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  1. #1

    Uptown/23rd NW 23rd and Robinson

    Blighted Uptown corner being renovated


    Martinez Tires on the northeast corner of NW 23rd and Robinson has been sold and adjacent properties are experiencing renovation as one of the last eyesores in the Uptown corridor is set for significant upgrades.



    The tiny but highly visible former filling station was sold to a California group that plans a medical marijuana dispensary and lifestyle cafe. The $190,000 sale of the 1,083 square foot building and .07 acre lot closed on December 18th and the former owner has already cleared the space.

    The future dispensary and CBD proprietor Todd James told OKCTalk that the cafe will be a destination and include cannabis-infused items such as shakes. His company plans 6 Oklahoma locations and operates a 150,000 square foot grow facility in Anadarko.



    Directly north is the venerable Blue Note and north of that two additional historic buildings are seeing facelifts.


    Renovation has begun at 2416-2422 to renovate the 2-story structure, re-branded as The Uptown Building, to 11 2nd level apartments and five commercial units at street level. The building is owned by OSU architecture professor Dr. Tom Spector, who is a long-time investor in the adjacent Jefferson Park and Paseo areas.

    Commercial leasing is being handled by Ian Duty of Adept Commercial Real Estate.


    Also seeing refurbishment is the 7,000 square foot building between the Blue Note and Uptown Building, originally a grocery store but more recently a cabinet shop. The owner is currently seeking new tenants.



    On the northwest corner of the same intersection, local developer Ben Sellers recently renovated 2 former apartment buildings into office space.



    The entire area is seeing a rebirth at the eastern end of the Uptown District as Coop Aleworks continues to develop plans for convert the former Armory on the east side of I-235 into a brewery, taproom, restaurant and hotel.

  2. #2

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robionson

    That last picture of the apartments they turned into offices; I do not like that development at all. It seems they could have done more to make it more attractive.

    As for the proposed improvements, this will be really nice and will be a great assets to the areas. Good deal!

  3. #3

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    ^

    Those offices look super sharp in person.

    They did a very nice job.

  4. #4

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    It would have nice if they would have widened the sidewalk up to the building and placed maybe one or two commercial businesses in basements with stairwells leading down from the street. The building looks good, but Iím not a fan of the street interaction.

  5. #5

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Those offices aren't a spot for prostitution and drug dealing, like they were 10 years ago when I lived a few blocks south. So, much better IMO

  6. #6

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    ^

    They also tried to rent them out as apartments originally but couldn't get many/any takers, no doubt because they are right on top of 23rd and there is lots of traffic noise.

  7. #7

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    ^

    They also tried to rent them out as apartments originally but couldn't get many/any takers, no doubt because they are right on top of 23rd and there is lots of traffic noise.
    This whole development is super exciting. There's no reason for this area to look so dumpy.

  8. #8

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Here is a better shot of those two small office buildings.

    Really nice wrought iron and landscaping.


  9. #9

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Uptown 23rd/Asian District/Paseo is by far my favorite area of OKC. Hopefully this development will get some more momentum going for Uptown. It deserves investment.

  10. #10

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    That’s exciting news. I’ve long wished something would happen with that corner.

  11. #11

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    I'm surprised that everyone is so excited about this. This is a prime example of how gentrification and "investment" take away from a neighborhood and give back very little.

    It's a no frills tire shop. I live in Central Park and I, and many people I know, have had a flats fixed there cheaply. We're losing an important business that many people (both long time Uptown dwellers and johnny come lately) need. In its place we're getting our 200th weed shop owned by out-of-state investors. At or around that intersection there's an entirely empty corner, an empty store front, a vape shop (that probably wants to be a dispensary), and four payday loan businesses. If we're going to celebrate better business coming in, let's be very careful to consider what makes a neighborhood work.

  12. #12

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    This “gentrification” is fixing up an old development that has fallen in disrepair. I can understand your beef with the business, but retrofitting the building into modern standards is a bad thing how?

  13. #13

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Gentrification is always "fixing up" something that is less "sightly" than the what the newest hot concept looks like. I don't know much about disrepair and tire shop standards, but the business seemed functional. You want a grimey business next to a grimey bar. They don't complain about each other. My beef is once you take out the grime you don't get it back. I want to live in a functional, walkable neighborhood that has as many types of business as possible. I try to patronize everything around me but I can only eat so many tacos and smoke so much weed.

  14. #14

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by sixkiller View Post
    I try to patronize everything around me but I can only eat so many tacos and smoke so much weed.
    Just keep smoking and that will help with the tacos. lol

  15. #15

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    ^

    They also tried to rent them out as apartments originally but couldn't get many/any takers, no doubt because they are right on top of 23rd and there is lots of traffic noise.
    I wanted to live there but for me, the issue was not at all the noise but was the price.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Just keep smoking and that will help with the tacos. lol
    Well, maybe smoking pot will fix all of Oklahoma’s problems!

  17. #17

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by sixkiller View Post
    I'm surprised that everyone is so excited about this. This is a prime example of how gentrification and "investment" take away from a neighborhood and give back very little.

    It's a no frills tire shop. I live in Central Park and I, and many people I know, have had a flats fixed there cheaply. We're losing an important business that many people (both long time Uptown dwellers and johnny come lately) need. In its place we're getting our 200th weed shop owned by out-of-state investors. At or around that intersection there's an entirely empty corner, an empty store front, a vape shop (that probably wants to be a dispensary), and four payday loan businesses. If we're going to celebrate better business coming in, let's be very careful to consider what makes a neighborhood work.
    There have to be multiple other no frills tire shops around that can be used if that one goes away. I can immediately think of one on 30th/Penn that can probably be a good substitute. Yeah, it's a few miles away, but I'm guessing there are some closer than that.

  18. #18

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    That was not a “no frills” tire shop. It was a used tire shop. They buy “take offs” from other shops and instal them on your car for a few bucks. When i was in college I used to buy tires here for my Honda crx. They would go a few thousand miles, explode, then replace for $10. I’ve lived up here for a long time and been haunting even longer. We could do with less vape shops, payday loans, and empty buildings

  19. #19

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by sixkiller View Post
    I try to patronize everything around me but I can only eat so many tacos and smoke so much weed.
    This is by far my favorite post on any thread.

  20. #20

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Was one of the buildings maybe the first Hobby Lobby? I think David Green mentioned that location in his book.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Wikipedia references this article, which mentions 23/Robinson, but not the specific building.

    https://newsok.com/article/1951885/hobby-lobbys-history

  22. #22

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by Uptowner View Post
    ...We could do with less vape shops, payday loans, and empty buildings
    This I totally agree with! Also less nail salons, massage shops, and Little Caesar's, amazing how they all stay in business...

  23. #23

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    In condensed urban areas, like NYC, Chicago, and even to a lesser degree, places like Austin, gentrification is a very serious social concern. However, in OKC, improvement of areas like 23rd and Robinson does not have the same deleterious effect it would in the aforementioned cities. OKC is spread out forever, with thousands of acres of underutilized space. If families are displaced from their homes due to neighborhood improvements, that is when gentrification is a real bugaboo. Simple improvements with higher and better use at key intersections, if anything, improve the social well being in cities like OKC. Greater investment in neighborhoods enlivens areas, leading to more jobs, a greater sense of safety, and urban activation.

    This is far from perfect land use. But bringing more residents to an area, increasing walkability, and providing more diverse retail options for the neighborhood will improve the quality of life for the residents in this neighborhood (and I admit I'm somewhat fascinated by the idea of a marijuana cafe in OKC; should we consider renaming our city OKsterdam? Also, with great irony, this marijuana cafe will be less than a mile away from where our legislators do their best to keep this state in the dark ages).

    I'm not a big fan of pushing out family businesses, and while I never patronized the tire shop, I do not believe this is a case of rich people throwing out poor people, or "hipsterization" destroying an urban neighborhood.

    I would rather that the existing apartments have remained residential, but I'm OK with the office space. Overall this is still a net gain for the nabe in terms of population because a previously long-vacant residential building will now have residential tenants again -- and more residents than lived in the other apartment building that was converted to office space.

  24. #24

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Quote Originally Posted by Mott View Post
    Well, maybe smoking pot will fix all of Oklahoma’s problems!
    This is probably way more effective than anything our legislature will cook up (no pun intended).

  25. #25

    Default Re: NW 23rd and Robinson

    Also, if you look at Pete's drone shot, you notice the vast empty lot across the street on 23rd. This could and likely will be new residential. Ask yourself if you would rather live across the street from an upscale marijuana cafe modeled after an amalgam of an Apple store and a Starbucks location or a run-down tire shop. To most urban dwellers there is a pretty simple answer.

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