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Thread: More housing coming to downtown

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default More housing coming to downtown

    Well, downtownguy didn't really give any specifics but he did say in his blog today (Moday) that more housing is coming to the downtown area. Of course this won't be the Factory development, but something else. Anyways, great news. Check it out at www.downtownguy.blogspot.com. I just wonder what development he could be referring to. Could it be the new development east of Deep Deuce? How about more housing in Automobile Alley? Could it be that one of the older buildings downtown is being converted to residential space? Hmmmm......what about the vision for the land just east of Sycamore Square? And of course there's the old Mercy Hospital site?

    downtownguy, any hints?

  2. #2

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    The Colcord was one right? And yeah, that hill in East Bricktown is supposed to get something on it housing-wise, right? Perhaps the ballpark owners have finally decided to build housing on their lot overlooking the ballpark. Maybe the Marion hotel will be converted?

    Just some ideas...

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    Hmmmm......Last I heard, the owners of the Hotel Ambassador were considering turning the Colcord into the Boutique Hotel, like theirs in Tulsa. But the other options are still very viable. Throw the Steel Yard in there as well, the old Steward Company buildings in East Bricktown.

  4. #4

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    It is the Hill...


    Construction starting in late '05 at the earliest. Love the idea of Brownstones for sale. But all three proposals would be a HUGE step forward in downtown housing, let alone housing in the OKC metro.

    This excites me!

  5. #5
    Proactive Volunteer Guest

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    Three groups pitch housing for coveted downtown area
    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Staff Writer

    Three development groups are pitching residential projects valued between $22.1 million and $36.7 million for one of Oklahoma City's most coveted downtown properties. The 12.6 acres, on what is known as the "hill" at NE 1 and Stiles, overlooks Deep Deuce, Bricktown and the health-sciences district with a view of the downtown skyline.

    Two of the proposals delivered Wednesday to the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority are linked to other nearby developments.

    Atlanta-based Wood Partners, listed No. 6 among the country's top 50 apartment complex builders by Builder Magazine, proposes building 300 lofts in a series of three- story buildings.

    The project would be designed by Architectural Design Group and would be planned to connect with a $12 million residential, retail and office development by Robert Meinders on Sheridan Avenue dubbed "the Steel Yard."

    Project architect Scott Dedmon said the two projects would be owned by different developers, but would be designed as part of one master plan.

    The apartments would be lofts, he said, featuring stained floors, exposed duct work and 10-foot-high ceilings.

    Dedmon called the hill one of downtown's most valuable sites for new housing.

    "It's in the core of everything right now with everything going on in Bricktown, downtown and the health sciences center," Dedmon said.

    Walnut Hill Redevelopment Partners, meanwhile, would build 84 lofts and 134 brownstone residences in conjunction with a development just north of the property dubbed "Oklahoma City Town Center."

    The team includes Town Center developers Pat Garrett, Bert Belanger and Anthony McDermid, and Somerset Partners, which bought the existing 294-unit Deep Deuce Apartments last year.

    As part of the proposal, Somerset promises to build new for-sale brownstones on several Deep Deuce properties the company owns but has not been developed.

    Project architect Hans Butzer said the proposal also suggests the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority consider buying adjacent land owned by the Oklahoma Transportation Department to allow for possible development of an $11 million residential high-rise.

    "It's a high profile site, immediately adjacent to the highway, and while it's not a part of this property, it really would make a great location for a high rise," Butzer said.

    The proposal by Butzer's team calls for a mix of rental lofts, live/work spaces along Stiles Avenue, townhomes for sale.

    "This project needs to re-establish our standard for downtown housing," Butzer said. "While Deep Deuce was good, it's not at a quality we're all looking for."

    The third proposal by The Hill at Bricktown LLC. suggests building 141 upscale homes in a development that would make a strong connection to Deep Deuce's history as a former black business and entertainment district.

    Homes and streets would be named after historic figures and places, while all three developments propose memorials to Deep Deuce literary legend Ralph Ellison.

    Those involved with Hill at Bricktown LLC include Oklahoma City historic preservationist Marva Ellard; William Canfield, founder of Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, and oilman and contractor Steve Clark.

    Ellard said Canfield became interested in the development after trying to recruit scientists to work in the nearby health research park.

    "The lack of downtown housing for sale became a drawback in getting people to move here," Ellard said. "A lot of professionals were accustomed to living in an urban environment."

    Ellard said homes would sell between $175,000 and $340,000.

    JoeVan Bullard, urban renewal director, said representatives from surrounding areas will be asked to review the proposals, with presentations to be made to the agency's commissioners in January.

    "With the proposals that came in, I think we definitely do have a market for homes for sale," he said.

    Bullard said commissioners want to see construction started by late 2005.

    "One of the discussion points with the commissioners as they visit with the three teams will be, 'Are you ready to go?'" Bullard said. "We believe the market is there, and the sooner we can hit that, the better."

    The proposals
    Alta Bricktown
    Developer: Wood Partners.

    Designer: Architectural Design Group.

    Cost: $22.1 million.

    Proposal: 300 loft apartments leasing between $735 and $1,035 a month.

    The Hill
    Developer: Walnut Hill Redevelopment Partners.

    Designer: TAParchitecture.

    Cost: $36.7 million.

    Proposal: 84 loft rental apartments, 134 Brownstone residences for sale.

    The Hill at Bricktown
    Developers: The Hill at Bricktown LLC.

    Designer: Humphreys & Partners Architects.

    Cost: $34.4 million.

    Proposal: 141 upscale homes for sale.

  6. #6
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    Wow, all of these proposals sound good. I guess I'd vote for Walnut Hill Redevelopment Partners first, because they're planning a mix of rental apartments and residences that you can buy. Also, I like the way this project ties into the new Town Center concept. With retail as part of the picture, the Town Center is more likely to be a reality.....retail always follows rooftops (residential rooftops that is!). Also, the possiblity of a residential tower near the highway impresses me. This is definitely the most ambitious of the projects. Also, the most pricey, as you can see by the price tag.

    We do need more homes in downtown that people can buy. We already have quite a few apartment complexes.

    I guess my last choice would be The Hill at Bricktown LLC....although I like the concept of upscale homes to buy in downtown, I'm not sure actual homes would fit too well that close to the CBD. Maybe a development of this type would fit better closer to Heritage Hills on the old Mercy Hospital site. For the Hill we need to consider something more urban....not suburban style residences.

    The first proposal by Wood Partners would be okay, although it wouldn't necessarily be unique. It would just be another apartment complex like Deep Deuce. But, it does have one of the best apartment builders in the country bulding it. Also, I like the idea of 3 story buildings.

    Still, I'm with Luke on this one....I hope they go with the mixed rental/owner use.....the most ambitious of the projects mentioned.

  7. #7

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    Very exciting. I liked the renderings I saw for "The Hill" (second proposal) that I saw on the Oklahoman's site. But any of those proposals would be a huge step. Sure hated to hear the demise of the plans for "The Factory" I saw renderings of that and it sure would have changed the atmosphere of Bricktown. Maybe someone with the $$$ will salvage it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    Yeah, too bad The Factory seems to have fallen through. Maybe some entrepreneur will pursue it.

  9. Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    When you look at those sketches you can't help grabbing something to keep you from floating . They all look good, but with The Factory, you want to temper your expectations.

    I like the Wood Partners proposal because of its connection to the Steelyard Commons. It seems there would be some continuity between Deep Deuce and Bricktown, which would be nice. But I don't like the way it separates housing from retail. And you have to wonder if we can fill all that retail space in the Commons.

    The Hill would look terrific, a real neighborhood with unique styles for every house, but I agree that something like this would be better off in Midtown.

    So, I'm with you guys, The Walnut Hill group, because it is urban mixed-use. With for sale and for rent housing.I also like some of the people behind it -- McDermid and Butzer, who designed the National Memorial. But wonder where all the parking is. Besides that strip close to Stiles, it's not obvious. I guess that's a good thing.

    It's all very exciting.

  10. #10
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: More housing coming to downtown

    Since McDermid is working on the Flat Iron Town Square concept, I'm sure he can sweet talk his way into some parking. I know KerrMcGee has wanted to hang onto those lots...to get them to turn them over it's going to take someone local to sweet talk Corbett. Corbett was the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for awhile, so I think he knows the necessity of housing downtown. If McDermid came to him with this proposal, I wouldn't have a doubt in my mind that Corbett would work with him.

    I know we've debated the different proposals here....one thing I think we have to consider....having to choose among proposals of this quality definitely show us how far Bricktown and all of downtown has come! Who would've ever thought 10 years ago that in 2004 we would have prospects for residential ownership in downtown! Absolutely amazing! And just look at all of the renting options we now have downtown. The downtown residential population continues to grow, and with that growth, will come the retail options we're looking for.

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