View Full Version : Confused about Lower Bricktown

09-22-2004, 09:21 PM
Here's an email I sent Jim Couch and Mayor Cornett. Maybe downtownguy or anyone else who might have some facts can comment.

"Hi Mr. Couch,

Are there any plans later of Hogan possibly opening up more sites for development? Looking at the map now, after the Toby Keith venue is built and the hotel/housing tower is built (now in the planning stages), it looks like there's only one development pad left, in between the theater and Toby Keith's.

Also, the surface parking on either side of the Sonic Building is just so unsightly. That would look so much nicer with some structures. If downtown Oklahoma City is going to get out of "hickville" and become a real downtown area, we need to get rid of the surface parking downtown and in Bricktown, and replace it with buildings and parking garages.

I'd hate to see that this is the end to development on Lower Bricktown. We can do better than this. We need more and bigger buildings right on the canal. What about all of that land where the theater surface parking exists? Some of that comes very close to the canal behind the waterfall. Seems like so much open space in Lower Bricktown is being wasted by a sea of parking.

I know in many ways we try to model ourselves after San Antonio. One thing you won't find on the Riverwalk is surface parking. The Riverwalk is surrounded by towering hotels, office buildings, restaurants right on the Riverwalk, an outstanding mall, etc. We really need some retail right on the canal. Sure, we have Bass Pro, but it's not on the canal. We need more multi-use buildings where markets, small shops, small eateries, etc. can locate....similar to the two small buildings that Hogan is about to complete, only with retail shops.

If the Bricktown canal is going to stay exciting the development must continue!!! And the next phase should involve retail and hotels.

Can you tell me if there are more phases of development planned? Will the completion of Hogan's current plan just be Phase I? I'm a little confused.

Thanks, Patrick Horn, Citizen Ward 2 OKC"

09-22-2004, 09:30 PM
Many of you probably remember this description early on of Hogan's development. Where is all of this retail space????

09-22-2004, 09:31 PM
Also here is a pic of Hogan's original proposal. Where are these buildings now? They look mightly impressive compared to the two small buildings Hogan just constructured. Not to sound negative, just asking.

09-22-2004, 10:01 PM
I'm hoping that eventually the areas between the buildings will be filled with other buildings. Preferably wall to wall. What I mean is, the side of the movie theater butts up against another building on the canal which butts up agains Toby Keith's restaurant, making one continuous flow, like upper Bricktown (is it even called "upper"?). I don't like all the space between, but I'm not upset about it because I figured the space between would be used. But that was just an assumpion on my part.

Now you've got me wondering. I can't imagine we'd have parking spaces overlooking the canal in 5 years. Sheesh.

09-23-2004, 12:06 PM
My point exactly......I'd like to see Lower Bricktown become more like Upper Bricktown! Wall to wall buildings. Gives it a more urban feel. I just hope those Sonic parking lots aren't permanent. I sent an email to Jim Couch.....I'll see if he can give me any details.

09-23-2004, 12:32 PM
WOW! I hope OKC or Hogan decides to go ahead and implement the sketched design. Honeslty, the riverwalk is impressive now...but its not to where it needs to be to REALLY impress people and make them want to come back and see it again later. As of now, it's really only impressive to those of us who live in OK because it is something interesting that is easy for us to get to. If the buildings and gardens, like in the sketch, were done, we would really start to impress people from all over. Remember, that in 2007, I think, the Big 12 tourny is in OKC. That means that OKC has about 2 and a half years to really spruce everything up, get stuff done on the canal and all over Bricktown, so we can leave a positive lasting image on the people that come from IA, MO, TX, KS, AR, OK, and everywhere else. This is a really big deal, and things need to get done NOW! These people don't want to come down and see bare dirt and cranes...they want to see finished products, something they can go in and see and eat at and shop at.

09-23-2004, 12:36 PM
The pic in the sketch seemed to continue to the two level side walks as found in North Bricktown. Unfortunately, this sketch is from 1998. The buildings in this pic appear a lot larger than the ones Hogan is now building. I wish he'd build at least two level building, so we'd have canal level and street level. Personally, I think the theater is too high up. Would've been nicer if it would've been built at canal level. Or maybe he could've built a parking garage under the theater with retail and restaurants on the canal side under the theater. Oh well. I just hate all of the surface parking to the east of the theater. Hogan should've planned ahead. Parking under the theater would've been the best option.

09-23-2004, 05:38 PM
Parking under the theatre would've been the best option. But that would've cost a lot more money. Hogan's in this to make money, a lot of money, not to create the distinctive urban area OKC so desperately needs. Sad really, but that's how it is.

09-23-2004, 08:48 PM
Having these separate development pad and lots worries me that people will think it's merely a unique Ed Noble Parkway. I was hoping, too, for a consistent street wall that usually characterizes an urban environment.

But I think that such a wall is unrealistic for the time being. If market demand was hot enough, it would be much more possible. But I don't think it's hot enough to merit the construction of multiple 2-4 story buildings for retail and restaurants (condos, maybe). Plus I think any body who locates in LB will be concerned about parking, considering how weak public transit is.

And if you look at the Bricktown maps, they feature these huge separated pad sites. I think all along Hogan has just been concerned about filling these pad spaces. Once Harkins,Bass Pro, and Sonic were confirmed, I think he should have anticipated stronger demand and strived for a denser (and higher) street wall. But once you're set in pattern, it's hard to go 180 degrees in a different direction.

In the meantime, we can make it seem denser by loading the area (as with the rest of Bricktown) with vendors, live musicians, public art, gardens, benches, water fountains, flower beds, etc between the buildings.

We'll see how it goes, maybe once we get the Embassy Suites and the last pad site developed, LB won't seem so gap-toothed. Does anybody know if this is it for Lower Bricktown?

09-23-2004, 09:02 PM
But I have to add that nothing ever happens the way you dream it to be, so we should be at least satisfied that it is filling up and that it is on people's radar screens.

This also makes me think that the best option for the last pad site is not a chain, no matter if it's a diversion like Dave and Busters. It should be a place that's unique, that no other shopping/entertainment district has. That will keep visitors and residents from thinking it's just a prettier Ed Noble Parkway or other suburban entertainment strip. Can anybody make a case otherwise?

09-23-2004, 11:11 PM
Instead of looking at just one tenant for that last pad, I wish Hogan would just build a 3 or 4 story building, and load it with retail shops and cafes. Make another marketplace out of it: Lower Bricktown Market Place. Or maybe have a craft village.