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Pete
03-28-2006, 06:12 AM
100 W. Main (http://goo.gl/maps/TjacG)
sq. feet= 115,000
805 parking spaces
http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/centurycenterwiki1.jpg
Information & Latest News
8/14/14: $550,000 building permit application for YMCA
7/10/14: Revised plans released showing drives added for OPUBCO and Mahogany Steakhouse
2/12/14: $3 million building permit (http://www.okc.gov/Access/Cap/CapDetail.aspx?Module=Permits&TabName=Permits&capID1=14BRE&capID2=00000&capID3=01619&agencyCode=OKC&IsToShowInspection=) for OPUBCO space
2/7/14: $6 million building permit (http://www.okc.gov/Access/Cap/CapDetail.aspx?Module=Permits&TabName=Permits&capID1=14BRE&capID2=00000&capID3=01444&agencyCode=OKC&IsToShowInspection=) to remodel from shell to finished space
11/18/13: OPUBCO set for move downtown (http://newsok.com/deal-set-for-the-oklahomans-downtown-move/article/3905951)
1/14/13: OPUBCO announces they are in negotiations to lease 67,000 square feet in this project. To include ground-floor studio and large video screen to feature news and promotional information for civic and nonprofit groups. 350 employees would move. Renovation would include an all-glass facade and two additional levels of parking on top, adding 400 spaces.
Links
County Assessor Record (http://www.oklahomacounty.org/assessor/Searches/AN-R.asp?ACCOUNTNO=R010013490)
Gallery

John
03-28-2006, 07:04 AM
Owner . hopes to revitalize landmark

Steve Lackmeyer: 475-3230, slackmeyer@oklahoman.com



The Criterion Theater and Baum Building were architectural jewels in Oklahoma City by anyone’s standards — landmarks that were razed in the heyday of Urban Renewal.

In their place stands Century Center Plaza, a mostly empty one-time attempt at a downtown shopping center that isn’t highly rated by any local architect.

Thirty years ago, a shopping mall was considered the Holy Grail for downtown development. The 89,000-square-foot Century Center Plaza, built along with the Sheraton Hotel in 1977 at Broadway and Sheridan, was the only one to be built.

A much bigger mall, an envisioned 600,000-square-foot Galleria, was talked about for years and was to be built a block west of the Century Center. Four square blocks of old retail properties — including the John A. Brown’s flagship department store — were bulldozed to make way for what civic leaders pledged would be a shinning new monument to downtown shopping of the future.

That vision never came true, though the Galleria name remains attached to the massive parking lot built in its place. Is the Century Center Plaza a hint at what might have happened if the Galleria had become a reality?

Walk into the plaza today, and you will likely be alone. Even during its oil boom heyday, the place never quite had an identity. At one time, it was home to a fitness center, several restaurants, florist, eyeglass store and even an FAO Schwarz toy store.

“It was originally designed as a retail mall area that would serve downtown office tenants and also convention visitors,” broker David Huffman said. “It never had an anchor tenant. Its definition was unclear from the very beginning.”

Meristar, which owns the plaza and attached Sheraton Hotel, recently renovated the property and hired Huffman’s firm, Wiggin Properties, to bring it back to life.

Out are the old awnings left behind by Schlotsky’s when it closed 20 years ago. The interior of a Mexican restaurant that closed several years ago also has been gutted. One of two escalators was removed, creating one continuous open space that spans the length of the plaza.

New paint and carpeting have brought the building into the new century. But it’s still quiet — with the only visible tenants being an office for the Yard Dawgs arena football team and a salon where the plaza is adjoined to the hotel.

But the location along Sheridan Avenue is enviable. To the west are the Myriad Gardens and the historic Colcord building, which is being renovated into a boutique hotel. To the south is the Cox Convention Center. And to the east are the Renaissance Hotel and Bricktown.

Huffman isn’t sure it can ever come back as retail. Maybe, he says, the plaza could come back as a “quasi-retail” center with a tenant mix of a copy shop, fitness center, brokerage firm, video arcade and restaurants. He’s also open to less commercial uses — maybe a school, organization, printing company or even simply for storage. He said the 90,000-square-foot center also could be home to an entertainment complex. Discussions, he adds, are under way with a “strong prospect.”

The Century Center, Huffman concludes, is a “unique space.” What’s needed is a “unique tenant” — and a chance for the property to finally stand out on a street that is rapidly becoming the most important corridor in a revived downtown Oklahoma City.

Pete
03-28-2006, 07:14 AM
There are two obvious uses: more convention space or another hotel tower.

Hopefully rising property values and demand will force a change in the near future. That place has always depressed me.

Midtowner
03-28-2006, 09:02 AM
We could really use a Hyatt Regency.

Patrick
03-28-2006, 09:41 AM
I have an idea! It starts with 'wrecking' and ends with 'ball'. ;)

I completely agree. There's nothing historically significant about the Century Center. We ought to tear it down to make way for another convention hotel. Anyone want to contact John Q. Hammons? It's a shame that it replaced a very architecturally significant building, the Baum Building.

It could be used for street side retail....just turn everything around.

John
03-28-2006, 11:30 AM
It fell before I was born, but the Baum building has always been a favorite building of mine in old downtown photos.

If I have my way, I'll find a place downtown in the near future to build a replica of the Baum. :)

jbrown84
03-29-2006, 01:22 PM
If it's not razed, it at least needs to be completely gutted inside and out. It's such an ugly, embarassing building.

I think one issue with tearing it down is that part of it is parking for the Sheraton, and they may not want to lose that.

What could this "strong prospect" be?

John
03-29-2006, 01:43 PM
I think a good solution to this, since the garage is a heavily used one, would be to build around the exterior to the sidewalk. Put in storefronts that have similar architecture to the Spring Creek Development. That style lends itself to the history of downtown OKC. The Sheraton could take over the center portion for more ballroom/convention space, as well.

With a residential boom in the downtown area, it would be a great location for some boutique type shops and cafes for visitors and those working/living downtown.

Thoughts?

jbrown84
03-29-2006, 07:39 PM
I think that's a great idea about expanding outward, John. And storefront shops would work great I think because it's right in the middle of the business district, but also near enough to hotels, the convention center, and Bricktown to do well at night and on the weekends as well.

Patrick
03-29-2006, 11:55 PM
I don't see why the storefronts simply couldn't be turned around to face the street, instead of the inside mall. Use the inside mall to increase the amount of leasable space, with the front of the spaces, facing street-side. OKC Convention and Visitor's Bureau did that and has a street-front entrance.

writerranger
03-30-2006, 10:28 AM
Patrick's right, it's the "mall" problem. If there was a way to have the retail face the street it would make all the difference. As for the rest of it, barring some radical renovation, I surely couldn't oppose the wrecking ball and starting over.

floater
03-30-2006, 11:03 AM
Patrick's right, it's the "mall" problem. If there was a way to have the retail face the street it would make all the difference. As for the rest of it, barring some radical renovation, I surely couldn't oppose the wrecking ball and starting over.

I wouldn't miss it. I don't think anyone would. That space is prime for a higher-level development.

Patrick
03-30-2006, 03:19 PM
The building needs to be gutted and the walls reconfigured. Simply leave a walkway in the middle for deliveries to the businesses and have the businesses face the street. Only thing that would open up to the hallway would be the back storage space of each retail space.

metro
03-30-2006, 03:59 PM
Is it just me or did the article state it was remodeled on the inside?


New paint and carpeting have brought the building into the new century

writerranger
03-30-2006, 05:32 PM
Is it just me or did the article state it was remodeled on the inside?
No, metro, that was only in your version of newsok.com. That part you pasted into your post wasn't on anybody elses monitors (or papers). So, it was just you! :)

jbrown84
03-31-2006, 09:26 PM
I was there today for the Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association awards and it still looks really depressing inside. The new carpet does help but it's still empty and embarassing.

The problem with completely eleminating any indoor retail entrances is that the hotel has a major entrance to the "mall" from the meeting room lobby.

Another thing of interest that I noticed is that there are two garage levels below street level. Currently they are monthly parking. Public/hotel parking is on floors 3 and 4 with the "mall" on 1 and 2.

The entrance from the hotel is on the second floor, so perhaps the second floor at that end could be converted to more convention space, with the first floor and the second floor at the west end could be storefront retail after a major facelift or expansion on the outside. That way we get the retail and more convention space. This would make sense because most retail would not want/need two floors, and you couldn't access the second floor from the street.

I wish the owner of the building would think a little more creatively.

OklaCity_75
03-31-2006, 10:04 PM
By the sound of things you would think Beavis and Butthead ran urban renewal in the 70's and 80's

I can just see them pointing at buildings at random.

Beavis:Hey Hey........Blow it up.

Butthead: No.......hit with the wrecking Ball.

metro
04-03-2006, 12:15 PM
well said OklaCity75, I can already see that episode in my head

Pete
10-16-2010, 09:54 AM
Walked through there yesterday and it was a complete ghost town...

Doesn't look like there is a single tenant and in fact, they lights were almost completely off.

And there was absolutely no sign of renovation or activity.

Pete
10-12-2011, 08:51 AM
In an article today by Steve Lackmeyer of the Oklahoman, it was mentioned that that COPTA is in negotiations with someone to buy the parking garage that sits on top of the Century Center.

I really hope this means someone is interested in redeveloping the entire property because once that garage gets into private hands it will probably be even more difficult to ever make something happen here.

Urban Pioneer
10-12-2011, 10:05 AM
You would think the Crown Plaza would want to expand. Particularly knowing that they will be so close to the new CC. I guess corporate heads don't think that far ahead.

Just the facts
10-12-2011, 01:19 PM
In an article today by Steve Lackmeyer of the Oklahoman, it was mentioned that that COPTA is in negotiations with someone to buy the parking garage that sits on top of the Century Center.

I really hope this means someone is interested in redeveloping the entire property because once that garage gets into private hands it will probably be even more difficult to ever make something happen here.

Is the garage owned separately from the retail space?

Pete
10-12-2011, 01:42 PM
Yes, the garage is owned by COPTA and the Century Center itself is owned by the same group that owns the adjoining hotel.

Jchaser405
10-12-2011, 01:55 PM
For those rooks like myself who had no idea which building was the Century Center.....
http://www.parkingokc.com/ResizeImage.aspx?img=~/Websites/okcparking/PhotoGallery/845146/Century%20Center%201.jpg&w=1440&h=700

EBAH
10-12-2011, 04:50 PM
I still think it could be great retail and dining. But DAMN it needs windows, it's miserable looking in there and you can tell it always felt like an artificially lit concrete box.

poe
10-12-2011, 05:48 PM
Something like Denver Pavilions would be a great fit for the area.

David Pollard
10-13-2011, 07:42 AM
I'm not familiar with the Denver Pavilions, but I think this space does have enormous potential. First of all, the 'bunker' look and feel MUST go!

On the light end of the renovation scale the perimeter walls could be extended right up to the pavement with floor to ceiling glass. At least this would give the impression of being more open. The interior walls could then be partially broken open to provide a variety of retail spaces that have direct access to the street: critical! A 'medium intervention' renovation could include building on top of the existing structure with new pilings for a taller/denser building going right through the old one while still making use of the existing space; albeit with a total renovation. Finally, the ultimate solution would be to rip the thing down and build a new high density structure altogether. Would Sheraton be a likely candidate to occupy such a space?

In any case, it does seem a bit incongruous to have dead retail and blank walls in the true heart of the city. My REAL preference? Rebuild the Criterion in its original splendor, but I think it is probably more likely to have OKC made the nation's capitol than THAT happening!

ljbab728
10-13-2011, 10:18 PM
My REAL preference? Rebuild the Criterion in its original splendor, but I think it is probably more likely to have OKC made the nation's capitol than THAT happening!

Putting the Baum Building back up on that site might be nice as well.

Pete
10-14-2011, 09:22 AM
They've tried to renovate that space many times, adding lots of windows to the north side, reconfiguring the interior, etc.

Nothing has ever worked and it seems they may need to tear it down and start all over.

Just the facts
10-14-2011, 11:23 AM
Nothing has ever worked and it seems they may need to tear it down and start all over.

I vote for this, but no destruction until a viable project is proposed. OKC already tried the "tear it down and wait for development" game. 50 years later some sites are still waiting. I would rather see the Century Center than a vacant lot. However, since the property is owned by two different groups a solution might be a long ways off.

soonerguru
10-15-2011, 12:31 PM
Can we just tear the ****er down? A garbage and weed-ridden lot would be a visual improvement.

Pete
10-15-2011, 12:39 PM
Built in 1977 and never even successful during that last boom cycle. 34 years of ugliness, emptiness and failure.

It really is an embarrassment to downtown, especially given it's central location.

Just the facts
10-15-2011, 02:55 PM
Built in 1977 and never even successful during that last boom cycle. 34 years of ugliness, emptiness and failure.

It really is an embarrassment to downtown, especially given it's central location.

Did you mean to put this in the Stage Center thread?

Steve
10-15-2011, 03:43 PM
More history on Century Center: http://www.okchistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=216:this-week-shopping-at-century-center-mall&catid=38:places&Itemid=77

David Pollard
10-16-2011, 02:04 PM
I used to work downtown at Cities Services in the early 80's and I THINK I remember a Schlotsky's at Century Center. Little did I know then that that was probably the heyday of the Center.
Gut it or re-purpose it!

kevinpate
10-16-2011, 06:50 PM
I used to work downtown at Cities Services in the early 80's and I THINK I remember a Schlotsky's at Century Center. Little did I know then that that was probably the heyday of the Center.
Gut it or re-purpose it!

A too warm day the summer of '89 was my one and only time to eat there. Wasn't bad, and it was the closest spot for a day with a limited time frame.

Pete
10-17-2011, 09:00 AM
Starting in '82, I worked in the Oil & Gas Building just across the street and frequently ate lunch at Schlotzsky's or the little Mexican place. This was only a few years after CC opened for business and even then it was a weirdly configured, dark and depressing place.

Then, they put a bunch of windows in the north side and moved Taylor's news and books over from across the street. There may have been one or two small tenants in that entire space, and none of them lasted very long. Not sure when Taylor's went out but it's been completely vacant ever since and had been effectively so from shortly after inception.

Rover
10-17-2011, 10:27 AM
LOL. The little Mexican restaurant may have been the straw that broke this camel's back. The ventilation in the area was so bad that the whole commercial area smelled like old stale Mexican food. It was a fairly repulsive smell to most. The whole retail area had a sort of temporary look to it and was unappealing. It is hard to believe someone can't do something pretty nifty in that much open area.

kevinpate
10-17-2011, 11:26 AM
hmmm, how many in the capitol will have to relocate once the powers that be get serious about working on the structure? Maybe some of those entities could set up temp digs at the vacant Century Center during the renovations? Owners get some income and let's face it, the state knows a thing or two about slipping into dead mall spaces, along with other seemingly dead spaces.

Pete
12-13-2011, 08:50 AM
In an article today, Steve Lackmeyer mentions the Century Center Garage will soon be sold.

I'm assuming it will go to the Sheraton people who also own the mall below.

Perhaps they are finally going to do something with that sad property.

Urbanized
12-13-2011, 06:37 PM
Cool. Maybe they'll tear it down and build this:

http://www.cardcow.com/images/set403/card00020_fr.jpg

Urbanized
12-13-2011, 06:44 PM
Or this:

http://www.okchistory.com/images/stories/criterion%20theater1.jpg http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/movies/criterion2m.jpg

Steve
12-13-2011, 06:56 PM
In an article today, Steve Lackmeyer mentions the Century Center Garage will soon be sold.

I'm assuming it will go to the Sheraton people who also own the mall below.

Perhaps they are finally going to do something with that sad property.

Make no assumptions. Just wait and hope for the best.

Just the facts
12-13-2011, 07:14 PM
They've tried to renovate that space many times, adding lots of windows to the north side, reconfiguring the interior, etc.

Nothing has ever worked and it seems they may need to tear it down and start all over.

Do you have any ideas why they have never made it work? I wonder if it has anything do with its proximity to the convention center. That stretch of Sheridan doesn't do much to inspire walking and on the other side is a parking garage. It is kind of a no-mans land.

Steve
12-13-2011, 07:29 PM
It was a bad idea that was the result of two things:
1. City/Urban Renewal officials were intent on there being a shopping mall attached to the hotel no matter whether it made any sense;
2. The national developer was forced to team up with a corrupt local developer, which resulted in the architectural mess you still see today.

How do I know this? Simple. My father was one of the top executives with the national developer, and that is how my family ended up moving here from New York (small world, eh?)

Just the facts
12-13-2011, 09:09 PM
It was a bad idea that was the result of two things:
1. City/Urban Renewal officials were intent on there being a shopping mall attached to the hotel no matter whether it made any sense;
2. The national developer was forced to team up with a corrupt local developer, which resulted in the architectural mess you still see today.

How do I know this? Simple. My father was one of the top executives with the national developer, and that is how my family ended up moving here from New York (small world, eh?)

Your point #1 is what concerns me about the new convention center proposal. People instinctively don't "cut through" buildings to get where they want to go. I think Devon will also learn quickly that their rotunda doesn't attract the crowd they are hoping for.

Steve
12-13-2011, 09:28 PM
I fully understand your concerns. I think there are some details yet to publicly emerge that may (or might not) change your perception on the Rotunda.

Just the facts
12-13-2011, 09:31 PM
I fully understand your concerns. I think there are some details yet to publicly emerge that may (or might not) change your perception on the Rotunda.

I look forward to any announcement but I think they will be disappointed if they are planning on people passing through on their way to MBG. However, if they put in an LED wall like they have at the Comcast Center then they will be able to draw a crowd.

UkLEGRGf8s8

t0jDYCWBZXI

kellyc
12-13-2011, 10:01 PM
I worked at the Sheraton in 1988-89. I had a lot of bad times in the Century Center I must say. The hotel needs the parking so you can't very well raze the whole thing. Given that there are 4 floors of parking and only two floors of retail/whatever space, maybe they need to cut their losses and gut floors 1 and 2 and make the whole thing a parking garage?

The parking garage design was quite bad IMO. The spiral exit to the parking garage becomes a bad bottleneck when a big meeting or convention lets out. Imagine youself as a valet trying to retrieve a customer's car quickly but are stuck in the stupid spiral parking exit. The COTPA employees who worked in the collection booth were always pretty slow and the bad design created a lot of stress for people trying to get out of there.

I can remember convention attendees who drove large vans having trouble getting into the garages. I've seen vans damaged before. Sometimes folks had to let a little air out of their tires to be able to make it into the parking without damaging their vehicle.

On the other hand, I always seemed to like Taco Casa (I think I was the only one who liked it though).

UnFrSaKn
12-13-2011, 10:26 PM
Putting the Baum Building back up on that site might be nice as well.


Cool. Maybe they'll tear it down and build this:

For the record, the Baum Building is my favorite of all the old buildings that were once downtown. The first postcard I saw of it on Doug's blog is what got me interested in the history of the city and would get me involved in RetroMetroOKC. Photos of the Baum Building (http://s83.photobucket.com/albums/j286/UnFrSaKn/Old%20Oklahoma%20City/Baum%20Building/).

BoulderSooner
12-14-2011, 07:50 AM
Your point #1 is what concerns me about the new convention center proposal. People instinctively don't "cut through" buildings to get where they want to go. I think Devon will also learn quickly that their rotunda doesn't attract the crowd they are hoping for.

the devon rotunda will look very nice (goal 1) and all the devon employees will walk through it almost every day to go to lunch in the garden wing and to go to the meeting space in the garden wing ..

Just the facts
12-14-2011, 08:21 AM
I wasn't talking about the employees.

MDot
12-14-2011, 09:01 AM
I wasn't talking about the employees.

We know what you meant buddy, we know. LOL

Just the facts
12-14-2011, 11:12 AM
We know what you meant buddy, we know. LOL

Actually I didn't mean it like that. They will be disappointed in quantity, not the quality.

BoulderSooner
12-14-2011, 11:12 AM
I wasn't talking about the employees.

and devon doesn't really care if others come to their rotunda ..

Just the facts
12-14-2011, 11:18 AM
and devon doesn't really care if others come to their rotunda ..

That is what I am saying. They open it the public but why would a random person go in there after the novelty wears off? How is the garden wing/rotunda different from Century Center in function for the non-employee?

BoulderSooner
12-14-2011, 12:44 PM
That is what I am saying. They open it the public but why would a random person go in there after the novelty wears off? How is the garden wing/rotunda different from Century Center in function for the non-employee?

i'm sure the public will enter the rotunda to go eat in the garden wing

Just the facts
12-14-2011, 02:32 PM
i'm sure the public will enter the rotunda to go eat in the garden wing

Restaurants at the century center thought the same thing. So they built this version between a parking garage and the new convention center. Maybe it will work this time.

OKCisOK4me
12-14-2011, 02:48 PM
I'm betting it will work

Steve
12-14-2011, 02:53 PM
Restaurants at the century center thought the same thing. So they built this version between a parking garage and the new convention center. Maybe it will work this time.

Wow. Not even sure how to react or comprehend this comparison. KFC failed on NW 23. So by the logic of this thread, so will the new restaurant set to open in one year atop Devon tower.