Friday, April 8, 2011

Full Circle?

Just wanted to keep my badgering of Full Circle fresh, but actually, wanted to say one last thing since I am about to finally change the poll.

What will happen to Full Circle? I see three options. Stay in 50 Penn. Move north (Classen Curve). Move south (inner city/downtown). Well, I suppose there are two other cardinal directions they could move, but I'll go ahead and claim ESP by saying I have secret information that Full Circle will not locate in offense to Bethany.

Who knows what they will do. They all seem to be an equal shot, meaning 1/3 likelihood of staying in 50 Penn, which is not very likely, and same for moving to Classen Curve, or moving downtown. There are reasons for each. But 50 Penn ownership was recently transferred to another out of state owner. More and more of the retail court is becoming vacant. All that's left in 50 Penn now is Full Circle and Belle Isle Brewery.

50 Penn is an otherwise strong property, fully-leased for the office tower. But its days as a retail destination are truly over, despite that Full Circle has invested a lot in the location which has truly become more charming as its aged. Is the charming bookstore vibe important to them? If so, obviously an old building downtown will be better for recreating that than a new Rand Elliott-designed building in Nichols Hills.

It makes sense to move. They're in a losing situation by sticking it out in 50 Penn. Moving could be an absolutely monumental opportunity if they chose downtown, specially, Midtown or A-Alley, some of the north-downtown neighborhoods with proximity to Heritage Hills. This is somewhere that Full Circle could really thrive, and also be a catalyst for a complimentary retail mix that was far more symbiotic than 50 Penn was even in its heyday.

So what will happen? Stay? Go? Go Classen, or go downtown? Who knows. I would really hope to see them go downtown. I just think that could really create a special bookstore. There are so many great old buildings that would be awesome for Full Circle. We talk so much about how badly we want downtown retail to happen and be locally-driven at the same time. Full Circle would be a proper anchor (read: not like Bass Pro) that downtown could grow up around. Moving downtown is a move that would provide for a long, and interesting future for Full Circle. Moving further north to the newest suburban thing?


Anonymous said...

I would love to see Full Circle build a store similar to to the Tattered Cover, Powell's, and Elliott Bay Books. These are legendary, landmark bookstores that have brought life the their cities. Full circle in Automobile Alley would add tremendously to OKC's quality of life.

Anonymous said...

how much is it worth keeping full circle on the north side?

OKC Herbivore said...

while I selfishly want Classen Curve (i could walk there-and since they have beer now-an alternative to Republic! which I like too).

But i think by far it works best downtown or in an older building in the core. I wouldn't be opposed to it being in something like the Plaza or Paseo, although Auto Alley or Deep Deuce would be best, obviously.

I friggin love Elliot Bay and Tattered Cover. The East Colfax TC in Denver, with a restaurant, indie film theater, and indie record store (and Jersey Mike's) all in the same block is one of the best blocks in the US.

Elliot Bay just recently moved from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill in Seattle. INterested to see the change in vibe and place (and maybe business) when my wife and I go back in May for a week.