Widgets Magazine
  • 5-story senior complex planned for key Classen block

    The Oklahoma City Housing Authority (OCHA) is teaming with a Wisconsin company to develop affordable senior housing and healthcare on a prime intersection near downtown.

    Commonwealth Development Corporation and OCHA have partnered to place a purchase contract on the entire block bounded by NW 10th, Classen Boulevard, West Park Place and Western Avenue.

    Plans call for 176 units of affordable independent senior living and 140 adjacent assisted living center on approximately 2 acres.

    The facility would replace the senior living units at The Towers Apartments at NW 9th and Robinson, which OCHA also manages. It has been determined that that facility requires more renovation cost than could be justified.

    Towers Apartments

    The two organizations also bid to place a similar complex on city-owned land at NW 4th and Shartel but lost out to another project led by Ron Bradshaw called 700 West.

    Commonwealth is nearing completion of another senior housing project, Dunbar Commons, the redevelopment of the old Dunbar school on the city's northeast side into independent living units.

    The proposed facility has been named THRIVE on 10th Senior Campus and low-income seniors would be the focus; rates will be determined by income.

    Total development costs are projected to be $60 million and would be funded with private activity bonds issued by the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency.

    The rezoning application notes the location would provide many advantages for seniors, such as proximity to cultural attractions and public transportation.

    Although there will be two separate facilities, they will share a ground-floor podium to include parking, common space for each building including a lobby, kitchen, dining facility and some leasable commercial space. The complex would be 5 levels in total.

    There are several buildings on the site that would be demolished, most notably a brick and tile structure constructed in 1929 on the corner of Classen and 10th.

    The land for the senior complex is currently owned by Far Wespen, an East Coast developer which owns property to the immediate south and has also bid to redevelop the old headquarters for Oklahoma City Public Schools. The district is seeking to sell the property and Far Wespen is one of three proposals now being considered.

    The Downtown Design Review Committee will consider the plans for THRIVE at a September 19th meeting.

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