View Full Version : Downtown Development update

07-21-2005, 02:02 PM
From the downtownguy,

"Lots of News

Let's start with headlines from the Journal Record:
Johnny Morris might be having the last laugh against David Gochman; Bricktown's Bass Pro Shops store sales for June climbed 6.8 percent from June 2004. Gochman's old opposition spokesman to the city's deal with Bass Pro put out information a few months ago that sales weren't meeting initial expectations. Morris owns Bass Pro, Gochman owns Academy Outdoors.

Anthony McDermid's OKC Town Center is almost done renovating the first two floors of the old Daily Oklahoman Parking Garage so that hey can be used by YMCA member. THe garage will also be available to the public for $65 a month, a bargain compared to elsewhere where rates run about $100 a month.

Urban Renewal commissioners must have their heads spinning after seeing so many housing projects come across their agenda in one day.

The Daily Oklahoman provides a fresh rendering of one of the projects, but to be honest, even the Downtown Guy gets confused by all of these Limited Liability Corp names. SO let's break them down by attaching faces to the names:

1. Downtown Brownstones LLC. It's their picture of the Central Avenue Villas shown in the Daily Oklahoman. It's located on the southeast corner of Northeast 4th and Central. It's where the old Luster Hotel stood (last a florist) and was torn down four years ago. The corner is a prominent unfinished piece to the Deep Deuce Apartments that were built four years ago. And the picture shows where the old apartments end and the new ones begin. The face: Anthony McDermid, the architect who designed The Montgomery and has been aspiring to play the role of downtown residential developer in his plan with Bert Belanger and Pat Garrett. The preliminary plans won approval. The project consists of 30 for-sale units ranging from 800 to 2,500-square-feet with prices starting at $125,000. The units will have rooftop terraces and underneath parking. Groundbreaking set for this fall.
2. The Hill at Bricktown LLC. We've heard of this LLC before - that's the one led by William Canfield, the Novazyme founder and major player in the nearby Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park. This group was selected in February for the high profile Deep Deuce hill that overlooks Bricktown, Deep Deuce and the downtown skyline. Nice property. Very nice. Urban Rneewal even left some big old trees standing on it when they cleared it of debris.
Canfield's selection drew some criticism from supporters of McDermid, who felt the architects proposal was better, but that he lost out due to Canfield's association with urban renewal commissioner Stanton Young.
The story doesn't say it, but apparently there was an effort to give McDermid a second chance. It didn't work: commissioner Larry Nichols, CEO of Devon Energy, explained changing redevelopers for the area at this point could delay the project for years. Canfield's design for 171 town homes was approved.
3. Urban Form LLC was approved for Northeast 4 just west of Interstate 235. This is the proposal by Grant Humphreys, son of former mayor Kirk Humphreys. Nobody seems to be alleging politics on this one. Grant Humphreys has been seen at various downtown events and gatherings, learning and watching, making plans to join in on downtown's revival. It appears as if he's been doing some more number crunching, and may be decreasing the average unit size to make sure the project is a success. The project current has 36 units ranging from 1,100 to 2,800 square feet.
4. Nobody seems to be reproting on the latest with Legacy Summit at Arts Central. It's still scheduled to begin, and it's being said the only delay left is by Urban Renewal, which didn't get utilities moved as quickly as one might expect.

For all of you arguing that Urban Renewal should be disbanded; did it ever occur to you none of this could be happening without it? Yes, some changes may be needed on how they do business. But I wonder if some critics really understand how all this works."

07-21-2005, 02:03 PM
"Downtown housing projects get board's OK to proceed
By Ja'Rena Lunsford
The Oklahoman

Downtown housing was the theme of Wednesday's Oklahoma City Urban Renewal meeting.
Development partners Downtown Brownstones LLC and Somerset Partners LLC presented plans for Central Avenue Villas, residential condominiums that will be on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Fourth Street. Commissioners approved the preliminary plans, which consist of 30 for-sale units ranging from 800 to 2,500 square feet, with prices starting at $125,000.

Anthony McDermid, principal of TAParchitecture and a partner in Downtown Brownstones LLC, said the units will have rooftop terraces and underneath parking. Groundbreaking is planned for the fall.

"We are ready to rock and roll," McDermid said.

Developers for The Hill at Bricktown LLC and Urban Form LLC received permission to proceed with plans for another area project. Commissioners voted to reaffirm the Hill at Bricktown as developers of 12.6 acres at NE 1 and Stiles known as "The Hill." The Hill at Bricktown LLC was chosen for the project April 21, but the renewal board opted to reconsider the decision at the request of members from the opposing redevelopment team, Walnut Hill Redeveloper Partners.

Commissioner Larry Nichols said changing redevelopers for the area would delay the project.

"A delay of a matter of months can turn into a delay of a matter of years," Nichols said.

With the reaffirmation approved, The Hill at Bricktown LLC presented designs for its 171 town homes. "Now that we have the green light, we are focused on finalizing the construction and project plans so we can start building and turning the vision into reality," William Canfield said in a statement. Canfield is principal of The Hill at Bricktown LLC.

Commissioners also voted to confirm Urban Form LLC as the redeveloper of an area of land along NE 4 Street and Interstate 235. Urban Form's Grant Humphreys submitted a proposal for the project, Block 42, in June. The project includes 36 units ranging from 1,100 square feet to 2,800 square feet.

Humphreys said although demand for upscale owner-occupied housing is up, the demand decreases as the prices get higher. With that in mind, Humphreys is modifying his original plan by decreasing the average unit size, which in turn will decrease the price.

Commissioner Fred Hall said it was great to see so many downtown housing projects.

"I'm ready to see them all come together," he said."

07-21-2005, 02:08 PM
If anyone has the picture from today's Oklahoman, could they scan it and post it? There was a pic of the proposed brownstone residences.

07-21-2005, 03:51 PM
Here you go:

RENDERING PROVIDED BY TAPARCHITECTURE This rendering gives a preview of Central Avenue Villas, a project scheduled to break ground in the fall.

07-21-2005, 09:36 PM
Good to see all of this, especially since two of them are things we (at least I) haven't heard about before.

07-21-2005, 11:03 PM
It's also good news that two of the projects are now talking about units in a lower price range.

I believe strongly that we need a good percentage of younger people as they will bring life and energy to the area and pave the way for more development and residents. This is the most common approach to 'urban homesteading' that you see in most cities.

08-03-2005, 12:04 AM
Awesome! Downtown proper will be a vibrant, living, breathing neighborhood in 18 months. Along with all these rooftops comes restaurants and shopping among other things...

Exciting stuff... very exciting stuff...

08-04-2005, 05:09 PM
Very Exciting. Im just wondering why it's taking so long.

We knew there was pent up demand for downtown back in 2000, so why is the city dragging their feet with the development while at the same time letting upscale suburban type developments get approved?

08-04-2005, 08:19 PM
Guys, it is just me or do these buildings seem lacking architectually? I was hoping for a little bit more pizzazz. I'm not complaining though, I'm just happy to see some downtown housing. I think accessible rooftops or balconies would be nice.