View Full Version : Construction scheduled to begin on 4 downtown housing projects

12-08-2005, 07:24 AM
Construction scheduled to begin on 4 downtown housing projects

By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

Construction is scheduled to begin by February on four downtown Oklahoma City housing projects -- all of them concentrated in and around Deep Deuce.

Two of the projects are proceeding with assistance of about $2.7 million in tax increment financing approved Wednesday by the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority.

All of the projects represent the first addition of large-scale for-sale housing downtown since the construction of Sycamore Square 20 years ago. Sale prices in the projects range between $150,000 and $550,000.

The four projects all involve land controlled by the Urban Renewal Authority. Director JoeVan Bullard said he's not worried about the prospect of multiple projects opening at once.

"With four or five projects coming out of the ground at once, there will be a bigger buzz," Bullard said. "I don't think any of them coming out at the same time will have a negative impact."

At least two of the competing developers say they will be the first to begin work.

Grant Humphreys' Urban Form LLC already has opened a sales office at 824 N Broadway for "Block 4," an $11 million, 36-unit townhome complex to be built on NE 4 across from the Deep Deuce Apartments.

"This project has the momentum of a freight train," Humphreys said. "We submitted for a building permit and are set to jet. ... It looks like we'll be the first out of the ground."

Or will he? Architect Anthony McDermid, a partner in the Central Avenue Villas, also has applied for a building permit for Central Avenue Villas planned for the corner of NE 4 and Central Avenue -- just northwest of the Deep Deuce Apartments.

The project, to cost between $4 million and $5 million, will offer 30 condominiums priced between $150,000 and $500,000. McDermid's partners include Somerset Partners, which owns the Deep Deuce Apartments, and McDermid's partner's in the nearby Triangle project -- Bert Belanger and Pat Garrett.

Ron Bradshaw, another partner in The Triangle, told Urban Renewal commissioners Wednesday he, too, is prepared to start work on the first 15 townhomes planned as part of a much more expansive town center. Bradshaw promised he is also about to tear up unused former Kerr-McGee surface parking in the area and convert it into greenspace until it is developed.

The town center development includes 25 acres acquired by the partnership between NE 2, Broadway, Walnut Avenue and NW 10. Wednesday, Urban Renewal commissioners designated the Triangle partners as developers for three city-owned properties along Oklahoma Avenue at NE 2, NE 3 and NE 4.

The properties, Bradshaw said, are the final pieces needed to complete their vision of a mixed-use development, including a park and pedestrian link to Bricktown.

"Our plans for The Triangle are to create a neighborhood within the city where neighborhoods are the focus of thoughtfully planned retail and business spaces that complement the energetic urban style of living we see emerging downtown," McDermid said.

No total estimate is available for the project, McDermid said, because the development will be built in phases, starting with 15 townhomes along NE 3. Work will begin on others as the first 15 are sold.

Marva Ellard, a partner in "The Hill" planned for NE 2 and Stiles, said she anticipates work starting in February on the first of what will be up to 171 townhomes. The $50 million development includes the priciest and biggest homes among the announced projects, with prices hitting $550,000 for homes exceeding 3,000 square feet.

"We're really glad to have a lot of things going on," said Ellard, whose partner is William Canfield. "It's not like we will be alone out there. And we all have different ideas."

Tax increment financing, which allows for new tax revenues generated by development to be invested in related public improvements, will likely be used in three of the projects:

About $6.5 million is being requested by developers of the Triangle for streets, sidewalks, landscaping, streetlights and a pedestrian link to Bricktown.

The Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday approved $690,000 for an alleyway, plaza and other public improvements associated with Block 4. The application still needs approval from a review board and the Oklahoma City Council.

Similar approval still is needed for $2 million approved by the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority for construction of a retaining wall, streets, lighting and new sewer and water lines as part of The Hill.

A study commissioned earlier this year by Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. indicates the growth in demand for downtown housing over the next five years could support up to 4,250 units. The total combined growth of rental and for-sale downtown housing is expected to climb between 4,000 and 7,750 units.

Humphreys said he already has a reservations list.

"We have seen a strong level of initial interest from prospective purchasers," Humphreys said. "People are excited to see high-end, owner-occupied dwellings in downtown Oklahoma City."

What else is in the works?

Developer Richard Tanenbaum previously announced he will begin renovating the 48-year-old Park Harvey Building at 200 N Harvey in January. The 17-story building will have 178 apartments ranging in size from 532 to 1,170 square feet leasing for $550 to $950 per month, according to pro-forma estimates.

Urban Renewal Authority Executive Director JoeVan Bullard said Wednesday he is assured by developer Mike Henderson that he will meet a Dec. 21 deadline to start work on the 303-unit Legacy Summit at Arts Central. The planned $26 million apartment complex has gone through several delays since first being announced in 2002.

Developers Anthony McDermid, Bert Belanger and Pat Garrett have a deal pending with Kerr-McGee Corp. to renovate three empty office buildings into for-sale housing. The developers hope to start work sometime next year.

12-15-2005, 11:26 AM
Even one year ago, these announcements would have generated dozens of comments on OKC blogs and today they are received as business as usual. Wow, what a difference a year makes. I guess the excitement will be generated as they near completion and we get to look at the finished products.

The old adage that retail follows roof tops should begin to come true as all this residential building comes on line. The City is engaged in a demographics/potential site/recruitment process that will have a new urban grocery retailer lined up by late Spring 2006.

12-15-2005, 11:50 AM
xcellent news!

12-15-2005, 10:47 PM
Looks like the Legacy at Arts Central is humming right along.

....Oh wait.

Anyone have a clue what is happening with that non-project?

The Old Downtown Guy
12-16-2005, 06:17 AM
The OKCURA has given Henderson a drop dead date of 12/22/05 or there-about to start moving dirt on the project. There have been numerous delays including a telephone cable down the middle of the site that had to be relocated and some petro-hazard dirt that was removed and replaced about two months ago. But that doesn't really account for the extensive delays. Something should pop next week on this. Either Henderson will get going or we're back to square one and one-half.

12-16-2005, 04:17 PM
Oh well, if they cancel his project then someone else will have something soon.

If I were a city official who had to keep moving the deadline for him I'd be really mad that he wasn't learning his lesson.

12-16-2005, 04:51 PM
Oh well, if they cancel his project then someone else will have something soon.

If I were a city official who had to keep moving the deadline for him I'd ....

.... RESIGN!!!

12-17-2005, 11:03 AM
True, but why are we wasting so much time on a guy who has made no apparent effort? The guy seems to have had cold feet for some time, lack of financing, second thoughts, who knows?, and yet, we continue to move the target for him.

The writing has been on the wall for years, OCURA has just refused to pay attention to it. Hoping the guy comes through does not guarantee us a project.

This should be ready for occupancy right now, not in the anticipatory dirt-turning stage. That's some pretty valuable real estate OCURA is bequeathing to an apparent do nothing.

The Old Downtown Guy
12-17-2005, 12:29 PM
The down side of continuing delays on the Henderson Legacy project and also the OKCURA parcel at NW 13th and Walker (Precor had that under contract a couple of years back, until their demand for additional land to the South didn't happen and they bailed out) is that all the major new construction is occurring East of Broadway. If these two other projects were under construciton or completed now, we would be expanding on two fronts rather than one; urban infill housing would be way ahead of where it is now and the much coveted new downtown grocery store operator would have a larger customer base calling them.

Of course, either one of those sites is potentially a new downtown grocery store location so it could work out in the long run. That may be the unstated reason for the holdup on the Legacy site. That is in fact the reason for delay that the OKCURA gives when asked about the time line for a new RFP on the 13th and Walker parcel.

A mixed use project at the Legacy site with a Whole Foods as the anchor tenant or a stand alone Whole Foods at 13th & Walker would be excellent. Should either scenario happen, redevelopment in Midtown would absolutely explode.

12-17-2005, 08:21 PM
What would be great for that location is something like Pentagon Row in Arlington, VA. The 1st floor (and 2nd in some parts) of the development has Harris Teeter (grocery), Bed Bath & Beyond, a drug store, a few restaurants, and some mall-type shops. Above everything are about 3-4 floors of apartments. Parking is in the middle of the development (you can't see it from the street) in a multi-level parking garage. Seems to me like a development with a grocery, a couple restaurants, and maybe a couple stores with apartments above would really be good downtown. Or, is something like this planned for OKC Town Square?

The Old Downtown Guy
12-18-2005, 09:19 AM
Brianinok Wrote "The 1st floor (and 2nd in some parts) of the development has Harris Teeter (grocery), Bed Bath & Beyond, a drug store, a few restaurants, and some mall-type shops. Above everything are about 3-4 floors of apartments. Parking is in the middle of the development "

Henderson's Legacy project design includes most of the elements you mention brianinok, first floor retail, residential above, parking garage behind, except for the grocery store and other large anchor tenants. The parcel isn't large enough to house the bigger stores and still provide the back door loading docks and parking they need. The ground floor retail spaces would attract more boutique scale users.

It did just occur to me this morning that the property across the street, owned by Rick Dowell, formerly Bob Moore Cadillac, might be large enough and have sufficient parking for a grocery store. It will be interesting to see the list of potential grocery store sites that the consultant retained by the City comes up. Hopefully the process won't get contaminated by insider arm twisting as did the OKCURA's selection of a developer for The Hill.

12-23-2005, 11:20 AM
Can't help but laugh at Henderson.

No dirt turned as of today but he still gets a free pass.

01-18-2006, 07:51 AM
Here's a good summary of present and planned housing developments from today's Oklahoman:

Downtown OKC Housing by the numbers
Existing multiunit housing built before voters passed the Metropolitan Area

Projects in 1993:

Sycamore Square: 120, built 1982.

Regency Tower: 274, built 1965.

The Aberdeen: 119, built 1927.

Multiunit housing built since 1993:

Deep Deuce at Bricktown: 294 units, built 2000.

Fifth Avenue Lofts: 20 units, opened 2002.

Garage Lofts: 24 units, opened 1995.

The Montgomery: 84 units, opened 2005.

Total: 422.

Multiunit housing scheduled to be built in 2006:

Block 42: 36 units.

Harvey Lofts: 16 units.

Park Harvey Apartments: 178 units.

The Triangle: Starting with 15, total uncertain.

Central Avenue Villas: 30 units.

The Hill: 171 units.

Lower Bricktown: 30 units.

Kerr McGee office buildings: 70 units.

Legacy Summit at Arts Central: 303 units.

Sieber Hotel: 38.

Total: 887

01-18-2006, 08:33 AM
Double or nothing -

Gotta love the strides being made in our city (albeit a little slow on some)....

The Old Downtown Guy
01-18-2006, 11:02 AM
What's the latest on the Sieber. It's been snoozing for quite a while.

01-18-2006, 12:45 PM
There is an article in the paper today on the Sieber, but I don't have the link. Apparantly the city is going to loan them some money.

01-19-2006, 08:07 AM
Here's a newer photo of Block 42:

The have the beginnings of a website here:

Also, there is a great video of the development on this page:

Link (