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  1. Thumbs up Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Announcement of more upscale housing for downtown.


    Group seeks 'hip' feel for redevelopment
    by Brandice J. O'Brien
    The Journal Record
    6/2/2005

    Small Hazy pic of project



    The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority on Wednesday awarded the Block 42 Project Redevelopment Team the opportunity to revitalize about 87,000 square feet of blocks 42 and 43 of the Maywood addition into high-end townhouses and flats.
    The team is comprised of about 10 members and includes associates from Humphreys Capital Investments, Timberlake Construction, Saxum Strategic Communications and Third Degree Advertising.

    Surrounded by Interstate 235, NE Fourth Street and I-235 Service Road, the dwellings will range from 1,050 to 2,700 square feet and cost an average of $300,000.

    The 30 units - 18 townhouses and 12 elevated flats - and the surrounding areas aim to epitomize high-end, modern urban residences and gated access to rear-entry parking will be accessible with a Pikepass-like gadget that opens when it recognizes the account, said Todd Edmonds, partner at Michael Mahaffey & Associates and architect on the project.

    Team Manager Grant Humphreys said the project would emphasize a vibrant, 24-hour community that's hip and urban.

    "I like that terminology - hip, with a little hop in it," said Russell Perry, Urban Renewal commissioner.

    All townhouses will have a rooftop terrace and porch, and the interior can be tailored to the individual homeowner's requests.

    Homeowners can choose the flooring, wall color and countertops based on a catalog of choices, or upon seeing a completed model home.

    Model homes will be equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and floors made with materials including bamboo, cork and wood.

    A common area with a pavilion and a free wireless Internet access system will be available in the center of the property.

    Humphreys said a common area, landscaped by Minneapolis firm Oslund and Associates, would act as a serene spot in the middle of downtown and provide a sense of community.

    Green space takes up 25 to 30 percent of the project, said JoeVan Bullard, Urban Renewal executive director.

    Block 42 offered $225,000 for the property and requested tax increment financing for 13 percent of the project. BancFirst, the lender for the project, will hold private equity of $1 million in certificates of deposit as collateral.

    "We are putting a new product in an unproven market," Humphreys said.

    Humphreys said an established clientele including medical and urban professionals, as well as empty-nesters, would be attracted to the area.

    Now that the project has been approved, Humphreys and Urban Renewal will work on the development agreement and, assuming the two parties agree on numbers and prices, Block 42 will move forward. In the meantime, Edmonds and Humphreys will further outline the design development and drawings to finalize construction documents.

    "(Block 42 is) the first high-end owner-occupied that's going to happen and it's the first step in building that part of the city," Humphreys said.

    Work could begin as early as November with residences completed by next summer.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    I'm all for new development, but an average of $300K per unit? Why are all these OCURA-approved projects so high end?

    Seems contrary to bring the "creative class" to downtown.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    The article says 4th and I-235...

    Does anyone know which corner is to be developed? Looking at the aerial below, it's hard to determine the exact location:


  4. #4

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    I'm all for new development, but an average of $300K per unit? Why are all these OCURA-approved projects so high end?
    I guess at zero down and 5.65% interest, payments would be around $1700. I think some places downtown are renting for that and, given that you earn equity with a mortgage, it would be a better decision for many. And 30 units realy isn't that many. I still think its a niche market and is getting a premium. We'll see if when the devlopment is finished and others are going up, if it was really done in such a way to justify that premium.

    I think we'll see the affordable housing come from Class C conversion and as inventory grows to meet demand.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    You're right BDP. I think The Montgomery is renting for around $1500 a month if I'm not mistaken. They haven't had a problem renting those units. At last check I believe they were around 75% occupied.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    To the $1,700 - $1,800 a month, you need to add a few hundred for taxes and at least $100 for HOA -- and probably more.

    Assuming no other debt and at 28% obligation to gross income ratio, someone would need to make about $90k or more to qualify. That's a lot of money considering the salaries in OKC.


    And yes, this is just a niche but The Hill proposal also approved by OCURA featured homes in the same price range.


    My point is there have only been two new housing downtown developments approved of late and they are both primarily for people with six-digit incomes.

    I know there are lots of younger people that would love to own downtown and as of now, there is nothing for them. If we want that area to be up and coming, we need younger, energetic, creative people to take root.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Supply and demand. When all the big money ventures start to level off I think we'll see more moderately priced residences downtown. Obviously, developers want to start at the top. I think that's just fine.

  8. #8
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by MalibuSooner
    The article says 4th and I-235...

    Does anyone know which corner is to be developed? Looking at the aerial below, it's hard to determine the exact location:
    I'm also having a hard time picturing where this is at. I'm guessing west side, since the research park is on the east side.

  9. #9
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    By the way, just look at most of the new housing additions going up in ar NW OKC and Edmond. Most ordinary folks can't afford them either. I'm not sure where some folks are getting the money for these residences. I didn't realize we had that much money in OKC.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    I know there are lots of younger people that would love to own downtown and as of now, there is nothing for them. If we want that area to be up and coming, we need younger, energetic, creative people to take root.
    Don't get me wrong. I think you make a very valid point and I agree with you. Affordable housing for younger workers will drive downtown's growth. I just think that these developers look at the market and see $300,000 properties. I think we ned some higher volume development/conversion to get the unit cost down but sustain ROI for the developer. I'm not a real estate developer, but my guess is that the last thing we'll see is low-end for sale apartments. I would think that the low-end will start as rentals.

    What does Deep Deuce rent for?

  11. #11
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by BDP
    What does Deep Deuce rent for?
    Deep Deuce is mostly young professionals. My medical school class makes u a good majority of the people that live there, in addition to other people on the OUHSC campus. Last I heard they rent for around $650 a month for a decent sized apartment.


    Here...check this out: http://www.deepdeuce.com/about/template.html

  12. #12

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Try $800 plus for a one bedroom with office. I should know. I'm a resident.

  13. Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    I lived there over 2 years ago and I had a mid-sized one-bedroom (800 sq ft) for $740. That same apartment is something like $790 now. And it didn't even have an office or garage.

    Sure, it's a little pricey, but I think it's worth it. I only moved because I bought a house. I sold my house late last year and moved into an apartment (by Quail Springs) thinking I would buy another house in a few months. Well, I am sick of moving, so it looks like I'll be here for a while. If I would have known I would feel this way, I would have gone ahead and sprung for an apartment downtown.

    If any of you are thinking of moving down there, I strongly recommend it. It's worth the extra cash.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Developers will always want to build a high-end product because there is more profit margin for them.

    But the job of OCURA is to approve projects that are best for OKC and most aligned with the bigger picture.


    I just hope these first couple of projects are not an indication of things to come.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown



    I think this project will be located in the area I have colored yellow.

    Malibu, I don't necessarily think these projects are an indication of things to come, just projects to get the ball rolling. (ala Bass Pro)

  16. #16

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    I think you're right about the location.

    And I hope you're right on the other point.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    But the job of OCURA is to approve projects that are best for OKC and most aligned with the bigger picture.
    Are they turning down developments with a lower income target demographic or are they only getting these upscale proposals?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    OCURA received two other formal proposals for The Hill and chose the one with the most expensive homes and the one least accessible to outsiders.


    I'm not sure about this property on 4th, as it seems they didn't publicize it in the same way.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    I'm not sure about this property on 4th, as it seems they didn't publicize it in the same way.
    I think I read that there was only one proposal for this space. Hopefully, some more affordable developments will come along and be accepted.

  20. #20
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by MalibuSooner
    OCURA received two other formal proposals for The Hill and chose the one with the most expensive homes and the one least accessible to outsiders.
    I think we need to rethink the statement "least accessible". I'm not sure how we ever got started on the topic of this development being a gated community, but it ended up that this rumor wasn't true. Simply, this development will consist of 3 story owned town homes with garages on the lower level. Although it isn't the mix liek we wanted, it's still urban, except for maybe the garages....but still, you have to have somewhere to park your car.....even Deep Deuce has parking.

    Whoever planned Deep Deuce was very Urban though in the fact that the apartments are built right on the street with parking in the back, a true sign of urban thinking.

    On a little different topic, back when they were planning Bass Pro, I tried to get Amy Brooks (my council woman at the time) to press the need to build the Bass Pro directly on the canal with parking in the back....she understood what I was talking about but was never able to sell the idea.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    You're right BDP. I think The Montgomery is renting for around $1500 a month if I'm not mistaken. They haven't had a problem renting those units. At last check I believe they were around 75% occupied.
    I'm not sure where you folks are getting figures at but OKC has alot more money than you realize. Its the same old problem of the negative attitude that has plagued our city for so long. The internet boom created alot of new money in OKC as well as the medical research. Areas like Saratoga, Gallardia, Nichols Hills, Bocage, and numerous other developments in NOKC and Edmond have had many $300K+ homes for years with that number ever increasing. I know plenty of young twentysomethings IN OKC that CAN afford this price tag easily. Unofortunately I am not yet one of them, however there is more demand than supply simply put and will be for unforseeable time. Its hard to find a downtown residence for under $1000 PERIOD. Deep Deuce starts at around $800 for a small one bed. Lofts all start about the same and go up to $3000. Montgomery starts right under $1000 and goes up to over $2000. Yes, the low interest rates are helping fuel this market but you wont get into a home for zero down. Oh and try the Montgomery is at about 95-97% occupied. Most of the time they only have one unit left plus the model which stays as a rent room for guests. I'm not at liberty to discuss much right now but you should hopefully see at least 2 announcements within a year about more affordable ownership opportunities downtown, both condo's and residences albeit the current market situation.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    Yes, there are people in OKC that have money, just like anywhere else.

    However, the median home price in the area is only slightly more than $100K. These two new developments offer condos/townhomes for triple that amount.

    It's not a matter if there will be enough buyers (that's the developer's concern anyway) it's that the right type of atmosphere is created downtown that will help to continue the positive momentum.

    I just can't imagine a bunch of high-end townhouses with no retails is going to contribute much to the area's energy level.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    I agree Malibu, the high-end townhouses won't contribute much to retail and energy although the median income for that zip will dramatically change and thus be on the radar for more development. Also I'm interested to see the latest figure on median home sales price, the local housing economy has skyrocketed, as a real estate agent, i've watched my house skyrocket from 75K-150K in about 5 years

  24. #24

    Default Re: Upscale Housing 4 Downtown

    A year ago, it was $107K accoring to money.com:

    http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lis...04/q22004.html

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