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  #41  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2005, 3:01 PM
Karried Karried is offline
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Thanks OKCgasm, it's an exciting time for Oklahoma City - with Bricktown and the hosting of a pro team ( New Orlean's HORNETS) we are really enjoying growth and expansion of our city.

This just out today:

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.
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  #42  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2005, 7:22 PM
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This was supposed to be an Embassy Suites in Bricktown. We got gipped. Period.
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  #43  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2005, 11:33 PM
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^ John Hammons still plans on building an Embassy Suites somewhere in Bricktown, just not at the location by Sonic and Bass Pro. I would almost argue that a 10+ story Embassy Suites would be better in the CBD, like over by the new library in the Arts District. Maybe something mixed-use with hotel rooms and condos?
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  #44  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2005, 5:44 AM
upNcomer upNcomer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BG918
^ John Hammons still plans on building an Embassy Suites somewhere in Bricktown, just not at the location by Sonic and Bass Pro. I would almost argue that a 10+ story Embassy Suites would be better in the CBD, like over by the new library in the Arts District. Maybe something mixed-use with hotel rooms and condos?
I agree. An Embassy Suites could anchor a Galleria garage development the city's been waiting for. With condos, elegant retail, and nice public spaces, it would be a true city center overlooking the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
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  #45  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2005, 4:09 PM
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The south end of the Galleria Garage would be a great location because it would over look the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
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  #46  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2005, 11:06 PM
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More news on the Skirvin renovation today:

Historic hotel to be restored by Wisconsin company
By The Associated Press

The historic Skirvin Hotel, closed for more than 16 years, will undergo a $50 million renovation and reopen next year as a Hilton hotel serving the city's growing Bricktown entertainment district.

Mayor Mick Cornett gave Marcus Hotels and Resorts a 99-year lease on the property Thursday. The Milwaukee, Wis. company manages several restored historic hotels including the Hotel Phillips, in Kansas City, Mo. The city bought the hotel in 2002 for $2.8 million.

"We're proud to be a part of restoring this Oklahoma landmark to a state of grandeur," Bill Otto, president of Marcus Hotels and Resorts said.

The restoration project on the 13-story hotel is to be completed by December 2006.

The first floor includes Art Deco tile work, inlaid wood ceilings and mahogany paneling topped by carved gargoyles. Ornamental plaster ceilings and ballrooms will be restored on the top floor. The other floors will be gutted and modernized. In addition to regular hotel rooms, there will be two-bedroom, two-bath suites and one-bedroom suites.

Keith Hoffman, director of special projects for Marcus Hotels, said there will be a three-room presidential suite on the 12th floor that will include a flat-screen plasma television in the sitting area and a flat-screen TV installed in the mirror of the bathroom.

"Ten years ago, before Bricktown and a myriad of other things happening in Oklahoma, opening this hotel would have never happened," said John Weeman, president of Partners in Development, a business group that has supported reopening the Skirvin.

William Balser "Bill" Skirvin, a land developer and an oilman, built the hotel in 1910. It was designed by Solomon Layton, the architect for the state Capitol.

In 1906, Skirvin moved to Oklahoma City from Texas. The Skirvin household, which included three children, moved into a five-room suite on the ninth floor. Author Bob Blackburn, who wrote a history of the hotel, said the family also had dogs, raccoons, hawks and other animals. The pets were kept on the roof.

The hotel has stood empty since 1988 except for the occasional vagrant. Pigeons chose the top-floor ballroom as their home.

JoeVan Bullard, executive director the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, said the hotel went bankrupt in the early 1970s. It came out of bankruptcy, but could not survive downturns in the state economy in the 1980s.

"Even with all the new hotels downtown that have come on line and with all the activities going on, the hotel market is as hot downtown as in the I-40 and Meridian corridor," Bullard said. "The people involved in this project are not doing it just for the love of the Skirvin but are doing it from the business side."

Asbestos abatement and demolition of the interior started about 2 1/2 months ago and should be finished by the end of October, Weeman said. Then the remodeling will begin.

The Skirvin Hilton will have a lobby cafe, a fine dining room, an upscale bar that will feature musical entertainment, an indoor pool and fitness center and a grand ballroom with a dramatic staircase entry.

"I would love to spend New Year's Eve 2006 and ring in 2007 in the old coffee shop," Bullard said. "What a wonderful New Year's Day. I am looking forward to it."
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  #47  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2005, 1:30 PM
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1500 Hundred Hotel Rooms by 2007

10-story Hampton Inn proposed for Bricktown

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10-story Hampton Inn proposed for Bricktown
By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

A proposed 10-story Hampton Inn -- the tallest addition to Bricktown -- is set to be reviewed next month by the Bricktown Urban Design Committee.
The $20 million project has been in the works for two years and is being developed by Marsh Pittman, owner of the Power Alley Parking Garage and Madison, Wis.-based Raymond Management Group.

Raymond Management Group operates 38 Hilton properties. Barry Perkel, director of real estate with Raymond Management, said his company began scouting sites in Bricktown three years ago after being alerted to downtown Oklahoma City by one of his brokers.

"There is a lot going on there," Perkel said. "We are very excited about the opportunity to build a high-quality, limited-service hotel."

Pitman said he hopes the hotel will expand the downtown skyline. He said the architects will be Tom Wilson and Architectural Design Group, the architects who designed the neighboring SBC Bricktown Ballpark.

Pittman and Perkel said they want the hotel to complement the district and will include brick in its facade.

The hotel won't have a restaurant, Pittman said, because the property at Sheridan Avenue and Central already is surrounded by eateries and clubs. But the hotel will be bigger than a typical Hampton Inn.

"We were envisioning it as being about 150 rooms," Pittman said. "But as we got into it and kept working it, it ended up we felt like we could get 200 rooms on the site."

Pitman estimated construction will begin by March and be completed within 14 months.

The Hampton Inn, when built, will join a 150-room Residence Inn being built along Reno Avenue by John Q. Hammons as the first hotels to open in Bricktown.

And when combined with the renovation of the Skirvin Hotel and conversion of the Colcord into a boutique hotel, it will boost downtown's room count to about 1,500 by 2007.
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2006, 11:17 PM
shane453 shane453 is offline
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Residential/Mixed Use Developments and Resources - Downtown/Midtown area

The total number of proposed residential units in Downtown is DOUBLE the number of units that are existing. A study done for Downtown OKC, Inc. showed that downtown can support 12,000-12,500 units. There are currently less than 1,000.

The Triangle - http://www.thetriangleokc.com
New Mixed Use District, downtown. "Approximately" 781 residential units, grocery, pharmacy, commercial and retail spaces proposed. Certainly the most ambitious and my personal favorite of all OKC projects.

---- Phase 1 for The Triangle:Brownstones at Maywood Park
15 units from 2,500-3,500 sf, $400,000-$800,000.


Midtown - http://midtownok.com
Midtown property owners are getting very ambitious with the creation of their new website. There aren't real details or a master plan released yet, just individual projects. Midtown will likely be similar to the Triangle.

Block 42 - http://block42.com
Downtown Residential. 42 luxury units.



The Hill -
Downtown Residential. 171 luxury units.


The Classen - http://www.theclassen.com/Home
Midtown highrise condominiums, 80 units/21 stories. Conversion of Citizen's Tower offices, Frank Lloyd Wright inspired building.

Views from the Classen:



Park Harvey Apartments -
CBD residential. 178 units, converted from offices in 17-story Park Harvey building.

Tan building at center:


Kerr Conversions -
CBD residential. Three Kerr-McGee owned vacant office buildings to be converted into approximately 70 luxury units.

India Temple, with vintage image of original facade:


The Chandelier -
Automobile Alley residential. 35 luxury rental units.



Central Avenue Villas -
30 units, 735-2,800 sf. $175,000-$500,000.


Legacy Summit at Arts Central -
Arts district downtown residential, ground floor retail. Lots of setbacks, could be cancelled. 303 units.



Bricktown condos -
30 residential units, canal-level retail, enclosed parking.
Canalside and center:



Film Exchange Building
Conversion. 6 apartments with 12,000 sf of retail/office space.

222 E. Main
4 units, 2100 sf retail, enclosed parking. This will fix a major eyesore. Look at that grimy building... Not a huge project but it should be done soon and will be the first Bricktown residential.


Mysterious unannounced Midtown Highrise project by Rick Dowell, "ca. 250 units", limited information, revealed in Chamber of Commerce's downtown study.

Sieber Hotel Conversion -
Midtown, 30 apartments, 8 loft style apartments, and 5000 sf of ground-level retail.

--------


Total Units Proposed: 2,048
Existing Units: Approx. 850
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2006, 2:02 AM
shane453 shane453 is offline
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Courtesy of BG918, here are some pictures of the master plan for the Oklahoma River just south of downtown OKC.

The Oklahoma River is a 7-mile stretch of the North Canadian River that was dammed in several places to become a navigable stretch of water. This was part of the MAPS program that has to date sparked $2.5 billion in investment in downtown area since 2000 and an estimated $1.5 billion in proposed investments.

"Riverside," as it is coming to be known, is Oklahoma City's next major rejuvenative project, in my opinion on a scale much grander than anything we have seen in Bricktown or anywhere else. The area includes the Meridian Hotel Row, historic Stockyards City, and blissfully undeveloped land unbelievably close to downtown. There is already the Matt Hoffman Action Sports Park, the Chesapeake Boathouse, and many parks and trails along the river. The American Indian Cultural Center, partnered with the Smithsonian Institute, has been blessed by tribal leaders and is scheduled to begin construction on the banks of the OKRiver.





Like many of Oklahoma City's projects, this isn't just a small construction- it is a completely new district with several neighborhoods, parks, amenities, etc etc. OKC is showing that we are no one-hit wonder after lighting up Bricktown.
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2006, 6:21 PM
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Mr. Lackmeyer says that OKC's former Hollywood is "the best bet bet for downtown's next success story."

The race is on to save historic Film Exchange
By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

A quick glance at Sheridan and California Avenues west of the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City might suggest the strip isn't the best bet for downtown's next success story.

Film district

The odds seem so high. City planners and developers forgot this stretch as they recast most of downtown this past decade as a 21st century, major-league city. Sidewalks are crumbling, cracks filled with weeds and about half of the old street lights don't turn on at night.

Homeless people and panhandlers nap in entryways of abandoned buildings by day, sometimes walking over to nearby fast-food restaurants to beg for some change.

But a mix of developers, civic leaders and idealistic filmmakers say this last, undeveloped corner of downtown once known as the "Film Exchange" could become yet another destination spot.

Amidst the dreamers, Bradley Wynn and the Oklahoma Film Society appear to be the most ambitious -- and last week signed a lease to bring life back to the district's former Paramount Pictures building.

"We had Paramount, Warner Brothers, Fox, Columbia Pictures all right here," Wynn said. "The first automobile commercial was shot here. The birth of cable television occurred here. Even the Mafia was involved. There is a lot of great history in the area and it would be a shame to lose it."

Where movies were chosen
During the heyday of downtown movie palaces, theater owners screened movies and bought supplies and equipment in the Film Exchange district, centered at Sheridan and Lee. The last vestige of that era, Oklahoma Theatre Supply, opened in 1930 and operated until 2004 upon the death of its owner, Maxine Peak.

Wynn met Peak shortly before her death, just as he was starting to explore the area's history.

"The area was so dilapidated, so much in danger of being destroyed," Wynn said. "Maxine Peak passed away with a broken heart, in my opinion. This area was her life."

Peak left Wynn with some of the vintage silent projectors, blueprints from long-lost downtown theaters and other antiques he hopes to display in an Oklahoma motion picture museum.

But more than being a tribute to days gone by, Wynn thinks the Film Exchange can once again be a thriving area for the state's filmmakers.

In just the past few weeks, the former Paramount Building has already become an early seedling for that dream. Oklahoma Casting recently became the building's second tenant, and owner Ron Smith reports leases are being negotiated with two other independent film companies.

Wynn said he learned early on that Oklahoma's film community needs a base -- one he thinks could be the Film Exchange.

"There was a cohesiveness problem, communication problem -- one guy who might need lighting, but didn't know this other guy who could provide the lighting," Wynn said.

He also argues Hollywood is filled with Oklahoma natives who might want to return home.

"Today, the running joke in Hollywood is that 50 percent of it is made up of people from Oklahoma or with Oklahoma connections," Wynn said. "Ron Howard was from Duncan, Brad Pitt was from Shawnee. The list goes on and on. My question is, 'Why didn't they stay? Why did they move?'"

If the Film Exchange could offer the infrastructure needed by filmmakers, Wynn argues, maybe the next Ron Howard and Brad Pitt will stick around.

Property owners seem ready to help that dream come true.

Smith, a transplant from the northwest United States, bought the former Paramount Building in 2003. His plans include a restoration that would remove the fake siding and paint -- once the building is leased and he is assured it can be safe from vandalism and break-ins.

"When we came to Oklahoma City, we saw a mini-Seattle," Smith said. "We see that it's going to happen; it's just a question of when and how."

Veteran Oklahoma City businessman and developer Chip Fudge is making the same bet. When the Oklahoma Film Association recently hosted its first brain-storming meeting about the district, attendees included notable developers such as Fudge, whose early efforts included the Paseo and Kamps Grocery, and Richard Tanenbaum, whose downtown projects include the Montgomery and the Park-Havey Apartments.

Fudge said he was drawn to the area by architect David Wanzer, whose office is in Deep Deuce.

"I try to go where I can find undervalued real estate that is cool," Fudge said. "We felt like we could take this and do something -- and it has a very marketable brand, having been the film exchange."

Fudge owns the actual "Film Exchange" building, 700 W Sheridan, and is working with Wanzer and owners of Bricktown's LIT lounge to renovate the property into lofts on the top floor and street level shops, restaurants and galleries.

"I have fun with these," Fudge said. "I have a day job that keeps me busy, but I really enjoy finding real estate that I can put back together."

Challenges remain
The momentum, Wynn said, points to the Film Exchange becoming another vibrant downtown district. But the area also comes with some challenges that won't be easy to overcome.

Unlike the rest of downtown, the Film Exchange area has seen no sidewalk or lighting improvements in at least a quarter-century. More than three dozen people showed up at the recent brain-storming session, and concerns about problems associated with nearby homeless shelters were raised throughout the discussion.

Councilwoman Ann Simank, who has supported similar efforts in the Plaza District on NW 16 and in Capitol Hill, encouraged the filmmakers, developers and property owners to form an organization, and to pursue a Main Street designation that could help pay for their efforts.

She also indicated the city could "streetscape" the area, giving it new sidewalks and lighting, as part of a bond issue that will be presented to voters in the next few years. Simank, however, wasn't bombarded with demands that the nearby homeless shelters be moved elsewhere.

By being the first to move in, Wynn hopes to show others the area is ready for redevelopment. He is quick to remind others that Bricktown and Deep Deuce also once struggled with the homeless issue.

"It's an obstacle just like anything," Wynn said. "Our goal is to embrace the homeless shelters, to better their environment, their living conditions, and to look at things we're doing that might provide them with opportunities."
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  #51  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2006, 7:37 PM
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that underground tunnel system sounds really interesting.
is it a pedestrian walkway?
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  #52  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 1:24 AM
shane453 shane453 is offline
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The Metro Concourse is an underground tunnel system beneath downtown that connects 33 buildings in a 20 square block area of downtown. You can basically walk wherever you need to go within the CBD without having to wait at crosswalks. Including skywalks, there is more than one mile of tunnels. The Concourse, as it has been known previously, is lined with restaurants, shops, and offices. While it does divert a lot of pedestrian traffic, making downtown appear deserted even on busy days, it is very convenient for people who need to go somewhere in a hurry.

A map in PDF: http://downtownokc.com/Portals/1/PDF...ice_map_05.pdf

Now under redesign by Rand Elliot & Assoc, it will be known as The Underground, and sport stylish street level entrances, art galleries, and new navigation signs. Some parts are already completed, including a very cool section with a gallery of vintage downtown photographs and captions. The renovations certainly help clear up the dark, creepy, retro look of the tunnels.



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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 2:40 AM
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Aren't cities trying to get rid of those things?
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  #54  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 9:45 PM
shane453 shane453 is offline
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Why would we get rid of it? We have one of the most expansive systems in the world and it is very useful for pedestrian travel from point A to point B. Plus it's a godsend in the winter or on rainy days.
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2006, 2:04 AM
shane453 shane453 is offline
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You can see plans, meeting notes, maps, and other information regarding OKC metrotransit plans for the future at www.okfgs.org.

The plans, to be completed in phases until 2030, allow for 3 major commuter rail legs, expanded bus service, HOV lanes, and a modern streetcar system. I believe the downtown streetcars are the first priority at this time.
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2006, 3:45 PM
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A rendering of the 50 ft Kerr McGee Bell Tower. This will be the second landmark for the river, now that that the Chesapeake Boathouse is complete. The belltower is set for completion this spring.

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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2006, 4:54 PM
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shane, underground tunnels take away from street level pedestrian activity. walking from point a to point b means you are walking under potential shops and eaterys. OKC dt streetlife is weak at best and this isn't going to help things.
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2006, 5:04 PM
shane453 shane453 is offline
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There are "shops and eateries" in the Underground as well as on street level. The Underground is closed on weekends.

Some downtown developers were concerned about the Underground and wanted to close it off forever. I think the Underground is a fine asset for businesspeople in the CBD. The CBD is by definition is primarily a place for business. If the Underground makes it more convenient or warmer or dryer for them to get to work or the courthouse or lunch, there is no negative. "Street life" is less important than the comfort and convenience of downtown tenants, and the Underground does not totally take this away from the CBD.
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  #59  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2006, 3:09 AM
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By that mentality the CBD will never be 24 hrs...

1. OKC CBD can be as pedestrian as it is business. Why isn't lower Manhattan tunneled and sky-bridged? The weather is far worse in the winter.

2. Eventually people will take up residency in the CBD, west of the tracks. They may not want to walk to Bricktown and eat at the chain crap.

3. If the tunnel has shops and eaterys, and is closed on the weekend, where do people eat/shop? They are forced to the few street level joints, or a tunnel-less walk to bricktown.

4. Houston has a more extensive system and it shows, walking DT is sometimes lifeless.

5. Plenty of cities around the country manage to live without tunnels. Some with far greater weather variancies. Most with much better street life.

6. This alone will not cure OKC CBD woes, but it's a piece of the puzzle.
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  #60  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2006, 3:18 AM
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Just to add...

The tunnel may be ok for business people. Just don't flaunt it and make seem like something it's not.

DT OKC, west of the tracks, after five, is the creepiest place I've been in awhile. I only hope that something is done to get in more activity. And don't get me wrong, Bricktown is nice for what it is. Hopefully it too, will elvolve into something more.
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