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Thread: Century Center

  1. #1

    Far North Century Center

    100 W. Main
    sq. feet= 115,000
    805 parking spaces

    Information & Latest News

    8/14/14: $550,000 building permit application for YMCA
    7/10/14: Revised plans released showing drives added for OPUBCO and Mahogany Steakhouse
    2/12/14: $3 million building permit for OPUBCO space
    2/7/14: $6 million building permit to remodel from shell to finished space
    11/18/13: OPUBCO set for move downtown
    1/14/13: OPUBCO announces they are in negotiations to lease 67,000 square feet in this project. To include ground-floor studio and large video screen to feature news and promotional information for civic and nonprofit groups. 350 employees would move. Renovation would include an all-glass facade and two additional levels of parking on top, adding 400 spaces.
    Links

    County Assessor Record
    Gallery

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    Last edited by Pete; 02-07-2011 at 03:13 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    Owner . hopes to revitalize landmark

    Steve Lackmeyer: 475-3230, slackmeyer@oklahoman.com



    The Criterion Theater and Baum Building were architectural jewels in Oklahoma City by anyone’s standards — landmarks that were razed in the heyday of Urban Renewal.

    In their place stands Century Center Plaza, a mostly empty one-time attempt at a downtown shopping center that isn’t highly rated by any local architect.

    Thirty years ago, a shopping mall was considered the Holy Grail for downtown development. The 89,000-square-foot Century Center Plaza, built along with the Sheraton Hotel in 1977 at Broadway and Sheridan, was the only one to be built.

    A much bigger mall, an envisioned 600,000-square-foot Galleria, was talked about for years and was to be built a block west of the Century Center. Four square blocks of old retail properties — including the John A. Brown’s flagship department store — were bulldozed to make way for what civic leaders pledged would be a shinning new monument to downtown shopping of the future.

    That vision never came true, though the Galleria name remains attached to the massive parking lot built in its place. Is the Century Center Plaza a hint at what might have happened if the Galleria had become a reality?

    Walk into the plaza today, and you will likely be alone. Even during its oil boom heyday, the place never quite had an identity. At one time, it was home to a fitness center, several restaurants, florist, eyeglass store and even an FAO Schwarz toy store.

    “It was originally designed as a retail mall area that would serve downtown office tenants and also convention visitors,” broker David Huffman said. “It never had an anchor tenant. Its definition was unclear from the very beginning.”

    Meristar, which owns the plaza and attached Sheraton Hotel, recently renovated the property and hired Huffman’s firm, Wiggin Properties, to bring it back to life.

    Out are the old awnings left behind by Schlotsky’s when it closed 20 years ago. The interior of a Mexican restaurant that closed several years ago also has been gutted. One of two escalators was removed, creating one continuous open space that spans the length of the plaza.

    New paint and carpeting have brought the building into the new century. But it’s still quiet — with the only visible tenants being an office for the Yard Dawgs arena football team and a salon where the plaza is adjoined to the hotel.

    But the location along Sheridan Avenue is enviable. To the west are the Myriad Gardens and the historic Colcord building, which is being renovated into a boutique hotel. To the south is the Cox Convention Center. And to the east are the Renaissance Hotel and Bricktown.

    Huffman isn’t sure it can ever come back as retail. Maybe, he says, the plaza could come back as a “quasi-retail” center with a tenant mix of a copy shop, fitness center, brokerage firm, video arcade and restaurants. He’s also open to less commercial uses — maybe a school, organization, printing company or even simply for storage. He said the 90,000-square-foot center also could be home to an entertainment complex. Discussions, he adds, are under way with a “strong prospect.”

    The Century Center, Huffman concludes, is a “unique space.” What’s needed is a “unique tenant” — and a chance for the property to finally stand out on a street that is rapidly becoming the most important corridor in a revived downtown Oklahoma City.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    There are two obvious uses: more convention space or another hotel tower.

    Hopefully rising property values and demand will force a change in the near future. That place has always depressed me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    We could really use a Hyatt Regency.

  5. #5
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I have an idea! It starts with 'wrecking' and ends with 'ball'.
    I completely agree. There's nothing historically significant about the Century Center. We ought to tear it down to make way for another convention hotel. Anyone want to contact John Q. Hammons? It's a shame that it replaced a very architecturally significant building, the Baum Building.

    It could be used for street side retail....just turn everything around.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    It fell before I was born, but the Baum building has always been a favorite building of mine in old downtown photos.

    If I have my way, I'll find a place downtown in the near future to build a replica of the Baum.

  7. Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    If it's not razed, it at least needs to be completely gutted inside and out. It's such an ugly, embarassing building.

    I think one issue with tearing it down is that part of it is parking for the Sheraton, and they may not want to lose that.

    What could this "strong prospect" be?
    Don't Edmond My Downtown

  8. #8

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    I think a good solution to this, since the garage is a heavily used one, would be to build around the exterior to the sidewalk. Put in storefronts that have similar architecture to the Spring Creek Development. That style lends itself to the history of downtown OKC. The Sheraton could take over the center portion for more ballroom/convention space, as well.

    With a residential boom in the downtown area, it would be a great location for some boutique type shops and cafes for visitors and those working/living downtown.

    Thoughts?

  9. Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    I think that's a great idea about expanding outward, John. And storefront shops would work great I think because it's right in the middle of the business district, but also near enough to hotels, the convention center, and Bricktown to do well at night and on the weekends as well.
    Don't Edmond My Downtown

  10. #10
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    I don't see why the storefronts simply couldn't be turned around to face the street, instead of the inside mall. Use the inside mall to increase the amount of leasable space, with the front of the spaces, facing street-side. OKC Convention and Visitor's Bureau did that and has a street-front entrance.

  11. Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    Patrick's right, it's the "mall" problem. If there was a way to have the retail face the street it would make all the difference. As for the rest of it, barring some radical renovation, I surely couldn't oppose the wrecking ball and starting over.

  12. Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    Quote Originally Posted by writerranger
    Patrick's right, it's the "mall" problem. If there was a way to have the retail face the street it would make all the difference. As for the rest of it, barring some radical renovation, I surely couldn't oppose the wrecking ball and starting over.
    I wouldn't miss it. I don't think anyone would. That space is prime for a higher-level development.
    Continue the Renaissance

  13. #13
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    The building needs to be gutted and the walls reconfigured. Simply leave a walkway in the middle for deliveries to the businesses and have the businesses face the street. Only thing that would open up to the hallway would be the back storage space of each retail space.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    Is it just me or did the article state it was remodeled on the inside?

    New paint and carpeting have brought the building into the new century

  15. Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    Quote Originally Posted by metro
    Is it just me or did the article state it was remodeled on the inside?
    No, metro, that was only in your version of newsok.com. That part you pasted into your post wasn't on anybody elses monitors (or papers). So, it was just you!

  16. Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    I was there today for the Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association awards and it still looks really depressing inside. The new carpet does help but it's still empty and embarassing.

    The problem with completely eleminating any indoor retail entrances is that the hotel has a major entrance to the "mall" from the meeting room lobby.

    Another thing of interest that I noticed is that there are two garage levels below street level. Currently they are monthly parking. Public/hotel parking is on floors 3 and 4 with the "mall" on 1 and 2.

    The entrance from the hotel is on the second floor, so perhaps the second floor at that end could be converted to more convention space, with the first floor and the second floor at the west end could be storefront retail after a major facelift or expansion on the outside. That way we get the retail and more convention space. This would make sense because most retail would not want/need two floors, and you couldn't access the second floor from the street.

    I wish the owner of the building would think a little more creatively.
    Don't Edmond My Downtown

  17. #17

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    By the sound of things you would think Beavis and Butthead ran urban renewal in the 70's and 80's

    I can just see them pointing at buildings at random.

    Beavis:Hey Hey........Blow it up.

    Butthead: No.......hit with the wrecking Ball.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    well said OklaCity75, I can already see that episode in my head

  19. #19

    Default Re: Almost 40 years later, Century Center still empty

    Walked through there yesterday and it was a complete ghost town...

    Doesn't look like there is a single tenant and in fact, they lights were almost completely off.

    And there was absolutely no sign of renovation or activity.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Century Center

    In an article today by Steve Lackmeyer of the Oklahoman, it was mentioned that that COPTA is in negotiations with someone to buy the parking garage that sits on top of the Century Center.

    I really hope this means someone is interested in redeveloping the entire property because once that garage gets into private hands it will probably be even more difficult to ever make something happen here.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Century Center

    You would think the Crown Plaza would want to expand. Particularly knowing that they will be so close to the new CC. I guess corporate heads don't think that far ahead.

  22. Default Re: Century Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Brzycki View Post
    In an article today by Steve Lackmeyer of the Oklahoman, it was mentioned that that COPTA is in negotiations with someone to buy the parking garage that sits on top of the Century Center.

    I really hope this means someone is interested in redeveloping the entire property because once that garage gets into private hands it will probably be even more difficult to ever make something happen here.
    Is the garage owned separately from the retail space?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Century Center

    Yes, the garage is owned by COPTA and the Century Center itself is owned by the same group that owns the adjoining hotel.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Century Center

    For those rooks like myself who had no idea which building was the Century Center.....

  25. #25

    Default Re: Century Center

    I still think it could be great retail and dining. But DAMN it needs windows, it's miserable looking in there and you can tell it always felt like an artificially lit concrete box.

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