Friday, January 20, 2012

Stage Center complexities

I just wanted to tease what I have coming up on the Stage Center, but perhaps it is time for redevelopment of the Stage Center site. You guys know how staunchly I believe that the Stage Center is a great piece of OKC. I truly do hope to see it preserved, but even I can sometimes see the writing on the wall.

Do I want to box-in developers, by adamantly demanding that this block be preserved at the expense of more traditionally urban blocks (such as directly north) having to be demolished instead? That's not my goal in any way. I will just say that I am beginning to see a somewhat tit-for-tat situation in which one of these blocks is probably going to be redeveloped from the ground up. When given a choice between the Stage Center or the Preftakes block, I suppose ultimately I will come down on the side of 7-8 historic buildings rather than just one landmark.

A reality that I am beginning to understand is that OKC is indeed in store for potentially 2-5 new skyscrapers in the next 5-10 years, but all at least announced in the next 5. These are all actively being thrown out there. We know that SandRidge will build if they can sustain their growth, we know that there will be a voter-subsidized convention hotel (albeit these are not normally high-rises), we know that Continental will need to expand beyond the Mid-America Tower at some point, and we know that in 5 years, Devon will be back to square one. Throw in some rumors that I'm beginning to hear not just on OKC Talk, or documented by Lackmeyer, but from other sources as well, and we could be in store for some residential towers as well.

Also, certain players are definitely working in conjunction with other players. No doubt in my mind about that, and more on that later. But essentially, what we need to do is go back to ground one and re-plan out all of downtown, in a process similar to the first Core2Shore process. We need to figure out the best sites for these new skyscrapers, not just in terms of building up density strategically, but also skyline placing, building shading, and other issues that come into play here.

These are issues that are further eroding the credibility of the convention center site selection process, which is about to go down as the ultimate travesty in all of this if it turns out that they can actually afford the site (which is questionable at this point).

Look at all of the tags below this post and think of how these things could possibly be interrelated. Stay tuned...

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