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  1. #1

    Default More new development downtown

    Development in Bricktown continues with hotel

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    The Oklahoman

    Get ready for another growth spurt in Lower Bricktown, with construction of a $20 million Residence Inn starting next week, to be followed by new offices, shops, restaurants and for-sale condominiums.
    Flintco started staging of the construction area last week along Reno Avenue, southeast of the SBC Bricktown Ballpark. Missouri developer John Q. Hammons, who built the nearby Renaissance Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott, promised Monday the Residence Inn won’t be his last downtown Oklahoma City project.

    “I’m going to build an Embassy Suites,” Hammons said. “I’ve been negotiating with Urban Renewal for the last six months, and you’ll be hearing more about it within the next few weeks.”

    The six-story Residence Inn will feature 150 rooms and a swimming pool and patio facing the Bricktown Canal. The hotel is expected to open by late next year. Hammons said his other downtown Oklahoma City hotels are performing “very well,” and he anticipates his investment in Oklahoma City will exceed $150 million.

    Hammons wouldn’t disclose further details about the planned Embassy Suites. He said his addition of hotel rooms to downtown Oklahoma City will top 950 when he is finished.

    Amcat, a company that sells call center technology, is among those anticipating the opening of the Residence Inn. Dudley Larus, vice president of marketing, said the Edmond company will move its 100 employees to the adjoining Sonic headquarters office building in January.

    “It’s the right image for Amcat,” said Larus, whose customers travel from around the globe. “We want to take advantage of the energy that exists downtown. It’s a great way to show off Oklahoma City, with the vibrancy of all the shops and restaurants.”

    The company’s lease for 10,000 square feet in the building’s first floor leaves only 5 percent vacant - and only two portions facing the canal available for restaurants or retail.

    Initially, developers Randy Hogan and David Harper anticipated the entire first floor might be leased to shops and restaurants.

    “I think there is still some possibility for retail,” said Harper, a leasing agent with Canal Properties LLC. “We have space that has a great patio outside and it’s directly across from the Toby Keith restaurant. But as we lease more office space, there is obviously less space for restaurants and retail.”

    Two other retail buildings opened in conjunction with Harkins Theatres last year and are fully leased. Harper estimates about 5,500 square feet remain available in the Sonic building.

    Hogan hopes that shortage of retail space will be addressed by a new five-story building to be built by Bricktown Entertainment LLC immediately west of the Centennial Fountain - the grand entry to Lower Bricktown.

    Hogan said presales for the property’s 30 condominiums will start within the next month. The residences will range between 1,100 and 1,200 square feet, and will have enclosed parking. Sales prices are pending construction estimates being completed this month.

    One retail tenant, whom Hogan would not identify, has signed a letter of intent to lease space on the building’s canal level and discussions are ongoing with several other shops and restaurants.

    “We hope to start construction by year end,” Hogan said. “The interest level (in condominium sales) is high, but we need to firm up the costs and get about 10 presold.”

  2. #2

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    It will be interesting to see how they price those small (1,100 - 1,200 square foot) condos.

    Good to see this stuff getting closer!

  3. #3

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Yeah, if the price is right, I'll be one of the first 10 they need. I'd prefer another part of downtown though

  4. #4

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Any renderings available for these two projects? I like that the hotel will be 6 stories, not the usual 4 for Residence Inn's. I wonder if any retail/restaurant space is planned for the hotel and condos?

  5. #5

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Urban Outfitters could be a possibility for the undisclosed tennant in Hogan's building.

    I also wish that JQH was putting his Embassy Suites at the location of the Residence Inn.

  6. #6

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    This is a rendering from the Lower Bricktown website (Building #1) although he's now talking about 5 stories rather than 3, which would probably account for the proposed 30 units, rather than the six shown here:


  7. #7

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    I'll bet that's where Starbucks will go.

  8. #8

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    He said his addition of hotel rooms to downtown Oklahoma City will top 950 when he is finished.
    Anyone know what how many rooms there are at the Couryard and the Renaissance?

    950 - (Courtyard + Renaissance + 150) = # of rooms at Embassy Suites.

  9. #9
    vxt Guest

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Urban Outfitters could be a possibility for the undisclosed tennant in Hogan's building.

    I also wish that JQH was putting his Embassy Suites at the location of the Residence Inn.
    Is this a strong possibility? I shopped urban outfitters website and it would be great if I could just go to the store.

  10. #10

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Renaissance has 311 and the Courtyard has 225, so feeding that into the equation means 264 rooms at the proposed Embassy Suites.

    OKC Hotel Rooms

  11. Default Re: More new development downtown

    Noticed the work this past weekend in the Sonic building on the first floor, guess this answers that.

    I agree that it would be better to see the Embassy Suites up on the canal by Bass Pro...but, perhaps it is what will help anchor the area down by the river. Now they just need to build a GameWorks and some other forms of entertainment down there. I enjoy my trips to catch a movie and eat every week, but I'm not much of a bar fly.

  12. #12

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    so feeding that into the equation means 264 rooms at the proposed Embassy Suites.
    Which would make it a decent sized hotel relative to our other hotels downtown. I think I like that it's not slated for lower bircktown. This kind of smaller suburban style RI hotel will fit in with lower bricktown, while maybe a more grander (and verticle) hotel will be a better fit elsewhere in downtown.

  13. #13

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by vxt
    Is this a strong possibility? I shopped urban outfitters website and it would be great if I could just go to the store.
    In previous threads, different posters had emailed UO about an OKC location and the company said they wanted to enter the market and were looking for an ideal location... or something to that effect.

    I don't see a more ideal location for them. Their demographic spends a lot of time (and money) in Bricktown, and I could see their shoppers hanging out there before and after visiting Harkins, etc.

  14. #14

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Maybe the Embassy Suites will be part of a revised Factory proposal on Sheridan? That would be a good location IMO, either that or the area by the existing U-Haul building. Both are near enough to the Ford Center and the rest of Bricktown and both sites wouldn't look out of place if this hotel is going to be 10+ stories like it sounds. Wouldn't it be awesome to have this be a mixed-use hotel/condo tower at say 20 stories? That would redefine the skyline!

  15. Default Re: More new development downtown

    Good to hear the Embassy Suites is still happening. I agree it may be better suited elsewhere downtown. Perhaps the first hotel in the Arts District? Also good to see that they've upped the size of "building One". Five stories is a lot better than I expected. That will be taller than both the Harkins and the Sonic building.

  16. #16

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    I agree, I am however very disappointed at the design of the Residence Inn, the Oklahoman had a picture yesterday, it was wayyyyy suburban in style with a sea of parking yet again. Hogan has failed yet again

  17. #17

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Here's the pictures from the Oklahoman:




  18. #18

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Just to clarify, the top picture, left top corner is the retail/residential project, the bottom is the Residence Inn

  19. #19

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Unless the top three floors of Hogan's new building in LB are a sand colored brick, how in the hell is he getting by with using that much stucco?

    I think he should be required to go to the top in brick.

    Dissapointing to say the least, on both projects.

  20. Default Re: More new development downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Unless the top three floors of Hogan's new building in LB are a sand colored brick, how in the hell is he getting by with using that much stucco?

    I think he should be required to go to the top in brick.

    Dissapointing to say the least, on both projects.
    The condo building disappoints, but it somehow mirrors Toby Keith's restaurant:



    The restaurant's curved gable at the top resembles the street-level arches of the condo building. The windows and stucco seem to match too.

    The Inn at least has more brick than the original design had. But the structure looks too much like other Residence Inns for this one to be a Bricktown version.

    Thanks for posting, Malibu.
    Continue the Renaissance

  21. #21

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    John, the reason he can get away with that much stucco is because it isn't in the bricktown design district. The district is only north of Reno, which is why everything south of there looks like crap and doesn't fit in with "brick"town. There is minimal to no brick on: Toby Keith's, Bass Pro, Harkins . . .

  22. Default Re: More new development downtown

    As we posted earlier, Urban Renewal arbitrarily governs design since they own the land -- not according to any codes, but to their own subjective authority. They said "more brick" the first time designs were presented, and I guess where sated this time.
    Continue the Renaissance

  23. #23

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    Where is this building going to be situated on its site? Will the parking face the canal or (hopefully) will the "back" of the hotel face the canal with the parking in front by Bass Pro? It would be nice if the hotel is indeed right on the canal to have some retail/restaurant space at that level as well, maybe an adjacent pool? Keep the lobby, check-in, parking etc. on the Bass Pro side.



    And I agree, way too much stucco. Those buildings should be all brick and glass, no exceptions! This is BRICKtown after all! Good to see multi-story development though and at least some density.

  24. Default Re: More new development downtown

    Are you saying the reddish-brown part is stucco? It could be brick. Elevation drawings rarely look like the finished product.

    If it is brick, the stucco looks fine.

  25. #25

    Default Re: More new development downtown

    This is BRICKtown after all!
    That concept is dead to lower bricktown. It was the developers vision to recreate memorial road in bricktown and that is what they have done. The Residence Inn, as ugly as it is, is a perfect fit for the LB development.

    But we only have our city council to blame for this aesthetic. Who can blame a developer for not giving a crap or not being concious of their deveolpments after we publically financed the ugliest, if not the hokiest, building on the block?

    It's an effective developmet that draws a lot of traffic that just doesn't fit the area. It's time to write it off as not a part of Bricktown. It's really just an adjacent development that was built due to the success of bricktown, but without any respect to it.

    I don't mind the stucco per se, as even the brick buildings don't look like anything in bricktown. From the rendering, I think the building one looks fine, nothing special, but fine. I think the Residence Inn looks like the cookie cutter garbage you'd expect from a Residence Inn and the brick does nothing to help it. The brick may even serve only to mock it's bricktown counterparts.

    I've never had a problem with no brick in Lower Bricktown, just the fact that it's 100% unoriginal and unappealing. The buildings with brick look no more a part of bricktown as do the ones without it. The brick buildings just look like some bland Edmond development that's trying to create character and failing.

    In the end, maybe they'll be done with LB after the RI and interest in actually developing bricktown will begin again.

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