View Full Version : Classen Drive



Pete
08-23-2014, 09:49 AM
A few years ago, as part of a 10th Street Medical District master plan, there was a proposal to extend Classen Drive two blocks to the southeast. Subsequently, the idea died due to lack of City funds to acquire the necessary right of way.

However, at least one block of this project has been resurrected.

On the quarterly report for the the Alliance for Economic Development, it lists this item under Downtown Development: "Midtown Renaissance future development plans and Classen Drive Extension."

You can see the original proposal below as well as the ownership of the surrounding properties. St. Anthony is pink, MidTown Renaissance is Yellow and Corsair Cattle Company is blue.

This is a quote from Steve's chat yesterday, and I'm quite sure he is talking about the property where Classen Drive would be extended: "Expect to hear more housing and retail announced for Midtown."



http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/classendrive1.jpg


http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/classendrive2.jpg


http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/classendrive3.jpg


http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/classendrive4.jpg

Urbanized
08-23-2014, 10:01 AM
Most interesting. They would basically be giving away prime real estate, back into the public domain. But it would buy them additional street frontage AND better connect their current investments to the core. Innovative thinking for around here for sure. Must developers instead look to do things like capture alleys and other public right-of-ways.

Pete
08-23-2014, 10:07 AM
Since the Alliance is involved, you can assume public incentives would be a part of this.

Also, the proposed streetcar route will run on 10th, along the northern boundary of this property.

musg8411
08-23-2014, 02:46 PM
So this seems odd to me. 10th St carries a lot of traffic, so I like that this distributes that traffic. The concern I have is the Classen Dr / 10th St intersection. Would they add a stop light, yield sign...? Travelling Northwest, you would have to look basically over you shoulder to see 10th Street Traffic. I am curious how the engineers plan to make this transition.

DoctorTaco
08-23-2014, 03:11 PM
nm

Pete
08-26-2014, 08:49 AM
In addition to the possible extension of Classen Drive to the southeast, Midtown Renaissance has applied to close Park Place between Hudson and Walker for "commercial development of adjoining property".

See the graphic in the article above; Midtown R owns almost all the surrounding land, part of which is being used for a dog park.

This area was also identified as a possible parking structure in a recent downtown parking study.

DoctorTaco
08-26-2014, 09:03 AM
I've been going by here every morning since you posted this and I like the idea of expanding the diagonal. It could really increase the street life in midtown, increase storefronts, etc. I especially am on board if they do another traffic circle on 9th and Hudson to deal with the new 5-way intersection they are creating. (As an aside, I heard recently from someone in the City planning department that within the City bureaucracy the traffic circle at 10th and Walker is seen as a failure, for some reason. Go figure I think it is awesome).

A question for Pete, though. Who is the "Corsair Cattle Company" and what, exactly, is on their property. Somebody told me it is a drug and alcohol rehab? But to me it has always had a faintly penal vibe about it, like maybe it is more of a halfway house or something.

DoctorTaco
08-26-2014, 09:05 AM
The only downside of this plan is that they will have to tear down one of the older "flophhouses) which currently sites on the north side of 9th just off Hudson. I say this is "downside" because of all the unrehabilitated apartment buildings in Midtown this is one of the better ones.

jdcf
08-26-2014, 09:18 AM
I use the 10th/Walker traffic circle virtually every day and am a huge fan. I do wonder though what it will be like when the St. Anthony ER is moved closer to that intersection. I also cannot envision how traffic would flow where the proposed Classen Dr extension would intersect with 10th St on the east side of the current circle.

DoctorTaco
08-26-2014, 04:09 PM
I also cannot envision how traffic would flow where the proposed Classen Dr extension would intersect with 10th St on the east side of the current circle.

Another traffic circle. TRAFFIC CIRCLES FOR EVERYONE!!!!

warreng88
08-29-2014, 09:43 AM
Interesting post on Steve's chat:

10:41 Comment From Gary T
What do you think of the possibility of extending Classen Drive SE to 9th Street?

10:42 Steve Lackmeyer:
That extension was funded through a prior bond issue, but it's my understanding the extension is no longer desired by Midtown interests or the city. I think it's dead.

Pete
08-29-2014, 09:54 AM
^

It was dead a while ago but was just added as a new project on the Alliance for Economic Development quarterly report, which is why I created this thread.

warreng88
08-29-2014, 10:39 AM
^

It was dead a while ago but was just added as a new project on the Alliance for Economic Development quarterly report, which is why I created this thread.

Thanks for the clarification Pete.

LakeEffect
08-29-2014, 11:49 AM
2007 GOB, Proposition 1, Section C. Reconstruction, Number 4.: Classen Drive, in the vicinity of NW 10th Street to Harvey Ave and NW 8th Street. $2,500,000

The City of Oklahoma City - 2007 City Bond Election (http://www.okc.gov/bonds2007/BondInformation.aspx?propParam=1&sectParam=Reconstruction&propText=PROPOSITION%201%20%28STREETS%29&sectText=Reconstruction)

GOB funds for each project are intended to pay for all of the following for the project: "Reconstruction, construction, repair resurfacing, and/or improvement of streets at the following locations, which may include related engineering, traffic control signals, signs, devices, markings, conduit and improvements, street lighting, drainage, intersection improvements, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, sidewalk repair, sidewalk installation, street furniture, and/or landscaping and related irrigation systems, to-wit:"

Pete
08-29-2014, 11:55 AM
My understanding is this wasn't pursued due to high costs of obtaining the right of way.

However, if Midtown Renaissance and Saint Anthony are in favor of extending the roadway at least through the block they own, that would seem to solve the problem.

LakeEffect
08-29-2014, 12:09 PM
My understanding is this wasn't pursued due to high costs of obtaining the right of way.

However, if Midtown Renaissance and Saint Anthony are in favor of extending the roadway at least through the block they own, that would seem to solve the problem.

Agree. If I recall correctly, when I was still at the City, we heard what someone wanted for the ROW and PW jumped back. But that also included extending all the way to 8th, which would have cost a lot because of the actively operating industrial dry-cleaning company on the site.

HOT ROD
08-29-2014, 07:19 PM
I do hope it gets done. We need more of these to break up the grid AND add more street frontage.

Pete
08-29-2014, 07:25 PM
Yeah, the grid is efficient but monotonous.

Teo9969
08-31-2014, 10:57 AM
The bigger issue, to me, is that our blocks are so big. The grid would be fine, but when every block is between 400 and 500 feet long, it gets monotonous…especially in a world where whole blocks are bought by developers and built out in one unit. I'd kill to have more developers on one block.

shawnw
08-31-2014, 09:27 PM
In one of Jeff Speck's talks, he talked about our block sizes (at 450 usually) being manageable. He cited better (350) and worse (550) cities. We can't exactly fix block sizes. But at least we didn't end up with 550.

Teo9969
09-01-2014, 12:01 AM
It's definitely manageable, but what it really means is that every corner is of increased importance. In terms of walkability, if I walk past 3 or 4 corners on the same street that have been poorly planned, we start having issues.

I think extending Classen Drive, gives Midtown a chance to have a super vibrant center-place (10th/Walker Roundabout) that disperses a variety of directions. It would encourage exploration of the area both outward and inward. Hub/Spoke comes to mind.

Pete
09-05-2014, 04:02 PM
I've learned more about this possible extension of Classen Drive.

It does not appear like it will happen. At issue is what to do with the funds that were allocated for the project several years ago.

The property owners (Saint Anthony & Midtown Renaissance) are not in favor of extending the diagonal road as it would cut into their ownership and make their parcels more difficult to develop.

Nothing is likely to happen here for a couple of years, since Saints is using a good portion of the block as staging for their expansion project.

But afterwards, it's possible the money originally allocated for the Classen Drive extension could be put to use for streetscape or other improvements in the immediate area.

shawnw
09-05-2014, 04:26 PM
bummer

Bellaboo
09-17-2014, 06:25 AM
Wrong thread - sorry

Spartan
09-17-2014, 09:35 AM
I've learned more about this possible extension of Classen Drive.

It does not appear like it will happen. At issue is what to do with the funds that were allocated for the project several years ago.

The property owners (Saint Anthony & Midtown Renaissance) are not in favor of extending the diagonal road as it would cut into their ownership and make their parcels more difficult to develop.

Nothing is likely to happen here for a couple of years, since Saints is using a good portion of the block as staging for their expansion project.

But afterwards, it's possible the money originally allocated for the Classen Drive extension could be put to use for streetscape or other improvements in the immediate area.

That's not what was voted on, though. Creating a diagonal thoroughfare that creates visual interest and an easier way for drivers to go NW out of downtown, is a very different proposition than some trees and benches along what already exists.

OKC is making a nasty habit of not keeping it's word to voters when it comes to downtown projects.

Pete
09-17-2014, 09:43 AM
Regarding Park Place, Midtown Renaissance doesn't want to close that street, they want to make it one-way with angled street parking. The graphic a the top of the page has been corrected to reflect that.

I'm sure they want to try and create as much parking as possible around Fassler Hall / Dust Bowl which is just to the south.

Pete
09-17-2014, 09:52 AM
That's not what was voted on, though. Creating a diagonal thoroughfare that creates visual interest and an easier way for drivers to go NW out of downtown, is a very different proposition than some trees and benches along what already exists.

OKC is making a nasty habit of not keeping it's word to voters when it comes to downtown projects.

The Alliance is merely looking at a way to use those funds in that same area since the plans changed.

There was never any funding for acquiring right of way, just building the street, and on that point, citizens should be concerned about how this all transpired.

But the bonds have already been issued, so the question remains as to what to do with the proceeds. The Alliance is looking at that now and they and MidtownR prefer that they be put to use in the immediate area for other streetscape improvements.

shawnw
09-19-2018, 12:13 PM
I heard today that the Classen Drive extension is dead and buried (realities in Midtown no longer support it and the champion that worked at the city has moved on). But since this was to use 2007 GO Bond funds, it's becoming a paving project for 8th Street from Hudson to Broadway instead.

Teo9969
09-19-2018, 08:05 PM
This still needs to happen, it's just that the "Drive" needs to be taken out and this needs to become a pedestrian corridor from the traffic circle at 10th to 9th and Hudson if not 8th and Harvey.