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  1. #26

    Default Airpark development may include river reroute

    Airpark development may include river reroute: Downtown OKC property stands to gain value if plan proceeds

    by Brian Brus
    The Journal Record
    4/6/2006

    OKLAHOMA CITY - Developers may seek to divert Oklahoma River water to the former Downtown Airpark to enhance its value, investment group partner and former Mayor Kirk Humphreys said.

    "It could involve modifications to the river," Humphreys said. "Basically, you'd try to do whatever you can to get the maximum value and utilization out of it.

    "But our plans are not firm," he said. "And the land will not come into play until the highway moves. And that's when it'll really start to realize its value."

    In February, Aduddell-Gibraltar Partners LLC placed the winning bid of $7.2 million for the 81-acre airpark property. Last year the airpark was closed and put into receivership after Downtown Airpark Inc. faced financial challenges, owing more than $7 million to creditors.

    The new investment partnership is composed of Aduddell Cos. and Gibraltar Investments, headed by Grant Humphreys. His brother Blair and father, Kirk Humphreys, also are involved in the deal.

    Kirk Humphreys said he expects environmental-impact studies on the area to be ready for review within a few weeks, with closing on the deal to follow shortly thereafter. Developers will weigh options for the land then, he said.

    "Who knows what direction it could take?" Humphreys said. "We haven't even hired a planning firm yet."

    Pat Downes, who had a small interest in the property when it was turned over for sale, said river diversion or the creation of an inlet from the river nearby was explored in the conceptual master plan originally published by the River Development Trust.

    "It shows an architect's rendering of what that property might look like with water features brought onto the property itself," said Downes, who is also director of development for the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority.

    "They've acknowledged the existence of the concept," Downes said when asked if developers had approached him about possible river diversion. "But nobody has said, 'We're going to go do X, Y or Z.' I don't think they're there yet."

    As an example of one possible outcome, Downes pointed to the inlet created near the Chesapeake Energy-sponsored boathouse near the Bricktown Canal. He said such construction off the river "is a fairly simple process."

    "I know they're discussing some possibilities," Downes said. "I suspect they're thinking about those opportunities."

    Oklahoma County assessor's office records show much of the airpark lies in Federal Emergency Management Agency's 100-year floodplain zone. Such FEMA-defined boundaries describe zones of the probability of water covering an area within a particular period - a 100-year floodplain means that historical records show a 1-percent probability of flooding each year.

    Downes and Kirk Humphreys both said the park was not in the 100-year floodplain. Assessor's records, which are based on FEMA data, show otherwise. Humphreys said the construction of river dams in recent years would likely change those zones.

    The Oklahoma City Zoological Park was founded at the site and was moved to NE 50th Street because of flooding problems in the early 1920s before the Army Corps of Engineers straightened the river. The airpark was built later.

    City Manager Jim Couch said city officials would be open to a proposal to somehow divert river water to development.

    "We'd work with them on that. We think that could be an amenity to the river, if they'd like to do that," Couch said. "I have talked with Kirk (Humphreys) about it, his development, but that particular option was not discussed."

    Downes said, "Typically by adding shoreline, you add value. But you have to be careful how much money you spend creating that shoreline. In general, waterfront property has a higher value than not waterfront."

    Downes said residential or commercial development, "along the waterfront with views of the Oklahoma City skyline across the water, would be a very attractive development model."

    Grant Humphreys said earlier that the property would likely be held without development for three to five years while Interstate 40 is realigned.

  2. #27
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Airpark development may include river reroute

    I'm not sure if I like this idea. Seems like anyone and everyone could then divert water away from the river to increase the value of their property. If Humphreys wants development on the river, he needs to buy property on the river.

  3. Default Re: Airpark development may include river reroute

    The property is on the river. He just wants to divert it further inland.
    Don't Edmond My Downtown

  4. #29

    Default Re: Airpark development may include river reroute

    I think this is stupid. Why dont they do something big time, instead of trying to cannibalize off of MAPS with small time this and that.

    I get so tired of hearing, "we will divert the MAPS this and that" at the indirect expense of the taxpayer. Whilst we may not be directly paying for it, nothing would have ever happened or been attractive without MAPS - so why doesnt MAPS drive the development and not the other way around???

    It just seems like Humphreys, et al (OKC developers) just wanna strike it rich instead of bringing quality big city development to OKC - something that could be built upon!!
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  5. #30

    Default Re: Airpark development may include river reroute

    What is the Downtown Airpark?

  6. #31

    Default Re: Airpark development may include river reroute

    It was a private airport just south of the Oklahoma River. It was mainly used by executives and businesses to serve the downtown area. It has had major financial trouble the past few years after 911. Last year it had to close down and it was bought by Grant Humphrey's and crew. They plan on making mixed used development on the property. If you do a search, you should be able to find some more info on this. Just go back to the main part of this forum and search for downtown airpark.

  7. #32

    Talking Re: Airpark development may include river reroute

    Thanks:spin:

  8. Default Re: Downtown Airpark - sold for new development

    If interested, I've done a blog article on the history of Downtown Airpark ...

    Doug Dawgz Blog: Downtown Airpark



    It tells the story of the airpark's beginning and end and some interesting things in between ... like a 19 year old pilot's near-collision with the 1st National Bank Tower, drug busts, etc. Largely, it summarizes what I found in the Oklahoman's archives. The audience is "history junkies!"

  9. #34

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark - sold for new development

    Doug,

    Outstanding article! Not too short... not too long... yet enough information to help us remember the life of a minor instituition that most folks in OKC basically ignored.

    I guess that makes me a 'history junkie' then...

  10. #35

    Default Re: Downtown Airport

    Here is an old thread on it:

    http://www.okctalk.com/okc-metro-are...ris-wheel.html

    If you look at page 7, there are renderings.

  11. #36

    Default Re: Downtown Airport

    Thanks. After looking things over I see the Waterfront Project on Humphries' website is "down". What does that mean, ya reckon?

  12. #37

    Default Re: Downtown Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by USG '60 View Post
    Thanks. After looking things over I see the Waterfront Project on Humphries' website is "down". What does that mean, ya reckon?
    Not sure where you saw that. Did you visit this site?

    The Humphreys Company

  13. #38

    Default Re: Downtown Airport

    I met him once a couple of years ago, and of course, being a snoop, asked about the downtown airport. He told me that the project was still years away from initiation. I'm not sure what "years away" meant, but I got the feeling it wasn't going to be anytime in the near future.

  14. #39

    Default Re: Downtown Airport

    New FHA requirements for condo builders make it very difficult for condominium projects to be financed without a huge amount of money paid up front. Financing, therefore, has become a major stumbling block for these projects and has the capability of pretty much putting them all on hold for the foreseeable future.

    (or so I'm told)

  15. #40

    Default Re: Downtown Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    New FHA requirements for condo builders make it very difficult for condominium projects to be financed without a huge amount of money paid up front. Financing, therefore, has become a major stumbling block for these projects and has the capability of pretty much putting them all on hold for the foreseeable future.

    (or so I'm told)
    That's pretty accurate Mid. There are people still lending money, it's just that their standards are getting higher due to the housing crash. My bank used to do commercial loans at 80% and that 20% could be equity in other properties. Now it is 70% with 30% cash down. It seems like there are a lot of banks still lending, you just have to have the cash to put into it.

  16. #41

    Default Re: Downtown Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by warreng88 View Post
    Not sure where you saw that. Did you visit this site?

    The Humphreys Company
    Yes, at the time the tab for Waterfront was inactive. It now seems to be OK.

  17. #42

    Default Downtown Airpark

    Driven by it a few times in recent weeks, and noticed that the Downtown Airpark on Western is seemingly non-operational with the exception of the OCPD or Sherriffs office helicopter

    is this property for sale, or is it a victim of the i-40 relocation?

  18. #43

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    Sold and bought by local developer Grant Humphreys. Planned mixed-use development: The Waterfront, should break ground closer to I-40 completion.

    So yes, I suppose a victim of I-40 relocation...

  19. #44

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    Conspiracy comments in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,. Even though this property was sold at auction (and anyone could have bid/bought said property), it's just a matter of time before the postings start about how this was done under the table or illegally, just because it was bought by the son of OKC's former Mayor.

  20. #45

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    There is several old threads on this, the project is on hold until Core 2 Shore gets underway and the economy pics up. Here is just one rendering of what it may look like.



    I highly suggest you go to their website and dig up the old threads as the plans are very facinating and the Humphrey's have a good track record.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    Quote Originally Posted by rcjunkie View Post
    Conspiracy comments in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,. Even though this property was sold at auction (and anyone could have bid/bought said property), it's just a matter of time before the postings start about how this was done under the table or illegally, just because it was bought by the son of OKC's former Mayor.
    If you don't love the Humphreys family, you're just anti-OKC.

  22. #47

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    It would make a good site for an NFL stadium.

  23. #48

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    Quote Originally Posted by earlywinegareth View Post
    It would make a good site for an NFL stadium.
    But then we'd have to move I-40 again. At least if my memory serves me at all. As I recall, the Cox Center, Ford Center, Bass Pro, etc., etc, etc. were built where they were to be easily in view of I-40. Now, part of the reason for relocating I-40 farther south is to move it away from same.

  24. #49

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    Good, pleaseeeeeeeeee move Bass Pro out of downtown, by all means. Move it to Memorial Rd. or I-35 somewhere.

  25. #50

    Default Re: Downtown Airpark

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerBent View Post
    But then we'd have to move I-40 again. At least if my memory serves me at all. As I recall, the Cox Center, Ford Center, Bass Pro, etc., etc, etc. were built where they were to be easily in view of I-40. Now, part of the reason for relocating I-40 farther south is to move it away from same.
    You're right. It's ironic how paradigms change.. or how different paradigms coexist, rather, and triumph in different places (because I know an urban/sustainable paradigm isn't yet even close to predominating here).

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