Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Awesome hotel to go in Maywood Park

I am so glad to see someone with the cajones to do something. Here is to Jim Thompson, OSU arch grad who develops hotels and insists on designing every one of his own projects himself. Here is the article that Steve wrote, which will grace the business section of tomorrow's Oklahoman (been a while since the business section had GOOD news).

I recognize that major projects are happening, Devon, and the public initiatives. The resign that projects like this Aloft Hotel are SO VITAL is because this represents private buy-in. The ratio cities typically strive for in return on investment for public projects downtown is 5-1. I would argue that happened after MAPS 1 was finished but when we began the new wave of public investments the private investment did not keep up.

Infill is also vital for non economic reasons. It is important just because you want the building stock. A $750 million Devon Tower doesn't make a downtown nearly as much as $750 million in smaller infill projects spread out over a dozen blocks or so definitely could, and that's the truth. This adds vitality, it adds buildings that interact, it adds complimentary uses, it adds sense of place and definition of space over a broader area and not just in front of a landmark, and it adds architectural diversity. Just take a look yourself:

For more details, check out Steve's story in today's Oklahoman. You'll find out how expensive it will be, how tall it will be, how many rooms it will have, what use will occupy space on the street, what corner in Maywood Park it will be built on, where the project currently stands, how the project came about, and get some more background information on Jim Thompson who is new to the downtown area, but certainly not OKC development (with several NW Expressway projects). Congrats again to Jim Thompson, who is taking a risk and doing something in order to add this beautiful asset to our community. I am certain that Jim will be rewarded with success, it looks like a great project, and I certain we will be talking about him and his project for a while to come..considering that aside from Devon and other things that have been talked to death already, that's all that's goin on right now.

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