Widgets Magazine
  • First look at ambitious NW Expressway and Penn mixed-use project

    Plans are moving forward to redevelop 16.4 acres at the southwest corner of NW Expressway and Pennsylvania near Penn Square Mall.

    A group led by Tulsa developer Ryan McNeil looks to demolish two large office complexes and a handful of homes and replace them with a complex that would feature a movie theater, hotel, apartments, restaurant, retail and office space and structured parking.

    OKCTalk was first to report on the plans last July when neighbors in the area were being asked for their support.

    Dubbed Penn Central, the conceptual design by architects Wakefield Beasley & Associates is similar to Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia, a popular and acclaimed mixed-use project that was designed by the same firm.

    Under the plan, NW 50th would be realigned to tie into an existing light on Penn that currently leads into 50 Penn Place. New vehicle access would also be added from east-bound NW Expressway.

    The owners have systematically acquired the property over the last several years with a total investment of almost $15 million. The group first purchased the former Salvation Army land and several homes from Chesapeake Energy in 2016 and then later bought the Penn Park and Registry office complexes.

    The immediate area continues to be a hot spot for commercial development. Neighboring Penn Square recently adding a free-standing Container Store while the mall itself enjoys high occupancy and jammed parking lots while many other enclosed shopping complexes around the country are struggling. To the east, work is just starting on Oklahoma's first REI in Belle Isle Station, another large retail and restaurant complex that continues to thrive.

    The planning commission will consider the rezoning application for Penn Central in late February or early March.

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