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Old June 12th, 2005, 05:17 AM   #1
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Oklahoma City Development News

I feel up to updating this thread for a long time, so I thought I would start one. I'll just cover Downtown for now.

1.

New underground in Downtown. It's actually the Concourse that opened in the 80s, but it was just recently reopened and renovated after years of closure.

2.


3.


This is a mixed use district that will be simillar to Victory in Dallas. Another one from TAP.

4.


The $70 million building just West of the State Capitol Complex, is located at 23rd Street and I 235. It will be completed by the state's centennial. I was driving by this the other day on my way to Baptist Hospital the other day, and it looks mostly done finished. From the landbridge on I 235, just north of downtown you can see the skylights of the building. Looks really cool.

5.



6.


Just to clear this up, the plan for the Riverside District will cost $250 million, and the highway itself will cost another $250 million.

7.


8.


The Skirvin Hotel was recently bought by the city, and resold to a developer. It will be turned into a Hilton.

9.


The Colcord is another vacant building being turned into a hotel.

More coming soon.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 04:22 AM   #2
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HUD ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION EFFORTS - OKLAHOMA CITY RECEIVES NEW EMPOWERMENT ZONE

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced an estimated $17 billion in tax incentives to stimulate job growth, promote economic development and create affordable housing opportunities in eight new Empowerment Zones across the country. These Empowerment Zones will encourage public-private collaboration to generate economic development in some of the nation's most distressed urban communities.

The new urban Empowerment Zones (EZs) will receive regulatory relief and tax breaks to help local businesses provide more jobs and promote community revitalization. The other newly designated EZs will be located in Pulaski County, Arkansas; Fresno, California; Jacksonville, Florida; Oklahoma City; San Antonio, Texas; Yonkers, New York; and, Tucson, Arizona.

Oklahoma City's selection was based on their ability to maximize the benefits of the Empowerment Zone designation, which lasts until December of 2009. At a press conference in Oklahoma City, Congressman Frank Lucas joined HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Don Mains and Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphries in announcing the new designation and it's benefits for Oklahoma City.

"These tax incentives are an excellent tool for fostering a robust economy," said Mains. "This critical partnership between the public and private sectors will give local businesses in distressed neighborhoods an economic boost to help drive revitalization, provide jobs and ultimately build a foundation for stronger communities."

"The key to revitalizing urban areas is to bring new businesses to the area," Lucas said, "The best way to do that is with tax incentives. This empowerment zone designation will help get this area back on its feet, providing much-needed jobs to the area and helping the citizens and businesses in the community to get back on track economically."

Congressman J.C. Watts added, "I applaud the designation of these Empowerment Zones. The zones will create the conditions for eight communities to begin an upward growth path, and to realize the American Dream. Encouraging business development and new jobs is something I have supported my entire time in Congress. This particular announcement couldn't come at a better time"

The Oklahoma City Empowerment Zone will use the power of public and private partnerships to build a framework of economic revitalization in areas that experience high unemployment and shortages of affordable housing.

Included in the $17 billion tax relief package, an estimated $6 billion in incentives are exclusively available for Empowerment Zones across the country. As distressed communities, Empowerment Zones will also be eligible to share in an additional $11 billion in Low-Income Housing and New Market Tax Credits.

These new EZs can take advantage of wage credits, tax deductions, bond financing and capital gains to stimulate economic development and job growth. Each incentive is tailored to meet the particular needs of a business and offers a significant inducement for companies to locate and hire additional workers.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 02:45 AM   #3
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http://www.kotv.com/main/home/storie...age=1&id=88037

Just got this link hot off the Urban OK newswire: http://home.ntelos.net/~jradio3/urbanok_home.html

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Congress' passage of $130 million more in funding to relocate Interstate 40 in Oklahoma City has officials here envisioning everything from a golf course to new urban housing in an expanding downtown area.

Roy Williams has heard it all. As executive director of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, he's heard from parties interested in building a sports complex or even a giant green space similar to New York City's Central Park once the interstate is knocked off its stilts and moved five blocks south.

As it stands now, the high-rise buildings, convention center and arena that make up downtown Oklahoma City are all north of I-40. By moving the freeway south, more land adjacent to the downtown area will be opened for development. A downtown boulevard will be built along the old path.

``Right now, the interstate is perceived as a sort of barrier,'' Williams said. ``Downtown is not south of the interstate. It's north of the interstate.''

The $130 million in the transportation bill, which is awaiting Bush's approval, would place Oklahoma more than $300 million on its way to funding the approximately $360 million project. The state Department of Transportation awarded the project's first contract this week.

While the economic impact of the project may be significant, the primary reason for relocating this four-mile section of highway called the Crosstown Expressway is motorist safety. When the section of I-40 between Interstates 44 and 35 was built, officials believed the Crosstown would never carry more than 76,000 vehicles per day, said John Bowman, a project development engineer for the Transportation Department. It's now carrying about 119,000 each day.

Interstate 40 is one of the nation's main east-west links.

The Transportation Department breaks the Crosstown into seven segments. Of those, six are rated ``critically high'' in terms of the number of accidents.

The new highway will have 10 lanes, four more than the current freeway. It will have wider shoulders to provide drivers more room for error and more space between exits to give motorists additional space for accelerating and merging.

Most of the new stretch of highway will be at ground level instead of elevated and replace a layout that has too many curves to meet today's standards.

``We talk about safety, and there are some real concerns for us there,'' Bowman said.

Tom Elmore, executive director of the North American Transportation Institute in Moore, has taken issue with the picture of the Crosstown the Transportation Department has painted.

He disputes transportation officials' claims that a new Interstate 40 and a downtown boulevard can be built for less than it would cost to simply upgrade the current highway. And he questions the drive to build another highway at a time when the Transportation Department has millions of dollars in backlogged projects.

He contends the Crosstown could be redecked for less than $50 million, and that it could be done without unnecessarily disrupting the rail yard at Union Station, which he envisions as the ideal hub for a light rail system in the state.

``It amounts to robbery of future generations to stuff the pockets of the special interests, and it limits Oklahoma's transportation options for the for the foreseeable future,'' Elmore said.

Transportation officials say that the Union Station building will not be affected, but a cap will be placed on a tunnel linking passengers and freight to three platforms in the rail yard. In the event that Oklahoma City adds a light rail service, Bowman said those tunnels could be uncapped and used again.

However, he said Oklahoma City officials have indicated they prefer to use a different transit hub that is nearer to the Bricktown entertainment district and that transportation officials consider easier to connect with the airport area if necessary.

``One of the things we looked at was how that would impact rail service in the future,'' Bowman said.

Elmore says transportation officials didn't take the potential of Union Station into consideration when they were considering how to deal with the aging interstate.

``The power of this facility is that our existing corridors for this complex are so incredibly good that it could literally vault us to the leading edge of the modern transportation competition in the West within a few years,'' Elmore said. ``Without it, we're starting from ground zero. We've got nothing to start with.''

Garl Latham, principal of Dallas-based railroad consulting firm Latham Railway Services, said Union Station is in a unique position for Oklahoma City because all rail lines were routed to serve it.

Railroad lines from the station connect to Will Rogers World Airport and to the Mustang and Tuttle areas that were among the fastest growing in recent census data. Beyond that, the rail lines run northeast to Tulsa, north to Edmond and Guthrie, east through Shawnee to the Arkansas border and west through Yukon to the Texas Panhandle.

``It shows such a total lack of vision ...,'' Latham said of the Crosstown relocation. ``As little as 10 to 15 years down the road, people in Oklahoma City will be kicking themselves.''

One thing Elmore does not dispute is the belief that moving the interstate would lead to economic development south of the current downtown area. But he said adding light rail service _ as cities including Dallas and Denver did using their Union Stations as hubs _ would help alleviate parking and traffic problems.

``Here's the key reason that this moment in time is so important,'' Elmore said. ``We are now surrounded by Western cities with highly successful transit. They've been tested, tried and people love them so much that people consistently fund them with new bond initiatives and other funding.

``They wouldn't do that if they didn't want them.''

Oklahoma City's downtown area has already been revitalized once. The passage of MAPS, a $238 million tax increase, helped turn an abandoned warehouse district into the now-bustling Bricktown area.

Frank Sims, executive director of the Bricktown Association, said moving the Crosstown could lead to another revitalization _ in part because of a new six-lane boulevard that will be built at ground level where Interstate 40 currently runs. Transportation officials envision the boulevard providing easier, safer access to the downtown area.

``We believe it's going to be a real boon to the area,'' Sims said.

Williams, the chamber director, said Oklahoma City residents may know their way around the city, but visitors struggle to know where to exit from the elevated highway to get where they want to go.

``It will make downtown much easier and simple,'' Williams said. ``When you have a high-rise interstate, you see it down there, but you don't know how to get there.''







_____________________________________________________________


By Bryan Dean
The Oklahoman

Transit officials hope more people will be tempted to ride the bus as gas prices skyrocket.


The combination of record gas prices and free fares on ozone alert days has spiked ridership on Metro Transit buses, spokeswoman Amy Ford said.

Ford said the increased attention is a mixed blessing.

"With gas prices going up, it affects Metro Transit as well, because we pay the same gas prices as everyone else," Ford said. "We have gotten a lot of inquiries from first-time riders."

Metro Transit also coordinates car pool efforts, matching people for car pools and working with employers to start car pool programs.

Ford said those interested in riding the bus for the first time can call Metro Transit for route information. Transit staff can even put an itinerary together to get first-time riders to their destinations as quickly as possible.

Gas prices are also fueling interest in light rail. Civic leaders have been talking about light rail for years, and it is part of an ongoing $1 million study looking at the area's long-term transportation needs.

Ford said attendance at public meetings discussing the plan has grown as the summer wears on and gas prices continue to rise.

Dean Schirf, vice of government relations for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has been considering light rail for about three years.

"I've been saying for a long time that the best chance for light rail in our community is probably $4 per gallon gasoline," Schirf said. "Gas prices weren't really an overriding factor when we got involved in it."

Schirf said the study has already shown that there are corridors in the area where a "fixed guideway" system might be needed. "Fixed guideways" could mean light rail, high occupancy vehicle lanes or other modes of mass transit.

"There is a segment of our leadership that feels like light rail should be very seriously looked at because we are a growing city," Schirf said. "I don't think what's happening out there with fuel prices is going to hurt this study."



_____________________________________________________________


Skyline snapshot updated!

http://www.downtownokc.com/pdfs/skyl...arter_2005.pdf
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Old September 11th, 2005, 03:09 AM   #4
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I heard from a source inside the city that someone is planning to build a 5-story mixed use low rise building in the same site that McDermid's cronies at TAP were going to build The Factory, a 15-story high rise which fell through the cracks. OCURA didn't like the modern architecture that may have been discordant in the historic district.

For those that don't know, the building will be built off of Sheridan Avenue, just east of the new movieplex in Bricktown.
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Old September 11th, 2005, 04:11 AM   #5
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by Ted Streuli
The Journal Record
9/3/2004


General consensus among those involved in downtown Oklahoma City real estate is that Bricktown needs more places to shop. It's going to get some.
Midwest City investors bought a two-story, 40,000-square-foot building at 401 E. California Ave. last week for $1.35 million. In it, they plan to create Bricktown Marketplace.

"Bricktown Marketplace is going to be retail shops, like a bazaar, with a couple of restaurants in the corners," said Al Sahil, a principal in the deal with Joey Chiaf, John Chiaf and Bob Dillon.

Sahil said the space would accommodate about 100 vendors and that it would be modeled after The Market at Quail Springs. And Bricktown needs retail, Sahil said.

"They need something for families to go in and shop," he said. "Right now, you go, have something to eat, walk around for 20 minutes and you're done."

Frank Sims, executive director of the Bricktown Association, agreed.

"That's the one element that we're missing is multiple-retail establishments," Sims said. "We've got - on the canal right now - four retail stores that range from American Indian artwork and jewelry to T-shirts. Clearly, I believe there's a real opportunity with the volume of people that come through Bricktown every day for retail to succeed."

Brenda Workman, who specializes in the mid-city area for the chamber, said a retail center at that address would benefit from shoppers patronizing Bass Pro Shops across the street, the area's largest retail drawing card.

"We need more retail down there," Workman said. "It fits in with our economic development goals and it would provide an alternative retail experience that could draw people to the area and provide more to do. We want to diversify our central city economy and it would fit, especially right across the street from Bass Pro."

Sahil said his group got a good deal on the building at $67.50 per square foot based on the structure's footprint, but the company plans to spend about $2 million for renovations.

"It's one of the last buildings that was available," said Sahil. "We did very good on the building. I'm surprised that building didn't sell earlier."

Workman said that Bricktown property values have increased 235 percent since 1999. By comparison to other recent sales, Sahil's group bought well. The building at 108 E. California Ave. - on the canal - sold for $104.76 per square foot recently, while three buildings in the 300 block of E. Sheridan sold for $76.92, $69.23 and $86 per square foot.

The E. California Avenue property will be the third Bricktown renovation project for Sahil and his partners and is expected to be ready to occupy in April.

"I envision that to be a higher-end marketplace," said Sims. "The people coming through here aren't looking for garage sale items. To be successful they'll have to have a quality product."

________________________________________________



OKLAHOMA CITY -- Walgreens has signed a 10-year lease for office space in the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park and will add about 300 jobs to the community, officials said Tuesday.

Michael D. Anderson, of the foundation, said those at the health complex look at the addition as a victory.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for a lot of people," Anderson said. "It's really good news. Our present space is 90 percent-plus occupied. Walgreens will put us over 1,000 employees."

A move-in date has not been decided, Anderson said.

Walgreens will use the facility as a clinical care center and will service patients in various health plans administered by Walgreens Health Services. Staff will include pharmacists, nurses and certified pharmacy technicians.

Construction or opening dates have not been decided, but the project's construction costs are expected to be about $3 million.

"Walgreens will be a 24-7 operation with analysis and consulting," Anderson said. "It's a nice addition and we welcome them wholeheartedly. The per annum income in (the research park) will be $55,000-$60,000, that's more than double the state average and is significant for the city."

Tom Fields of Price Edwards & Co. handled the lease. He indicated Oklahoma City was chosen over other cities, including Kansas City, "largely due to the attractive campus-like setting and quality building the Research Park had to offer."

Anderson said the foundation is in the process of a build-out on two and one-quarter floors of Building 4 at 755 Research Parkway, which is largest in the research park.

Jerry Shottenkirk reports on retail, health care, energy and law. You may reach him by phone at 278-2838 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Copyright 2005, The Journal Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


http://www.kfor.com/Global/story.asp...0&nav=6uy6BEkG


________________________________________________________


Chamber unveils bioscience sector growth plan
by Jerry Shottenkirk
The Journal Record
9/9/2005

There's plenty of the bioscience world to go around, and Oklahoma City is prepared to get a large chunk of the action.
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on Thursday unveiled its strategic 10-year plan to expand the area's bioscience sector. The Chamber hired Battelle Technology Partnership Practice of Cleveland - a research and development company - for a nine-month study of the city's current status and future in the bioscience field.

If successful, the plan would add more than 7,000 jobs and 90 businesses to the landscape.

Battelle research indicated that 99 percent of the state's bioscience research and development is between Stillwater and Ardmore.

Walter Plosila, vice- of Battelle, said the plan outlined four strategies and 14 actions, including six critical actions.

"It's based upon where you are now as a region, where you need to go and what's missing that needs to be addressed," Plosila said. "Basically the region has a strong base of industry already, primarily around the hospitals and private laboratories and then an additional base of companies and people in different segments like devices, research and testing, and other industry segments.

"If you want to play in the bioscience arena, you got to have a strong research base, it's a prerequisite in bioscience," he said.

Plosila said 41 of the 50 states are attempting to expand bioscience business.

Oklahoma City has the hospitals and educational sites, but lacks a critical mass of companies.

"You have to do more on the non-hospital side," he said. "You have to do all simultaneously."

He said the base of bioscience in Oklahoma City includes the Presbyterian Health Foundation and the OU Health Sciences Center, as well as various businesses in the immediate area.

"Oklahoma is respectable and isn't starting from scratch," Plosila said. "This is a marathon, not a sprint."

Robin Roberts, the Chamber's vice of economic development, said Oklahoma is ahead of other states in many areas but is behind in investment money.

Oklahoma City has worked with five times less money than St. Louis and three or four times less than Birmingham, Ala., Plosila said.

"Compared to those, Oklahoma City is way behind in research funding," he said.

Plosila said bioscience has many different areas, and it's up to Oklahoma City and the state to carve its niche and translate it to business.

Roberts said the Chamber is interested in research and the potential for commercialization.

Josh O'Brien, the Chamber's manager of biosciences public relations and image development, hinted that the time to expand is now.

"There was a time when people were telling Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, 'Why are you bothering? There's IBM,'" O'Brien said. "And they were working out of the garage. The good news for us is that we're not working out of a garage. We have strengths and areas of growth that will lead to an even brighter future."

In addition to Battelle, the Chamber worked with a steering committee of more than 20 area leaders in the bioscience field.

It's in the community's best economic interest to attain its bioscience goals, Chamber officials agreed. They said bioscience jobs typically pay about $15,000 more than the average annual wage.

The plan pinpointed the needs: build the research and development base while spurring the commercialization of bioscience work; attract bioscience talent to the region; have a critical mass of companies by creating an economically sound environment and build a bioscience image and market the region, mainly with a brand.

Roberts said the Chamber would like to have a brand in place before next year's Bio conference.

Battelle and the committee also recommended the formation of an Oklahoma Bioscience Collaborative, the funding of the proposed $1 billion Economic Development Generating Excellent research endowment, the creation of an Oklahoma Bioscience Opportunity Fund, Technology Development Fund and a bioscience early-stage seed fund.


Jerry Shottenkirk reports on retail, health care, energy and law. You may reach him by phone at 278-2838 or by e-mail at [email protected].

http://journalrecord.com/viewstory.c...6990&page=news


___________________________________________________________


Oklahoma City University offers free tuition to Katrina victims enrolled in Gulf-area institutions
Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2005
Oklahoma City University Tom McDaniel announced today the university will offer free tuition to any student enrolled at a college or university affected by Hurricane Katrina.

This includes but is not limited to students who, prior to the hurricane, were enrolled at Dillard University, Loyola University, Our Lady of Holy

Cross College, Southern University, Tulane University, the University of New Orleans and Xavier University - all located in New Orleans.

As well, students enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., also are being offered free tuition at OCU.

"We are opening our hearts and our university to these students," McDaniel said. "Although we can not replace lost lives or undo damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, the OCU community is eager to help. In fact, it is part of the mission of our university. We don't want this natural disaster to be a road block in these students' educational path."

The one semester of free tuition applies to undergraduate, graduate and law programs, he said.

As well, the university has extended its enrollment period by one week, to Sept. 9, to allow the New Orleans and Hattiesburg students to enroll at OCU if they wish to do so.

As a further gesture of generosity, university alumni and trustee members are being asked to open their homes to the needy students, as well.

About 3,700 students attend OCU, which offers programs in dance,

nursing, music, business, religion and arts and science. One semester of undergraduate tuition is valued at about $8,500, McDaniel said.


http://okcbusiness.com/news/news_view.asp?newsid=5787


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Hundreds more news to be posted.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 04:53 PM   #6
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1. Land Run Memorial
2. Spring Creek Plaza
3. Bricktown Marketplace
4. Block 42
5. Legacy Summit at Arts Central
6. The Skirvin
7. Residence Inn
8. Crosstown Expressway
9. 222 East Main
10. Hampton Inn
11. Bricktown Police Substation
12. Bricktown Ballpark Centennial Clock
13. Kerr-Mcgee Centennial Trails and Bell Tower
14. Oklahoma Centennial Mosaic
15. Warren Spahn statue
16. Colcord Hotel
17. Concourse Renovation
18. Energy Communications Center
19. 5th Street and Main Street streetscape
20. Founders Plaza at Stiles Park
21. Galleria Parking Garage
22. The Hill
23. Bricktown IHOP
24. 914/920 Broadway
25. North Walker and 10th Streetscape
26. St. Anthony's campus renovations
27. American Indian Cultural Center
28. Spirit of the Buffalo Corral
29. The Classen
30. Gold Dome

Edit: These are all Downtown projects.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 02:56 AM   #7
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The main development in OKC at this point in time is that the NBA Hornets are coming to town. Oddly enough, this is the same team we had in 1996.

In the 90s OKC had a CBA team called the Oklahoma City Cavaliers. OKC actually won the CBA championship the year it folded due to lacking attendance in OKC, and the entire CBA league. Then, many of the players regrouped and moved to Charlotte, and baceame the Charlotte Hornets. The team then moved to New Orleans, and now they're back here.

Welcome back, Cavaliers!
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Old October 13th, 2005, 01:38 AM   #8
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A growing high-tech company is making the move from Edmond to downtown.

"EDMOND, Okla. -- A growing high-technology company plans to move its headquarters from Edmond to Bricktown. Amcat, a provider of call center technology products, has leased 10,000 square feet in the Sonic Building and plans to occupy the space in early 2006, said Dudley Larus, vice president global marketing."

http://kfor.com/Global/story.asp?S=3...nav=menu99_1_2


They will share primo "canal-side" office space alongside Sonic Drive-In.
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Old October 13th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #9
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Midtown OKC, the neighborhood immediately NW of downtown, is appearing to be a future hot spot, as urban properties are going on the market, and interest is there. Several abandoned mid-rise and high-rise buildings are under speculation... re-development is coming this way.



"Remaking Midtown: Projects invigorate long-depressed area
by Brandice J. O'Brien
The Journal Record
9/30/2005

The once neglected, boarded-up and dilapidated Midtown area is starting to become a trendy, chic, mixed-use district fitting snugly between Western Avenue and Bricktown.
Encircling St. Anthony Hospital, Bone & Joint Hospital and McBride Clinic, the community could become the city's next medical row.

St. Anthony's is in the midst of an extensive renovation. When the 10-year, $220 million project that will improve the grounds and its facilities is complete in 2014, the new campus will be bordered by NW 11th Street to the north, NW Eighth Street to the south, N. Walker Avenue to the east and N. Shartel Avenue to the west.

The remaining area extends to the Kaiser Ice Cream building at N. 10th Street and Walker Avenue and the Plaza Court building across the street.

Part of the city's process is to study the best use of the land. A medical corridor would be natural with St. Anthony's and the OU Medical Center right there, said Dave Lopez, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc.

Within the last year Rudy Construction, appointed by the Oklahoma City Council, added a traffic circle at the intersection of Kaiser's and Plaza Court at NW 10th Street, N. Walker Avenue and N. Classen Boulevard.

The project was estimated at $1.4 million and cost closer to $1.7 million, said Doug Walker, vice president of Rudy Construction.

The project also included new landscaping, curb and gutter work, pavement resurfacing and sidewalks. Several streets including NW 10th between Classen and Broadway Avenue, Classen between NW 10th and NW 13 streets and Walker from Robert S. Kerr Avenue to NW 13th also received improvements.

Construction began last September and is expected to be finished in two weeks.

"I think it will promote new business coming in and enhance property values," Walker said.

While many area business owners agree, the beautification process took a toll on several companies and buildings.

The Grateful Bean Café, which is in the Kaiser building at 1039 N. Walker, closed during construction. The café is expected to reopen Oct. 27.

The day the windows started rattling from construction on the traffic circle, the café closed its doors, said Pete Schaffer, coordinator for the café who acts as executive director.

"(The corridor) is going to be successful. It's been quite some time since the area did well economically," Schaffer said. "There will be an influx of office, restaurants and retail stores."

Scott Smith, general partner of Corsair Caughron LLC, which owns the Plaza Court building, agreed.

In the past six months since acquiring the 39,000-square-foot building, Smith is ready to sign tenants to the vacant property.

Upstairs, Smith said he hopes to find lawyers to occupy the office space and downstairs he'd like to see retailers including coffee chains and restaurants move in.

Within the first week of October, Smith intends to sign a lease with a regional restaurant. Rent is approximately $12 per square foot.

"It's an interesting area," said Greg Banta, chairman and CEO of the Banta Cos., which owns about 20 properties in the area. Rents range between $12 and $20 per square foot. "Six years ago it was depressed. It's making a huge comeback. It's downtown but you don't have to pay for parking; you can pull up at your door and go to work.""
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Old October 14th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #10
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these are cool developments. So when is this Underground OKC supposed to open any websites with info?

I wonder how long it will take I-40 to be finished.....
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Old October 14th, 2005, 12:59 AM   #11
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The Crosstown Expressway might be finished by 2010.

I have no idea on the Concourse. Ask some people on an Oklahoma forum.

You can also go see at downtownokc.com and at the top is a link for their quarterly downtown snapshot. It will tell you.
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Old October 14th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #12
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thanks!
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Old October 14th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #13
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Great lookin stuff here!
This is a good development thread.

QUESTION, I don't really know much at all about the underground and all that, but, wouldn't reopening it kinda hurt downtown pedestrian traffic? Are there restaurants or shops down there? It just seems like those would be better if moved to the streets.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 10:36 PM   #14
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excess post sorry!
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Old October 17th, 2005, 11:00 PM   #15
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I think it's a good development thread, but it sure isn't all that active or even prominant. I think if it got pinned it would be much more active, and if it got much more active it would get pinned... LOL.

I don't really know about the Concourse hurting or helping downtown, and I never really thought about that. It's an interesting argument. On one hand you could say it opens up more prime real estate in downtown, it adds to downtown, and makes it easier to get around in downtown. On the other hand, you could say it takes pedestrian traffic away from downtown.

I don't really know the answer to that. I know that the city has been lightly considering doing another mini MAPS project, and get free WiFi and light rail in downtown OKC.

There is also some more news to report.

First, coming in from Norman:

The new "Oklahoma Technology Corridor" is getting a major boost in recent days from several announced projects to build labs, research facilities, and OU's decision to move it's biology program from the main mall in it's campus to the edge of it's campus, to be in the middle of the new tech corridor along Highway 9, from Blanchard to Lake Thunderbird.

Software Development Technologies Corp. is moving most of its operations from San Jose. They are leasing space in the former Saxon Publishing Co. headquarters building for $4.2 million. They plan to lease 5,000 square feet initially, and eventually lease 25,000 square feet.

The move is part of a trend in Norman, and across America. High tech companies are rethinking location, and deciding there is no reason to be on the coast, and that college towns in the Heartland are a much better solution because you can find a highly educated workforce, and have lower operating costs due to the lower cost of living. Living quality is also higher in the Heartland due to higher purchasing parity and lower costs of living.

The company said what drew them to Norman specifically was OU's impressive computer programming and information processing departments, as well as Moore-Norman Technology Center's focus on computer programming.

The former Saxon Publishing Co. headquarters was bought for $4.2 million dollars. It's expected to change names to One Corporate Center, and other high tech tenants are interested in its remaining 66,000 square feet.

______________________________________________________________


And of course there is more news about the Skirvin renovation. Just click here for the KFOR/Journal Record story. I don't feel like paraphrasing it.

Basically last Thursday was the construction commencement ceremony. I say just get on with it, stop posing for pictures and photo ops. The city has more important issues than PR, but then again I don't blame them for capitalizing on this to make the redevelopment process look friendly. Although, I think anybody interested can tell that.

On Urban OK we have a Skirvin news thread that we pinned in the OKC subforum.

___________________________________________________________

Also: Two five-story buildings are expected to break ground in Bricktown this month. Very important month in Bricktown.


This is a new condo development, right off of the Bricktown Canal, as seen in the foreground. 5 stories, and I think that the first two will be mostly retail space.

The second is a new Residence Inn by downtown hotel developer Randy Hogan. It was supposed to be a Embassy Suites, but since he couldn't buy the extra land needed (someone else is building another mid-rise) he downgraded his plans. When I heard it would be a Residence Inn I panicked; thought it would be the boring, suburban style, shopping mall-compliment that I drive by every day to and from work. But from the renderings I've seen of this project on News 9 it looks wonderful. Like it belongs in B'town.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 03:03 AM   #16
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Hooray! We got pinned. Congrats to all who have been interested in this thread from it's start.


edit: I'll edit this. I don't like double posting.

So the condos I announced in the above post will have 30 units, from 1,000 sq. ft to 1,200. I'm guessing they are upscale... canal and all.

I found a rendering of the Residence Inn. I hate it. It's extremely ugly, but here goes. They must have showed something differant on News 9, but here's what it will really look like.

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Old October 18th, 2005, 03:18 AM   #17
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Yay! Celebration! hah
These developments in Bricktown look great. I really haven't seen much of Bricktown before. I'd love to see some shots. And whats this about a canal?
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Old October 18th, 2005, 03:32 AM   #18
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Here's a quick photo thread, just to make sure we're all on the same page.


View from west on I 40.


From Bricktown.


From Myriad Gardens.


Skirvin Hotel and Chase Bank Tower.


Bricktown.


More B'town.


The Bricktown Canal.


More canal.


More canal.


More canal.


The canal turns in front of the SBC Bricktown Ballpark.


More canal.

Yes, there are canals in downtown OKC.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 04:38 AM   #19
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Grand! hah I have never seen the canal before. I have only been to DT OKC a handful of times and I guess I just never noticed or went near enough to it.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 03:53 PM   #20
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Nice set of pics SRG. Looks like OKC is doing OK!
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