View Full Version : Bricktown Development

08-25-2004, 10:40 PM
What first brought me to this board was my interest in all the recent development in Bricktown. The two stories that just broke a couple of days ago involving FlatIron and the Stewart properties took me a bit by surprise at first. But then I got to thinking - on just about every property in northern/eastern Bricktown there is something going on, or being proposed...including the Walnut bridge renovation, new police station, the Factory, etc, etc, etc. If all that is currently being proposed comes to fruition, Bricktown/Deep Deuce is going to be one crowded place. I guess my overall question for people that view this board is that with all of the people that are going to be living in or near Bricktown, with all the jobs that are being created in the area, with all the arts/entertainment that is already down there, what is missing? What is the next step? If residential development is currently the major push then doesn't downtown/Bricktown need more everyday amenities/retail? I guess I don't see where the people that are going to be living down there are going to be grocery shopping, banking, buying clothes, etc.

So what do you guys think are the most important conveniences that Bricktown is missing for future residents.......then once that is answered, who is willing to go in on it with me?!?! 50-50. :) Ha. But seriously......

08-25-2004, 11:26 PM
Hi Serafini,

First off, welcome to OKC Talk.....we appreciate your participation and definitely welcome it.

Now, in regards to your comments on Bricktown. Well, actually the city is trying to focus more and more on retail. I think that was clearly evidenced by their financing of Bass Pro Shop, the first major retailer in downtown since the 60's. Truth is, someone had to break the ice, and initiate a retail sector in the downtown area. In order to start that ball rolling, the city had to do something. Downtown was considered a risky market to locate retail, because retail hadn't existed there in any major form since the 60's. Not too many people were considering to make the risk. So the city had to take the risk.
Now, back to your question and concern. You're very right. In order to satify the needs of people downtown, the downtown market will need to eventually provide things like shopping centers (retail stores), a grocery store, services such as barber shops, dentists, etc.. I think the main need right now is probably in the area of groceries. But for the time being, that need is being met by grocery stores that, while not being in the downtown area, are close (within 15 minutes or so...not really a long drive for groceries). For example, the Homelands at NW 16th and Classen and NW 39th and Penn, the Buy For Less at NW 23rd and Penn, a soon to be built Wal-Mart neighborhood market at NW 23rd and Penn, the Belle Isle Wal-Mart Supercenter at NW Expressway and Classen, etc.

But, eventually, I think a grocery store will need to be built downtown, especially with all of the new residents moving downtown. Many city leaders are already looking into this as the concern has already been raised.

I think much of this can be summed up in the following statement: "retail follows rooftops." The stronger a residential presence becomes downtown, the more retail companies will see the need to locate downtown. Retailers tend to locate around residential areas. Look at most of your major grocery stores...they're in the middle of solid residential areas.

Although I don't think our city would go for a Wal-Mart Supercenter downtown, I could see a more upscale store like Albertson's, Krogers, etc. moving downtown. And it will happen as the need builds.

In regards to're absolutely correct. We will need clothing stores down there, among other things. But for now, most of the people that I know that live in Deep Deuce (several of my fellow medical student friens live there since it's so close to the OU Health Sciences Center) shop at Penn Square Mall, 20 minutes from downtown.
Again though, as more people move downtown, think retailers will see it, and you'll start seeing stores like Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, New York and Company, Limited, Dillards, Ross, etc. locate downtown. Hopefully we'll see more upcale retailers move into the Bricktown and FlatIron areas.
From talking with Jim Couch, it seem to me like the city hopes to fill much of this void with the new Town Square proposed for the Flat Iron district. Much of this development will consist of lofts on the upper floors with shops, services, and eating areas on the street level.

Most of the residents that currently live downtown aren't unhappy with the current situation, although they see future retail development as an advantage to possibly keeping them there. But, most don't mind driving 15 minutes for groceries.

By the way, to meet one need, a new gasoline station is being built right across from Bass Pro Shop at Lincoln/Byers and Reno. Another one (a Shell) opened recently on the west side of downtown, just west of the new Federal Building.

So I guess the simple answer will all come with time. And the city is working on it.

Seems like the city is focusing on three needs for downtown at the present time: more residential housing, more retail, and more hotel space.

08-27-2004, 05:38 PM
All good thoughts. Now, in your estimation the new Town Square development - will the lofts be for sale or for rent? Most every development that is in the works is to build units that would be for rent. Seems like there should be more that would actually be for sale.

Next thought is that there really is more property for sale down there than I had originally thought. Property on the canal, property to the west of Bricktown Burgers, property in eastern Bricktown.....I would have thought that these would have been properties that would have been developed before the Hill. Thoughts?

08-27-2004, 10:01 PM
Albertson's et all really aren't great urban groceries or very upscale.

Push for a Whole Foods, Wilds Oats or The Market

08-27-2004, 10:26 PM
Krogers is pretty upscale to me. Im living in Houston at the moment and they are everywhere that An upscale neighborhood or District is. Altho i never heard of Oklahoma City ever having the Chain Im sure something as big as Bricktown can attract the attention of the Kroger Company and then im sure well have one. Wal Mart and Albertsons would be a terrible thing added. Altho i feel maybe anystore whatever the chain might be would work if in The name something Such as "Bricktown" or "Downtown" would appear.

I feel things should pop up on the side of the canal such as side vendors. Which makes more people traffic who are on the canal. I see the canal and it looks very empty compared to that of San Antonio's Riverwalk. We need some life on the side instead of The Restraunts. I look at's Cam of bricktown and it shows The canal and rarely do i ever see anyone walking the canal. I also think its pretty dumb that a person has to Contact the City to play an instrument off the street. Which is why there is the same guy in front of spagetti wharehouse lol. Things like this actually bring life to the area more than alot of people expect its something that outsiders love to see.

08-27-2004, 11:21 PM
I couldn't agree more. I think the whole idea that you need a permit to play a musical intruments on the street is a little outrageous. I didn't really agree with the whole permit thing when it was proposed. The guy that used to own Coney Isle in Bricktown (no longer in business) had planned to set up a cart on the canal. Well, the permit requirement burned him.

I do agree that having vendors on that canal needs to be regulated, i.e., having designated spots for vendors, and the vendors should meet certain quality requirements, but I don't think they should be charged for a license. That discourages vendors from locating on the canal.

And in regards to the grocery store idea....yeah, maybe Albertsons isn't such a good idea. It's a chain....I'd like to see something more local. Personally, I think a multilevel grocery store in one of the old warehouses, or in a building in the Flat Iron District would be cool. Have produce on one floor, can goods on another, meats on another, etc.

I can see something like Kamps locating near the Bricktown/Deep Deuce area. Something upscale, but not so suburban. Maybe even something local like Pratts, a somewhat larger store, but still not as large as Albertsons or Wal-Mart.
Drapers, a smaller store with a few locations around town, is a smaller store that might fit.

Better yet, the owners of Mayfair Market (same company that owns Buchanan's) could open "Bricktown Market". Mayfair Market seems to cater to the surrounding Mayfair area pretty well, and the quality of service allows them to compete with Wal-Mart. It's not a large store like a supercenter, but it's a pretty decent-sized grocery store.

This wouldn't be something to build on the canal of course, but something to be built, possibly on empty land north of Deep Deuce.

08-28-2004, 01:17 AM
I like your Idea About a Multilevel Grocery store Patrick. Something Ive never seen and if it does exist im sure there are not many. Think about it people would wanna go just because of the expierience lol. I think it would be fun going to a Grocery store with escalators lol. Awesome Urban and Upscale idea. And the name Bricktown Market is a Great Name if it is located in One of The older Warehoues as you say.

08-28-2004, 01:22 AM
Come to think about it escalators wouldnt be so good as i was thinking a mintute ago lol. Shopping carts (Invented in Oklahoma lol) would have no way of transporting goods for people. So maybe a type of Handicap friendly walkways would work great for a multi level Grocery store.

08-28-2004, 10:10 AM
I think an upscale, multilevel grocery would attract customers outside downtown. It could work with freight-size elevators where people can roll in and roll out (look at Penn Square and the strollers). It doesn't have to offer tremendous range but emphasize the kind of goods and services downtown residents would want:

extensive winery/alcohol section
extensive deli/prepared foods selection
salad bar
cafeteria-style dine-in or carryout restaurant
event tickets
film developing/disposable cameras
OKC attraction merchandise
video/DVD/game rentals

A key to making this grocery succeed would be to make it easily accessible to the workers in the CBD -- to where they can easily walk to or park next to it. I still envision that tall warehouse on Reno on the west side of Oklahoma as being a good location (if people can park in the lot next to it. Or how about the space where Taste of China was at, to serve the residents of The Factory?

I've mentioned this before, I still think a Bricktown Braum's would be winner, even with two other burger places and two other ice cream places (if Marble Slab comes in). The grocery side of the operation would do great business if there was no other grocery downtown.

And despite my aversion to chains, we need a Walgreens or Eckerd-type pharmacy/general store downtown.

08-28-2004, 10:30 AM
I agree that grocery is definatly going to be the first thing needed. And that it has to be easily accesible. Especially if you are talking about a high end grocery store that would need to generate a higher level of traffic to cover its costs. But do you think more of a convenience store would be more what the residents would want. Something that doesnt offer all the movies, cafeterias, salad bars, etc. But more the basics....the Mayfair Market which was recently mentioned is basically just that. A grocery store that doesnt have much of the frills....including selling beer....which burns me....but that is another matter. This way it is something that you can get in, get what you need and get out. I have always mistakenly thought that the bigger and fancier something is, the more profitable it will be....if you build it they will come. But at the moment I dont see Bricktown supporting the huge megacenter with all the amenities....

Thought #2 - Seems that every piece of property that is for sale is brokered by a Monty Stricker...or so the signs on the properties would indicate. This guy must be doing pretty well.

Thought #3 - Any thoughts on the Main Street beautification project? I think the city is making a great call here by making Main look like Sheridan. Although what I will miss is the free parking that I have taken advantage of for years....

08-28-2004, 11:06 AM
Serafini, that's why I mentioned the need for a Walgreens or Eckerd-type store. And one that's not attached to a gas station!!

I'm not familiar with the Main Street Beautification project; could you tell us more about it?

08-28-2004, 05:05 PM
Yeah Serafini, I didn't know the city was going to beautify Main Street. Can you tell us more?

And floater, the warehouse that you mentioned off Reno, just west of Oklahoma Ave. was purchased several months ago and is currently being completely renovated. Haven't got a clue what tenants the owner has in mind though.

Taste of China might be better left as a restaurant, since it's already fitted for that. Also, it's only a two level structure. But, the red brick building next door (to the west) is still for sale and is 4 or 5 stories. It would be a nice building for a multilevel grocery store. The store wouldn't have to carry tons of selection like Wal-Mart or anything, but it should have a decent variety of choice and decent prices. Kamps again seems to come to my mind. Offer high quality meats and a nice bakery and you have it made!

08-28-2004, 07:07 PM
Patrick, if I'm not mistaken, isn't that building part of The Factory development, to be converted into a garage and housing units? I'm also curious as to what the redevelopment of that Reno warehouse will be...

08-29-2004, 09:01 PM
Well, near as I can tell the city is doing something similar to what they did with Sheridan...sidewalks, trees, etc. I don't have any timetable on it but I believe the architectural firm that is working on it should have some final renderings and plans by the end of September. Overall this should be a huge step for "northern Bricktown" and would bring that street up to par. It would then be parallel parking all the way down Main. Still not sure how they are going to tie in the Walnut bridge repair with it.

08-30-2004, 01:06 AM
floater, you might be right about that building next to the old Taste of China. I'll ask one of my sources and findout for sure though.

Searafini, thanks for the info. on the Main St. project. Although I will miss the free parking as well, I'm glad this part of Bricktown will finally be improved. For far too long now, Main Street has been on the fringes of Bricktown and pretty much ignored. Hopefully this will allow Bricktown to expand north, and will help spur on te Factory development! I hope the streetscape project is similar to the one that was done on Sheridan......that way it can all match.

Now, if we could only get them to brick all of the streets down there, it would be perfect. The only brick streets down there are Oklahoma Ave. and Mickey Mantle. I wish we could get Reno and Sheridan bricked, and maybe even Walnut Ave.