan to form a new, publicly-traded master limited partnership (MLP). The MLP will own a minority interest in Devon's U.S. onshore marketing and midstream business. This business includes natural gas gathering and processing assets located in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Montana.

Devon expects to file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a registration statement for the planned MLP in the third quarter of 2007. An offering of partnership units in the MLP will follow registration with the SEC.

A Devon subsidiary will serve as the general partner of the MLP, and Devon expects to own a majority of the partnership units following completion of the initial public offering. Following the offering, Devon will continue to own a majority interest in its domestic onshore marketing and midstream business.

Devon currently expects to utilize a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of MLP units to retire debt of the parent company and to repurchase shares of its common stock. Any remaining proceeds would also be available to Devon for payment of dividends and other corporate purposes.

"The purpose of creating a master limited partnership is to allow the marketplace to more fully measure the performance and contribution of Devon's marketing and midstream business while applying the proceeds in a manner beneficial to our stockholders," commented J. Larry Nichols, chairman and chief executive officer.

This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities. Any offers, solicitations or offers to buy, or any sales of securities will be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Due to limitations imposed by U.S. securities laws, Devon will not be holding a conference call to discuss the content of this release.

Devon Energy Corporation is an Oklahoma City-based independent energy company engaged in oil and gas exploration and production and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

The statements in this news release are forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, among other things, the risks and uncertainties that the master limited partnership will not be formed, will not complete an offering of securities, will not raise the planned amount of capital even if an offering of securities is completed, and will not be able to complete its proposed actions on the timetable indicated. Furthermore, the structure, nature, purpose, and proposed assets and liabilities of the master limited partnership may change materially from those depicted herein. No assurance can be given as to the value of the master limited partnership, the price at which its securities may trade, or whether a liquid market for those securities will develop or be maintained. In addition, Devon and the master limited partnership will be subject to the risks normally attendant to businesses in the oil and gas exploration and midstream energy industries. These and other risks are described in Devon's 10-K and 10-Q Reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any duty to update these statements is disclaimed except as required by law.

07-19-2007, 11:04 AM
My money is on Devon building their new headquarters down on the river as opposed to building a new skyscraper downtown. I hope this isn't the case, but it wouldn't surprise me.

I don't think they will, if they did it would be further east. Devon is pretty committed to downtown and renewing it, hence why Nichols has publicly said recently he won't consider building or moving until after Kerr McGee building is sold and hopefully others will follow. If he were to move to the river property, it would become a campus like Chesapeake. I don't think he would get a very warm reception doing that and I just don't see that happening. Hopefully it will be a mixed use development.

07-19-2007, 11:12 AM
Devon may be in the process of acquiring the Chesapeake land on the river and planning a development there.

Tom Price from CHK was quoted as saying that they weren't interested in developing properties in downtown OKC, which is why they now only spun off the KM building, but the smaller properties and vacant land as well.

This announcement may be the final part of this property swap. And perhaps Devon will give more information about a new downtown HQ.

07-19-2007, 12:44 PM
The Devon river announcement is up on

07-19-2007, 12:48 PM
Devon donates $2 million toward Oklahoma River transportation project ( 60311.388&aID2=44548)

Former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick. Photo/Mark Hancock

Stefanie Brickman

Former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick announced today three boats will begin cruising the Oklahoma River later this year.

Acting as the chair of the River Trust, Norick’s riverside announcement included Devon Energy’s $2 million commitment to bring three 65-foot-long, 14-foot-wide boats – which will be called Devon Discoveries – to the Oklahoma River.

Norick listed three groups who have come together on the transportation project: the City of Oklahoma City, Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority and the River Trust.

“There are three pieces: MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) to fund the river redevelopment, a federal piece and private dollars,” Norick said.

Serving primarily as alternate transportation linking the hotels in the Interstate 40-Meridian Avenue area to Downtown Oklahoma City and the Bricktown entertainment district, the first boat will arrive in October and the second in November with the third one in Spring 2008. Scarano Boat Builders in Albany, N.Y. are constructing the vessels for $1 million each.

Norick imagines the Meridian Boat Landing area – located off SW 15th Street, east of Meridian Avenue – to develop commercially.

“I look at the river the way I looked at Bricktown 10 or so years ago,” Norick said. “Where’s it going? I don’t know, but within 10 to 15 years, I don’t think we will recognize it.”

Norick said the boats will begin regular 40-minute trips along three stops in spring 2008: the Meridian Boat Landing, near the stockyards and Regatta Landing. Eventually, there will be routes to the American Indian Cultural Center (which will be located on Eastern Avenue), the State Fairgrounds, the Downtown Air Park and the Dell campus.

The boats will accommodate 49 passengers and will have heat and air conditioning.

Norick said the boats will be available for private parties during the fall.

Copyrighted by Parkway Publishing LLC. Republished with permission. From

07-19-2007, 12:50 PM

Devon donating $2 million to the Oklahoma River boat project. First of three boats to run in October. Next one in November, then Spring '08. The boats will be called "Devon Discoveries." 40 minute excursion with three stops from downtown to meridian. Boats will accommodate 49 passengers and have heat and AC. Boats cost a million each.


Edit: Didn't know if I should copy/paste...

07-19-2007, 12:52 PM
BTW, if you guys didn't see this announcement (, we can post OKCBusiness articles as long as we follow their guidelines.

07-19-2007, 01:36 PM
Bummer, looks like they wont' be starting in September as they originally announced earlier this year. Oh well, at least progress is being made. I hate to have to wait until next year though.

07-19-2007, 01:38 PM
If I understand it correctly, the first boat will run this October. I don't believe they're waiting until next year to start.

07-19-2007, 02:09 PM
I think the private party businesses will insure success of this operation at least until legitimate attractions come online. Once there is real places to go on the river, then they might actually become a viable form of transportation for tourists and day trippers.

I'd love to use this corporate enthusiasm to get some landmark pedestrian bridges built as well. How cool would it be to light them up at night and take a cruise to view OKC's lighted bridges? I think when we often try and think of landmark attractions that could motivate tourism to OKC, we usually think in terms of size, but I think a nice series of unique bridges with cool design and lighting concepts would be unique and give Oklahoma City an instantly recognizable feature. How cool would it be to see establishing shots of our televised events showing these boats floating down the river under a light show provided by some bridges?

Our energy companies could use it as an opportunity for good will and power their sponsored bridges using different forms of alternative energy... We could have Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day parades on the river and dress up the bridges for the theme...

Ok, I've hi-jacked the thread enough. Carry on.

07-19-2007, 02:10 PM
Unique... Great idea!

07-19-2007, 02:17 PM
^^ BDP... that is an excellent idea , you should submit that idea to the Mayor's office.

07-19-2007, 02:27 PM
I agree... Fantastic idea, BDP.

The bridges would have to be big enough to allow for boat traffic but they are sorely needed to link the north and south side of the river.

Besides corporate sponsorships we could also get the various architecture firms and schools involved in a design competition.

07-19-2007, 02:48 PM
The more I think of it the better this idea is. This is the most unique idea that I have heard about, in regards to some kind of landmark.

Is there another city that has this concept??

07-19-2007, 03:00 PM
Venice. :)

Love, love, love this idea.

07-19-2007, 04:03 PM
Thanks guys. I'm glad there's some enthusiasm for the concept. I really do think it could be a signature project for OKC if done the right way. Does anyone think it would make sense as a MAPS project? For some reason, I'm afraid that could water it down, but maybe MAPS could pay for some of the support, implementation, and oversight of such a project with the real design and construction dollars coming from the private community.

Besides corporate sponsorships we could also get the various architecture firms and schools involved in a design competition.

That would be great. A company could sponsor the competition and maximize their publicity from it.

My only concern with the sponsorships is that they would end up being a series of billboards. I think there would have to be some parameters on how big, if any, any insignia could be. That way they don't try and out do each other with how big their names are and, hopefully, they would concentrate on out doing each other in design.

Is there another city that has this concept??

Besides Venice ;) , the closest I can think of is Chicago with their bridges over the river, but most of them are very utilitarian. London... maybe sort of? Obviously lots of cities have signature bridges, but I can't think of anywhere that has a group of bridges, pedestrian or otherwise, that also serve as attractions or landmarks.

I think to really make it synonymous with Oklahoma City, scale and commitment would be important. One half-assed bridge could kind of spoil it. I don't think they have to be huge, but you'd need a handful of really special concepts to really make a mark, imo. Disneyfication would be a concern as well, but I think it could be really nice if done right.

07-19-2007, 04:20 PM
Agree with all your points, BDP.

Like Chicago, Milwaukee has a pretty cool riverwalk with some interesting bridges, although most are older:

07-19-2007, 04:54 PM
The Milwaukee riverwalk does look nice. Have you ever been there?

The bridges would have to be big enough to allow for boat traffic but they are sorely needed to link the north and south side of the river.

This is true. I do know that some train tracks cross the river at ground level, so that may pretty much dictate the minimum height requirement and whatever boats the river can accommodate over its entire length.

But it would be cool if any newer bridges at least were the height of most of the current street bridges.

07-19-2007, 05:14 PM
Man, these are great ideas....

07-19-2007, 05:22 PM
BDP, I have been to Milwaukee several times and will be back there for a family reunion in August.

I made a long post about my visit last summer, because the city completely knocked my socks off. I had been before, but not for several years and I've only recently developed a critical eye for urban development. Milwaukee is a great city because it's downtown and surrounding areas stayed relatively in tact during the suburban flight of the 60's and 70's, primarily due to a good deal of quality housing and two good-sized universities (Marquette & UW-Milwaukee) in the central city.

So, when the new urbanism movement started in earnest, they didn't have to rebuild, just renovate and update. In fact, I spent a good deal of time in what was formerly a poor Polish neighborhood where my parents grew up, and it's completely alive with artists and college students. And my dad's old house was perfectly preserved and cared for.

I'm really looking forward to my August trip and plan to walk the better part of a full day just to see more of the neighborhoods and developments. Like Chicago, they often have taverns and restaurants embedded in residential streets and it's fun to go in those places and chat with locals. Very European in that regard.

If you ever get a chance to go there, you should do it. I think it's the most underrated city in the U.S.

My original Milwaukee Thread (

07-19-2007, 05:54 PM
A few years ago I flew Midwest Airlines. I still remember how well I was treated and what a nice experience it was.

07-19-2007, 06:09 PM
I too have spent some time in Milwaukee and concur, it is a very cool city. I was totally surprised the first time I went. I guess I was expecting an old run down city, but found it to be alive and superbly preserved.

07-19-2007, 08:40 PM
I think it's the most underrated city in the U.S.

That sounds great. Last time I was in Chicago a local told me that there were a lot of good things going on in Milwaukee and she called it their sister city. I remember thinking that Milwaukee must not be anything like I thought it was, or the Chicagoan wouldn't have talked about it that way. The funny thing is that I can't even really explain why I would have any impression of Milwaukee, let alone a bad one. It just goes to show how easily areas are labeled and how hard it is and long it takes to shake off a bad rep.

07-19-2007, 10:12 PM
If I understand it correctly, the first boat will run this October. I don't believe they're waiting until next year to start.

Nope, private parties can rent the boats starting this fall Oct./Nov. time however the public runs won't start until first quarter of next year.

07-19-2007, 10:18 PM
Will there be any gambling on these boats??

07-19-2007, 10:20 PM
As far as the bridge idea goes, yeah I think it has great potential, even as a signature project for MAPS3. We've discussed this idea at length before several times. As far as other cities who have signature pedestrian bridges, yes there are several. As many have said, Milwaukee has some nice ones. Also Tacoma, Washington has Chilhuly's Bridge of Glass Chihuly Bridge of Glass ( . Portland, OR and Seattle, WA also have some very nice ones.

Here is the bridge of glass:


07-20-2007, 02:38 AM
I said it before in another thread (about I-40 relocation/const., I think) but I think it'd be great if we had Chihuly do some work on one of the bridges crossing the new interstate. Possibly the downtown exit...

07-20-2007, 08:56 AM
Devon buys naming rights for Oklahoma River ferry

By Steve Lackmeyer
Business Writer

Devon Energy announced Thursday it is contributing $2 million toward the purchase of ferries for the Oklahoma River as part of a 15-year naming rights deal.

Former Mayor Ron Norick, chairman of the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority, called the deal a vital step toward starting river transit in the spring.

"Without Devon's commitment, we couldn't have purchased a third boat or fund a maintenance facility that is being designed as we speak,” Norick said. "The seven-mile Oklahoma River represents a new frontier for the city. The growing vision for the river's future has sparked a great deal of excitement, and through Devon's support, we are adding a transportation element that will bring it all together.”

The custom-designed river ferries are being manufactured by Albany, N.Y.-based Scarano Boat Builders, and the first vessel is expected to arrive by late October. A second boat will arrive in November, but service is to be limited to excursions until a third boat arrives in April.

At that time, Norick said, the city will begin daily river transit between the Meridian Avenue hotel corridor and downtown. The 65-foot ferries will carry up to 49 people, and will include enclosed areas with heat, air conditioning and flat screen televisions.

‘Dramatic views'
Norick predicted the ferries will be a hit with locals and visitors, and will be used by local companies seeking to recruit employees.
"I've been down the river at day and night, and there are some pretty dramatic views,” Norick said. "It's something you don't get to see anywhere else. And the downtown skyline is something to see at night.”

Rhonda Hooper, vice chairman of the visitors and convention commission at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said the ferries will link group travel — a lot of it based along Meridian Avenue with 37 percent of the city's hotel rooms — to destinations downtown.

"This will further energize tourism in Oklahoma City,” Hooper said. "It will connect three hubs of visitor activity in Oklahoma City ... this will help us deliver on our promise that Oklahoma City is a fun, family-friendly destination.”

It started with MAPS
Norick reminded a crowd of developers and civic leaders that the Oklahoma River once was derided as a ditch that needed to be mowed three times a year. The waterway was restored as part of the 1993 Metropolitan Area Projects, which provided $39 million in local funding and secured $15 million in federal funding for the river.
The project built three dams, fishing docks and 14 miles of trails between downtown and Meridian Avenue.

"This, to me, is the final piece of the puzzle for the river,” Norick said. "We have dams and water impounded. We're building docks for fishing ... it just adds a vital piece to the river. And people driving on bridges over this river will see these boats — they're just so big, they're huge.”

Norick said the Devon naming deal was critical to a successful launch of the river boats, which would otherwise have been limited to strict transit with longer waits and no allowance for private charters.

Roar of bulldozers
Thursday's announcement coincides with a flurry of development under way along the river. Just to the west of the ceremonies, roaring bulldozers could be heard preparing the south shore for construction of up to four hotels. Similar work is under way at the easternmost end of the waterway, where a $100 million American Indian Cultural Center is being built at Eastern Avenue.
Oklahoma City University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma have plans to build boathouses near the landmark Chesapeake Boathouse at the river's Regatta Park.

Devon Energy Chief Executive Officer Larry Nichols acknowledged the investment is a gamble — but one he thinks is worthwhile considering the city's recent track record with downtown, the Oklahoma Health Center and Bricktown. He predicted the river will dramatically transform during the next decade.

"Today, it is mostly weeds and bulldozers, but that will change,” Nichols said.

"The thing that will link it all together will be these river boats. It will provide Oklahoma City something that is unique. ... It will give tourists and conventions another reason to come here. It will give Oklahoma City a special ambiance.”

07-20-2007, 09:04 AM
which will be called Devon Discoveries

I guess that is the price of corporate sponsorship.

07-20-2007, 10:07 AM
Heck, they could change my name to Devon if they gave me $2 million!

07-20-2007, 02:52 PM
I said it before in another thread (about I-40 relocation/const., I think) but I think it'd be great if we had Chihuly do some work on one of the bridges crossing the new interstate. Possibly the downtown exit...

Yes that would be great... Until it hailed... :)

but i agree something and somewhat weatherproof would be a great idea

07-23-2007, 12:34 PM
There's a story today on the downtown airpark in Below is a quote.

OKCBusiness - Oklahoma City Business News ( 8746.871&aID2=44561)

"While Triangle Development and MidTown developer Greg Banta have projects underway to take the fabric of what was a community at one time and piece it back together, albeit on a smaller scale, Humphreys Real Estate Investments is taking that vision and preparing to apply it to an 81-acre site known as Downtown Airpark.

The group purchased the site for $7.2 million in November 2006.

“The old way of doing things is what we’re trying to get back to,” said Kirk Humphreys, a Heritage Hills resident. “Our land planning, in not just Oklahoma City but in suburban America, has basically taken the different types of land use over 60 years and segregated them. You have retail over there, apartments over there, single family over there and office over here. And what we want to do is jumble it all back together just like it used to be.

“We have not seen it here of this size,” Humphreys continued. “Oklahoma City, literally, has never seen anything like what we have in mind.”

What he’s got in mind is building a mixed-use community that would boast a hotel, restaurants, entertainment, retail, office, residential, even a town square – all within this walkable community."

07-23-2007, 12:45 PM
I love that OKC now has several local developers (Humphreys, Banta, McDermid) that really are embracing urbanism and community building.

Hopefully we'll see more from them and less from Hogan, Henderson and others that merely want to slightly tweak suburban concepts and put them in the middle of town.

07-23-2007, 12:52 PM
Little off topic but a few of us went riding along the Oklahoma river over the weekend...Very nice paved trail and preferred it over riding at Hefner w/ half a billion others

Only thing is with the wind out of the west we hit a decent sized area were you got to enjoy the smells of the stockyards...Just guessing it was the stockyards since it smelled like we were riding around with elephants nearby

07-23-2007, 02:15 PM
^^ when you say "riding" , are we talking bicycles or motorcycles??

07-23-2007, 02:59 PM
or horseback, I've seen some of those out there as well.

07-24-2007, 01:39 PM
Our Treks...Wife somehow talked me into getting up early, packing the bikes and then freakin exercising for an hour or so on a Saturday morning

Just ain't right

08-16-2007, 02:13 PM
There are so many excellent ideas for the river that it is hard to fathom it all. I'll be there on the first day that the American Indian Cultural Center opens. I also look forward to traveling on the boats when they're ready to run.

Oh GAWD the Smell!
08-23-2007, 02:00 AM
Our Treks...Wife somehow talked me into getting up early, packing the bikes and then freakin exercising for an hour or so on a Saturday morning

Just ain't right

Did you tell her not to wear "those" pants in public or something? :ohno:

I mean REALLY...That's obscene! Exercise? On a SATURDAY? :laughing_

08-24-2007, 10:40 PM
roaring bulldozers could be heard preparing the south shore for construction of up to four hotels.

Does anyone know what kind of hotels? HOPEFULLY this doesn't mean holiday inn express, la quinta, hampton inn, and best western. Surely the city wouldn't approve this kind of hotel development for the river...

08-25-2007, 09:39 AM
Nuclear, please see this information in the first post of this thread. Staybridge Suites is not full service, but the Holiday Inn is. So you are 1 for 2 so far. I would be happy with that rate on the final two still to be announced.

Site preparation has already begun for a 97-room, four-story Staybridge Suites and a 143-room, six-story Holiday Inn. Penner, a partner in the venture that also includes hotelier N.G. Patel and Patriot Hospitality LLC, said negotiations are underway with franchises to build two more hotels along the stretch between the river and SW 15 just east of Meridian Avenue.

08-25-2007, 11:24 AM
ok so i guess my next question would be what types of restrictions are there on these hotels as far as quality of development? Is this going to be another argument for stucco or are they going to have some character...something that would fit in with what Humphrey's is planning and what is envisioned for the river?

08-25-2007, 03:05 PM
Considering this is roughly at I-40 and Meridian, and not anywhere near downtown or the downtown airpark (Humphreys place), I would figure character in the construction will be MIA.

08-25-2007, 03:19 PM
But the Holiday Inn developer did say the parking would be in the rear/south and they are going to have a courtyard or outdoor garden area fronting on the river. So perhaps even down in the Meridian area, there's going to be some attempt to make things more aesthetic.

08-26-2007, 04:38 PM
Does anyone know if they're doin any cleaning up on the river near the hotels their building on Meridian?

08-27-2007, 04:25 PM
They dredged it out like 2 years ago to widen the "banks". As for actual river work...nothing. Right now it looks like they are clearing out the debris that was burried on the hotel sites off of 15th. It's been months and months of dirt work and no real building yet....there's so much scrap concrete in that dirt it's crazy!

09-01-2007, 02:53 PM
A friend of mine informed me of what Dallas is doing with the Trinity River by downtown....for a comparison, check it out....

vision plan map area 2 (

We need a bridge like this!!!....

Trinity River Corridor Project, Dallas, Texas (

09-03-2007, 08:47 PM
nice, but I'd rather see us with a bridge that made our neighbors to the south wish they had it ... be a nice change of pace it would

02-26-2008, 07:18 PM
Here's an update on the Staybridge Suites / Holiday Inn they're building on the Oklahoma River just east of Meridian off SW 15th. The last pic is a pic of the entrance sign to the river park just next to the hotels.

02-26-2008, 08:09 PM
I like the signage...I doubt the hotel will be anything to write home about.

03-12-2008, 03:56 PM
New boathouses planned for river
The Journal Record
March 12, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY –The Chesapeake Boathouse on the Oklahoma River is set to have some new neighbors.

Mike Knopp, executive director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, a non-profit community foundation that operates the Chesapeake Boathouse, said plans are in the works for four new boathouses and numerous improvements in the area.

The $3.5 million Chesapeake Boathouse sits on the north shore of the river just south of Bricktown and opened in 2006. Knopp said a master plan being put together now calls for boathouses for Oklahoma City University, the University of Central Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma. The user for the fourth proposed boathouse has not yet been determined. “These aren’t just big ideas,” Knopp said. “These are going to happen; we’re just looking at the logistics of getting it started.”

The $10 million OCU boathouse is set to begin construction by the end of the year. Knopp said he could not attach a specific price tag, or timeline, to the overall project, which is being dubbed Boathouse Row.

The area will get national exposure next month, however, when Oklahoma City hosts the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials for canoes and kayaks. Knopp said the event will bring 80 of the top canoe and kayak athletes in the United States along with perhaps thousands of spectators.T he increased traffic in the area will likely also benefit Bricktown. “A lot of people don’t realize how close we are to Bricktown,” Knopp said. “We’re just around the corner.”

Jim Cowan, executive director of the Bricktown Association, said as the river has developed and hosted events, it has brought more business to Bricktown. He said it is similar to events at the neighboring Ford Center and Cox Business Services Convention Center that spill out participants and spectators into Bricktown. “Now we just feel like the Bricktown and the river are merging,” Cowan said. “As different events go on down there we need to work together.”Cowan said more activities on the river will also spur growth in Bricktown to keep those who are attending events at the river fed and entertained.“We have to be so much more than a street with restaurants,” Cowan said.

Along with the planned boathouses, Knopp said the area along the river could shape up as an entertainment destination of its own that could compliment, and be an extension of Bricktown. “What we’re trying to do is position the river as another venue in Oklahoma City,” he said.

One of the potential projects on the river could be an extension of UCO’s Jazz Lab in Edmond in the UCO boathouse facility. There is also the potential for a privately funded event facility with seating for up to 600. The design of the new boathouses will complement the sleek look of the Chesapeake Boathouse. And while all will have some similar elements and design, each will have its own unique feel.

Knopp said the foundation is gearing up now for the Olympic trials next month, and as a well to further highlight the river and form an ongoing relationship with the Olympic committee.“The reason we’re doing this is we have real potential and we’ve established viability for the venue,” Knopp said.
Members of the Chesapeake Juniors unload at the Chesapeake Boathouse in Oklahoma City on Tuesday upon returning from a regatta in Austin, Texas. Photo by Jennifer Pitts.

03-12-2008, 04:05 PM
Very exciting stuff! So very much potential down there. I especially liked this bit:

One of the potential projects on the river could be an extension of UCO’s Jazz Lab in Edmond in the UCO boathouse facility. There is also the potential for a privately funded event facility with seating for up to 600.

And $10 million for the OCU boathouse when the CHK one only cost $3.5 million? Wow, that should be some structure.

03-12-2008, 05:11 PM
The area just north of there I REALLY HOPE gets turned into a park. It already has some great, mature trees, and most of the dilapidated homes have already been torn down. They would just need to remove the streets and add pathways and it would be a nice little park. It doesn't need any fancy monuments really, just some paths and benches.

03-12-2008, 05:23 PM
Almost all that property -- 77 different parcels -- is owned by Walnut Grove Investments, aka Bill Canfield of The Hill fame.

I'm sure he's planning another housing development but I hope he'll clean it up in the short term.