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Thread: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Well, I hate to say this, but The Hill was chosen over McDermid's Walnut Hill development. I'm sorry to say this, but this is the worst possible choice Urban Renewal could've ever made. This will create a mostly suburban style gated housing addition downtown. I can't believe this. As far as I'm concerned, FIRE OCURA! OCURA is a bunch of liars. They let the apartment developer go because they said they wanted a MIX of owned and rented property in the development! Whatever! They chose a developer whose building all owned homes. They're a bunch of liars. Let me say that again...OCURA, you're a bunch of ruthless liars.

    I hate to side with those like Tal, but I think McDermid and company needs to sue. There has to be some bias gonig on somewhere. McDermid's project was clearly the most ambitious.

    Urban Renewal picks winner to raise The Hill
    by Brandice J. O'Brien
    The Journal Record

    Anthony McDermid dropped his head shortly after the decision was made Thursday morning.
    The principal of TAParchitecture and member of Walnut Hill Redevelopment Partners was poignantly moved, as members of his team sat stone-faced.

    After a long, valiant battle, Walnut Hill succumbed to defeat as three of five Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority voting commissioners selected The Hill at Bricktown to redevelop an area known as The Hill.

    Roughly 11 acres between Bricktown and the University of Oklahoma's Health Sciences Center were the focus of the redevelopment. Interstate 235, Stiles Avenue, NE Second Street and a railroad right of way border the property.

    Three teams presented proposals.

    Walnut Hill offered a project called Ellison on the Park, a community of retail and residential living with condominiums and townhouses. Ellison was remarkably similar to the plan for an area known as The Triangle, about 30 acres near The Hill. Its borders are Interstate 235, Bricktown, Broadway Avenue and 10th Street.

    "The vision for The Triangle is to create a city within a city where the neighborhood has been thoughtfully planned; from having a pharmacy and grocery store within walking distance of the homes to designing retail spaces that complement the look and feel of the neighborhood," McDermid said recently.

    Competing partnership The Hill at Bricktown proposed 171 townhouses with two-car garages in an upscale community. Ranging from 1,200 to 2,900 square feet, the two- and three-bedroom homes will feature large and elegant living areas, gourmet kitchens and pantries, and extra-large bedrooms.

    Representatives from Wood Partners planned Alta Bricktown, an upscale apartment complex with rents averaging $875 a month.

    Walnut Hill and The Hill at Bricktown estimated fair market value of the city-owned land at $1.4 million to $2 million, but that was prior to allowing for a public financing component.

    In a last-minute letter dated April 21 from The Hill at Bricktown partner William Canfield to Urban Renewal Executive Director JoeVan Bullard, the team's financial intentions were clearly stated.

    "We continue this process acknowledging that the total amount of development financing assistance available for the project is approximately $1.4 million - fair value of the land," Canfield wrote. "We will not request tax increment financing or other development financing assistance."

    Originally, The Hill at Bricktown indicated they would need public money from a tax increment financing district and from Urban Renewal.

    Walnut Hill tried to capitalize on that point when the teams presented their proposals. They said their group would not seek public funds, nor would they seek public financial support beyond the purchase of the property.

    "It's a complicated process to this point," said Urban Renewal Authority attorney Dan Batchelor.

    But he isn't worried.

    The Urban Renewal Authority will set a price based on a market assessment, Batchelor said.

    Further drama slowed the decision-making process. As the 10 a.m. meeting began, Commissioner Jim Tolbert had not yet arrived and the committee was eager to select a winner. The committee skipped the item on the agenda and proceeded with other matters. By 10:24, Commissioner Fred Hall became antsy, concerned about his other commitments.

    Discussion regarding the two remaining teams ensued, with each team claiming they would be the better selection. A minute later, Chairman Stanton Young announced Commissioner Tolbert's presence in Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, where the meeting was held. As he headed to the fourth-floor room, several Urban Renewal members stated their opinions. By 10:26, Tolbert was in his seat. Less than 15 minutes later, a decision had been made.

    As the decision was announced, straight faces engulfed the room. Little emotion broke through. Members of The Hill at Bricktown sat still. Within moments, Walnut Hill members cleared the room.

    "We were not notified by OCURA that they were willing to consider economic changes to the proposal at the 11th hour," said Shaun Frankfurt, managing director of Trammell Crow Co. and a member of Walnut Hill. "If changes during the 11th hour are going to be considered, both competing teams should be given notice and equal opportunity to revise their offer.

    "Trammell Crow and High Street Residential are extremely disappointed by the decision of the Urban Renewal Authority," Frankfurt said.

    Bullard said last-minute changes should not be allowed to happen again. He said that on this occasion, nothing in the rules specifically prohibited late changes, but both teams should be required to follow the same rules and the voting commissioners should have ample time to review material before a decision is made.

    The Hill at Bricktown partners exchanged a few congratulations after the vote.

    "We feel very honored that the (committee) expressed confidence in our team," Canfield said. "Walnut Hill had a good project and was worthy competition."

    The Hill at Bricktown's project is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete and the team intends to start construction as soon as possible. The next step for The Hill at Bricktown is to meet again with Urban Renewal and discuss the schematics. They will meet again before construction begins."

  2. #2
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I think this statement could be huge in a lawsuit if McDermid wanted to file one, which I think he should:

    "If changes during the 11th hour are going to be considered, both competing teams should be given notice and equal opportunity to revise their offer."

    Personally, I'm tired of OCURA screwing people. It's about time they got sued and had to pay up.

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I guess this statement is key: "He said that on this occasion, nothing in the rules specifically prohibited late changes, but both teams should be required to follow the same rules and the voting commissioners should have ample time to review material before a decision is made. "

    Still, I think McDermid and company got screwed.

    Personally, I don't feel this development will be good for the area. I'd love to see their financing fall through and we go back to the drawing board for the project.

    I know, that sounds mean, but if we're going to do this, let's do it right. I mean, come on, McDermid even called for a possible residential tower in his plans.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    The other team is still doing "The Triangle", right?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Not to mention it had mixed uses including public space, and much much needed retail. OCURA has failed yet again, oh well I guess Fred Jones Hall can get his $300,000 dollar house like he wanted downtown afterall since he helped steer the committee this way. That is the weakest display of leadership I have ever seen, my 17 year old sister could of made a better decision. Another downfall is that they are allowing them to play on the word "Bricktown" instead of preserving the history of Deep Deuce. Luke, "The Triangle is an approximately 23 acre area including Deep Deuce and the Hill. More than likely, new proposal and probably one from McDermid will come into that area.

    As we've posted in weeks past, don't hesitate to contact OCURA and let them know how much they have failed us again. The public is more educated on issues now than in the past and we wont allow it ! I will try to update this thread with there contact info.

  6. Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Actually, what someone needs to do is build a development in Deep Deuce that the majority can afford. Most people can not afford the high price tags of the condos in that area.

    By making more reasonable priced housing, that area will grow faster.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Thus McDermids proposal, it had different levels of price and included rentals, flats, lofts, and ownership, but of course that clearly must of been the wrong answer to an expensive gated community???

  8. Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    What was OCURA's contact information? I'd like to give a piece of my mind. Hope you guys do it too. Life isn't fair, but public processes should be as above-board as possible.

    By the way, I liked the reporting on the Journal Record piece. I was dumbfounded when I read it, but probably not as the Walnut Hill people were, whose proposal was that much better for the neighborhood.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I was surprised and disappointed as well.

    At the very least, they need to explain why they chose this particular developer -- what criteria were used, etc.

    The only consolation is that McDermid's team may now have more resources to devote to The Triangle development.

  10. Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I am very disappointed. Very disappointed. OCURA has just failed Oklahoma City, Deep Deuce and downtown. Walnut Hill should have been chosen.
    Continue the Renaissance!!!

  11. #11
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    metro, who do we contact at Urban Renewal? I have their phone number, but I'm not sure who to ask for. I'd love to give them a piece of my mind.

    I don't think there's a clear reason OCURA can give for choosing The Hill over Walnut Hill Partners. I still find it interesting that the reason they gave for turning down the apartment development (Wood's Partners...I think?) was because they were looking for a mix of rental and ownership properties, along with retail!
    Huh! Have I missed something? The Hill group has NO retail and NO rental as part of their plan.

    Obviously, from the words of the JR writer, it was obvious that even he was shocked, as the rest of us are.

    Personally, I think it's time to completely disband OCURA. They screw up more than they fix. The hill will become another suburban style development just like Lower Bricktown. A trend seems to be developing here among OCURA projects.

    This is the worst decision I've seen from OCURA in many many years.

  12. #12
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I just have to say this again...this is the worst decision I've seen OCURA make in my 24 years of living in OKC.

  13. Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I wonder if this last minute letter (manna from heaven) had something to do with the vote a couple of weeks ago being postponed? I think that this letters date of receipt and the actual execution of the vote coincided a little too perfectly. The financial factor alone was reason enough to select the McDermid project. They knew this and needed to be able to say that their capital was secure when this decision was announced. (I say announced because the DECISION was made weeks ago) All that was left to do was to contrast the weaknesses in The Hill proposal with the strengths in McDermids and then go about painting over the flaws. The fact that no emotion was shown by the Hill partners is also no surprise. I mean, how excited can you act when a little birdie told you long ago that this one was in the bag. The solemn nature of a countenance in shame never lies.

    I would be less upset if they had simply voted during the first meeting. Delaying the vote and parading about as if more research was needed was offensive to my intelligence. This decision (made weeks ago) was obviously not based on fact or reason and it wasn't neccesay for them to try and spin the goings on to make it look like it was. This tryst had several meetings behind closed doors and they really must be cocky to think that no one will smell what's rotten. This announcement would have been made with or without the letter. The purpose for the content of the manna is negating contrary public opinion and for presentation in legal matters.

    This is awful. The worst thing is that this calamity probably only took place because the little birdie told all of his friends that he'd get it done. Now he can proudly walk into his clubhouse and tell them all that he did it. And you know what, they don't give a D*** because they don't wanna live downtown anyway. They want to live in the burbs. Oops, I forgot, downtown IS about to be the burbs.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I am absolutely SICKENED by this decision. My blood is boiling as we speak.

    That being said, this is a good ole boy town and probably will remain that way for the rest of my lifetime.

    Urban Renewal is an evil entity that is very controlled by the strings of the good ole boys and this decision is hardly surprising.

    The SUBURBAN mentality that pervades the mindset of this city's leaders will keep it mired in its backassward ways. That's the way these people think. Find the right, reasoned, compellingly correct decision and hand it to them on a platter and their instinct is to move in the opposite direction.

    These nitwits will find a way to screw up anything good this city accomplishes. Remember, as taxpayers, we voted to pay for these improvements. They are not serving our interests, they are serving the interests of the well-connected good ole boys who stand to profit from our tax monies.

    Good luck communicating with Urban Renewal. I went to a meeting and questioned their leveling of a massive green space and introduced myself as a citizen. They treated me as if I was an alien. They are so divorced from the responsibility of their jobs it is disgusting.

    Joe Van Bullard is a total twit and a tool of the ruling good ole boys. Fred Hall is a money-grubbing buffoon that poses as some super-sophisticate. Of course, the Oklahoman had absolutely shallow to nonexistent coverage of this abortion which lets me know all I need to know about who was behind this charade.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Indeed, Patrick, if you contact OCURA it will be their staff, the board members must be contacted at home, although the secretary will give you there numbers and every time I have called their private numbers, they do answer. There is also a Vice President person who does work in the office full time, the name escapes me. Lets all give them a piece of our mind. I'm confident Fred Hall stands to make a buck on this deal.

  16. Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    This should bring all of us to tears: ahhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggggg- frustration.

    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

  17. #17
    Sooner&RiceGrad Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Quote Originally Posted by mranderson
    Actually, what someone needs to do is build a development in Deep Deuce that the majority can afford. Most people can not afford the high price tags of the condos in that area.

    By making more reasonable priced housing, that area will grow faster.
    I am afraid I disagree. If people want to live in an urban environment, yet they don't have the dough, there are some lovely slums north of Downtown already. We want to make a swanky downtown, not a slummy one.

    Goodness. Seems I go out of town for a funeral and al hell breaks loose back home.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    ^ Don't you understand this is just going to be your typical "upscale" suburban development! They will make it look nice with brick and landscaping but it will be GATED!!! There may be some pedestrian interaction but most people will go to their "2 car garage" and drive everywhere like in *expletive* suburbia. This is downtown!

    This is absolutely horrible for downtown and for OKC. I saw the proposal for Walnut Hill, it was on display at the OU architecture gallery. It was fantastic! It had a range of housing, street level retail/restaurants, places to connect to future LRT and transit, a truly URBAN development that would really complement Bricktown and Deep Deuce. Now we have a gated community instead?

    OKC Urban Renewal SUCKS, so does committee that decides what is built in Bricktown. Ever since they re-did that area it has been one disaster after another. Bass Pro in an urban environment? A suburban-style movie theatre that has no interaction with the canal? An entertainment center with a sea of parking? Cheaply built single level chain restaurants? WHAT A WASTE!!! I can't even go to Bricktown anymore because I am so sickened by the sight of what it has become...

  19. #19
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    That's it! I've had it with our city government. Either we get some new OCURA leaders in place, or I'm campaigning for anyone running against a city leader presently in office.

  20. Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I second that, Patrick. BTW, what is OCURA's contact information?
    Continue the Renaissance!!!

  21. #21
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority
    204 N Robinson Ave Ste 2400
    Oklahoma City, OK 73102

    (405) 235-3771

    metro said to call the main number and simply ask for the contact info./private numbers for the commissioners. I'm going to give it a shot.

    You can also try this:

    Tolbert, James R II
    2321 Belleview Ter
    Oklahoma City, OK 73112-7740
    (405) 842-0995

    Hall, Fred Jones
    Oklahoma City, OK 73102-5020
    (918) 257-4893

  22. #22
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Personally, at this point, I hope McDermid's Town Center puts the Hill to shame! Let Private Investment take over as far as I'm concerned.

  23. #23
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Here's the article from the Oklahoman. Personally, I feel the JR article is more on target. The Oklahoman article paints too rosy of a picture of the selection.

    I'd be curious to find out why Larry Nichols favored The Hill over Walnut Hill.

    "Authority selects redeveloper for Bricktown site

    By Ja'Rena Smith
    The Oklahoman

    The race for "The Hill" concluded -- and began -- Thursday when the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority named a redeveloper for the coveted site, which will now be a negotiating battleground for downtown housing.

    The Hill at Bricktown LLC took the title as redeveloper of the 12.6 acres at NE 1 and Stiles, but urban renewal commissioners stressed that Walnut Hill Redeveloper Partners still will have a chance to negotiate with the authority.

    "This is just the beginning," said commissioner and Oklahoma City businessman Russell Perry, who voiced his support for Walnut Hill.

    The final vote did not come without discussion. For a moment, the meeting began to mirror last month's gathering when commissioners could not decide on a redeveloper. Commissioner Larry Nichols said he wished the authority had enough land that would allow both teams to build.

    "I think both of these proposals are exceedingly exceptional," said Nichols, who is also chairman of Devon Energy Corp.

    Anthony McDermid, principal of TAParchitecture and a member of the Walnut Hill development team, said in a statement that the decision does not mean his group is finished pursuing downtown residential projects.

    "While we would like to have been selected as redeveloper for The Hill, members of our team look forward to constructing other mixed-use communities in The Triangle," McDermid said.

    The Triangle is 23 acres of land spanning from NE 4 to just north of NE 10 that's been targeted for development.

    Nichols said his decision to vote for the Walnut Hill project shifted when The Hill group revoked its request for $4 million Tax Increment Financing. Tax Increment Financing districts take a portion of growing property or sales taxes from their areas after they are created and return them to districts to pay for public improvements that might spur future developments.

    "I would have easily voted on the Walnut Hill project based on the finances, but with the financial field now leveled, I have a slight preference for The Hill project," Nichols said.

    William Canfield, principal of The Hill, said he was excited to be moving forward with the project. Canfield's plans for the area include 171 two- and three-bedroom residential town houses. The for-sale residences will range from 1,250 to 2,900 square feet.

    Negotiating will begin before construction -- meaning it's still anyone's race.

    "I think both groups view that there is a real close second," the authority's Executive Director JoeVan Bullard said. "

  24. Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    I didn't realize the Canfield development was a gated community. Are you sure of that?

  25. #25
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Huge blow to Deep Deuce

    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy
    I didn't realize the Canfield development was a gated community. Are you sure of that?
    downtownguy, I gues you're right. Maybe it won't be a gated community. metro got us on that bandwagon after his post in the following thread: http://www.okctalk.com/t2157-okc-urb...-triangle.html

    metro, could you shed some light on where you got the idea this would be a gated community?

    What I don't understand is that the things OCURA was looking for in this development were rental lofts, owned residential homes, and retail. The only group that met all 3 requirements was Walnut Hill Partners. The Hill at Bricktown only met 1 of the requirements (owned residential), as did the Wood Partners (rental apartments).

    I'm still unsure why Canfield was chosen when his proposal didn't meet the 3 requirements? Could it be that the OCURA was trying to give the owner of Novazyme some sort of incentive for building his pharmaceutical plant here?

    downtownguy, I'd really like to know your take in this issue? Why was McDermid turned down in favor of The Hill at Bricktown?

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