Sunday, March 11, 2012

North OKC Urban Development Run-down


North OKC Run-down: User Guide
I hope that many of you, for a long time to come, will find my North OKC Urban Development Run-down to be a very valuable resource. It is my goal that this will be a resource reflecting not just the Spring of 2012, but evolving over time to chronicle the ever-growing scope of urban development spreading across North OKC.

First-up is an article that, while it will probably get outdated fairly quickly, will stand the test of time to offer future insights on the outlook from the Spring of 2012. Ideally, here I will offer my commentary on what each of these individual projects mean for the overall picture.

Toward the bottom of this post (I guess more like an iceberg) will be the actual urban development run-down, the bulk of this post. You will see the projects chronicled in the following order, with projects announced after this post's completion listed last. Referring to a project's number will save time by allowing you to scroll down to view a specific project.

1. Building One, CHK
2. Building 14, CHK
3. Building 15, CHK
4. Building 16, CHK
5. Building 17, CHK
6. Central Plant, CHK
7. Car Park 3, CHK
8. Car Park 4, CHK
9. Daycare facility, CHK
10. Classen Curve, CHK
11. Triangle at Classen Curve, CHK
12. 18th Street Studios
13. 23rd Street Courts
14. Big Truck Taco's expansion and Aviano's Gelato
15. Seven at Crown Heights
16. Crown Heights Flower Shop
17. Golden Phoenix strip redevelopment
18. Guyute's
19. Lincoln Plaza redevelopment
20. Four, a Modern Micro Community
21. Prado Verde
22. Oklahoma Employees Credit Union Building
23. Old Surety Life Insurance Building
24. Paseo Plunge redevelopment
25. Sun Moon Plaza
26. Tucker's Onion Burgers
27. Tower Theater redevelopment
28. Grandad's Bar
29. Mutt's Amazing Hotdogs
30. Blackwelder Apartments
31. Plaza office development
32. CHK - Building 18
33. Urban WineWorks
34. Innovative Spaces
35. Plaza District public art
36. Uptown office renovation
37. Saint's Irish Bar
38. Dave & Buster's
39. Chesapeake On-Cue
40. I-44/Broadway Extension interchange

Chesapeake energizes North OKC development
Needless to say, urban development in OKC does not just occur downtown. In fact now, there is almost just as much development emphasis on the near-north areas just beyond Mid-town, especially if you stretch the boundary of this development region all the way north to the Chesapeake Energy HQ campus around NW 63rd and Western.

Regarding Chesapeake Energy (CHK), here it is key to mention two things: First of all, for the informative purposes of this listing, Chesapeake does not normally release financial specifics regarding the activities of the Chesapeake Land Development Corporation, and secondly for the overview purposes of this listing; Chesapeake has a habit of hold its cards very close, and does not release planning or design specifics until steel is flying. All of their work has raised the bar on what could be considered the "utmost echelon of design quality," however, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what they are doing at times and specifically, what the overall plan is.

This said, there are a number of individuals who have spoken up who have a pretty good idea by theoretically piecing together two separate hubs, a mixed-use retail and residential nexus on the West side of Western Avenue, and a rapidly-expanding corporate campus between Western and the BNSF tracks. On the corporate campus, Shartel serves as a backbone which also provides further separation between the Georgian-styled older core of CHK headquarters and the strikingly modern add-on, with buildings that are several times the size of the original Georgian prototype. It has also been said that this area across Shartel has been architect Rand Elliot's pay-off project (Rand is known for a strikingly modern style, which contrasted markedly from the conservative appearance of the Georgian-styled core.)

So while the mixed-use Classen Curve area appears to be shaping up alongside the corporate campus, there still remains a great amount of mystery surrounding their plans for the historic Nichols Hills Plaza (there are well-substantiated rumors of major redevelopment in the works), along with other properties in Nichols Hills city limits (across 63rd), as well as properties up against I-44 and further south down Western Avenue. This development rundown is intended primarily to allow readers to understand concepts and trends in north side development, and less fixated on individual developments. In this regard, CHK is acting in a major way to rework this mid-north cross-section of OKC into a major "uptown" district ala Atlanta's Buckhead, Houston's Galleria, Kansas City's Plaza, and so forth.

But the CHK empire does not develop in a vacuum. There is absolutely no-doubt that many strikingly modern multi-family developments that are popping up along Western Avenue, on both sides of I-44, are either in direct or indirect response to the actions of CHK, which appears to be elevating the character of north side development as a whole, just as their enormous market share of the North OKC office sector has also artificially buoyed office rents all across North OKC.

We're all seeing a continued renaissance in terms of new, revitalized areas emerging. The Plaza District along a revitalized portion of NW 16th has weathered its first round of business turnover (just a few businesses either took off and moved downtown or went out of business), which is an outstanding thing because new businesses showed up in their place and it shows that the district's momentum is based on the overall continuity of theme established--the diverse offerings. It has also allowed some businesses to get more entrenched, acting as district anchors. The Plaza District Festival has been a huge hit, drawing crowds of several thousands, and each LIVE at the Plaza (second Friday each month) has brought large festival-like crowds and an almost cult-like following of people who seek out the diverse and off-beat flavor of this district. Now it is becoming an active mixed-use district, complete with its own apartment project.

The Strubles, who have pioneered redevelopment in this district, have also continued mass redevelopment of historic single family homes in the surrounding Gatewood and Classen-Ten-Penn neighborhoods. Classen-Ten-Penn has also, remarkably, shown signs of progress, adding decorative neighborhood entry signs, and some spotty creatively-themed redevelopment along its east boundary (Western Avenue). Adding to the emergence of off-the-beaten-path OKC, redevelopment momentum continued to build in pockets like The Paseo, the Asian District, the 39th Street Gay Enclave.

Here I will refer to the only other post I have ever completed on this magnitude, "A City of Neighborhoods," which was a pseudo-reconnaissance level survey I did myself of historic Inner North OKC. Admittedly, this post focused more on neighborhoods and less on commercial hubs, which will inevitably have to be a sequel in order for the subject to be fully explored.

Two more key commercial hubs that I want to mention are Western Avenue and the 23rd Street Uptown corridor. It is hard to see which is becoming more vital, but while Western will retain its charming and undeniable appeal as a "small chic village surrounded by a big city," 23rd Street seeks to become a major urban thoroughfare ala Wilshire Boulevard, LA. I think the West LA comparison is especially valid as we are talking about the evolution of fairly similar historic commercial strips, turn of the century and mid-century architecture.

If I were asked 5 years ago to close my mind and make the most radical possible predictions about Western Avenue and 23rd Street, I feel like I would have hit the nail on the head. Supposedly, the city is in the final design stages of what will be a Western Avenue streetscape, funded by G.O. bonds. This is a streetscape that is truly years in the making, I guess no rush, right? We're also going to see the city build on the 23rd Street streetscape. A curb cut and mid-block pedestrian crossing, which was a sticking point between the City and Tower Theater redevelopers and will certainly be an oddity in OKC, will soon link Tower Theater patrons to parking across 23rd.

The Tower Theater redevelopment, which finally certainly appears serious, is going forward with tenants named and signed. The Deep Fork Group will operate a restaurant in the front of the building, the theater will operate separately as a community events center (with hopes to establish itself as a music hall), and redeveloper Marty Dillon's party supplies business will occupy the upstairs space. In a similar manner, things are coming together for several more buildings all up and down 23rd. West of Classen, 23rd has the potential to evolve as a college strip ala Campus Corner in Norman.

Crown Heights and other historic neighborhoods have also shown signs of change. The most radical change has been the development of a few historically-sensitive modern housing developments in the middle of historic environments, such as the 18th Street Studios in front of Classen School of Advanced Studies, and Seven at Crown Heights, which is a redevelopment of the historic (and previously dilapidated) Art-Deco 4-plex behind the old Bruno's Home Furnishings. In very different context (the previous examples have been much more sensitive and subtle projects, a trend that we hope will prevail just as we hope infill continues to be successful), we are also witnessing the absolute decimation of the old Meadowbrook Acres neighborhood, with the advent of Classen Curve and adjoining modern infill. This is after significant neighborhood opposition to a large town-center development proposed behind Crown Heights (along the Broadway Extension). It will be interesting to see if infill remains small and manageable or if larger, more impressive development projects are attempted.

This is a project that has been in the works for a long time, and I'm proud to say that I've finally compiled the appropriate information and categorized it with an almost-taxonomic system, allowing for quick and easy reference in a system that can be built on, as almost assuredly, more development will be announced, commenced, and completed.

North OKC Urban Development Run-down

1. Building One, CHK


Description: Main administrative offices for Chesapeake Energy's headquarters campus. Adjacent is also a recreational field, under which is an underground parking garage.
Location: Along Western right across from new Whole Foods.
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million dollar project
Size: Unknown

2. Building 14, CHK

Description: More office space for Chesapeake. Ultra-modern "paper clip" design.
Location: NW 62nd and Classen
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million project
Size: 285,000 square feet.
For more specific visual depictions, refer to Chesapeake masterplans shown below the Chesapeake developments.

3. Building 15, CHK


Description: Additional office space for Chesapeake. Ultra-modern "paper clip" design.
Location: NW 60th and Classen.
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million dollar project
Size: 308,000 square feet
For more specific visual depictions, refer to Chesapeake masterplans shown below the Chesapeake developments. Building 15

4. Building 16, CHK


Description: Additional office space for Chesapeake. Ultra-modern "paper clip" design.
Location: NW 59th and Shartel
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million project
Size: 285,000 square feet
For more specific visual depictions, refer to Chesapeake masterplans shown below the Chesapeake developments. Building 16

5. Building 17, CHK


Description: Additional office space for Chesapeake. Ultra-modern design.
Location: NW 57th and Classen
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million project
Size: 65,000 square feet
For more specific visual depictions, refer to Chesapeake masterplans shown below the Chesapeake developments. Building 17

6. Central Plant, CHK


Description: Facility for Chesapeake buildings management crew.
Location: NW 61st and Lee
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million project
Size: 62,700 square feet

7. Car Park 3, CHK
Description: Medium-priority parking garage facility.
Location: NW 62nd and Shartel
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million dollar project
Size: 1,273 spaces

8. Car Park 4, CHK
Description: Lower-priority parking garage facility.
Location: NW 59th and Shartel
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million dollar project
Size: 1,393 spaces

9. Childcare facility, CHK


Description: On-campus child care services for Chesapeake employees.
Location: NW 60th and Shartel, adjacent to planned pedestrian plaza.
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million dollar project
Size: Unknown

Chesapeake Corporate Campus development overview




Note the evolution and differences in different masterplans (last one is oldest, paper document is latest). Also note proposed roundabouts at NW 59th/Classen and NW 59th/Shartel.

10. Classen Curve, CHK





Description: High-end retail adding mixed-use component to the Chesapeake Energy Campus. Many high-profile tenants such as Balliet's, Republic Gastropub, BD Home, Uptown Kids, Cafe 501, Black Optical, Carwin's Shave Shop, Barre 3, Matthew Kenney, Red Coyote, On a Whim, Upper-Crust Wood Fired Pizza, Steven Giles, and Winter House Interiors.
Location: Classen Boulevard west and south of intersection at Grand Boulevard and Western Avenue.
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million dollar project
Size: 80,000 square feet original development, plus expansion currently underway

11. Triangle at Classen Curve, CHK



Description: Extension of Chesapeake's retail area. This area is anchored by Whole Foods and Anthropologie, and it is also rumored that a bank will also open.
Location: NW Grand Boulevard and Classen Boulevard between 63rd Street and Western Avenue.
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown, multi-million dollar project (also rumored incentives for Whole Foods)
Size: 60,000 square feet total, with 40,000 square feet for Whole Foods.

Chesapeake retail area masterplan:



12 18th Street Studios, Gatewood




Description: Modular-styled development designed by Brian Fitzsimmons.
Location: NW 18th between Classen Boulevard and Ellison Avenue (directly in front of Classen SAS)
Developer: David Bardwell
Cost: $1.25 million
Size: 3 levels, 17,000 square feet, 12 loft units in new building, 8 units in historic rowhome (the only one preserved from fire that ravaged this block)

13 23rd Street Courts, Uptown 23rd Street




Description: A charming row of vintage 1930s cottage homes that architect Brian Fitzsimmons has repurposed into a vibrant retail development including popular tenants Cuppies & Joe, Bubba's BBQ, and wild.flower.
Location: 23rd Street between Lee Avenue and Shartel Avenue, with an opening acting as a breezeway and parking ingress/egress where Guernsey Avenue (really an alley) cuts through the block.
Developer: Mike Tharasena
Cost: $5 million
Size: 8 buildings, 20,000 square feet

14 Big Truck Taco's expansion and Aviano's Gelato, Uptown 23rd Street


Description: Wildly-popular Big Truck Tacos is expanding, and moving its kitchen into this building adjacent to their current location. The owners are also adding a gelato shop in the rest of the building.
Location: 530 NW 23rd Street
Developer: Big Truck Taco owners Lower, Johnson, Mathis
Cost: $200,000
Size: 2,000 square feet

15 SEVEN at Crown Heights, Crown Heights





Description: A historic Art Deco 4-plex is being renovated by Norman developer Brent Swift, and a modern (but historically sensitive) addition is being added.
Location: NW 37th Street and Ollie Avenue
Developer: Brent Swift
Cost: Unknown
Size: 7 units

16 Crown Heights Flower Shop, Central Park


Description: A gas station near NW 36th and Western Avenue is being renovated into a flower shop, which will be a great project for the neighborhood, removing an old eyesore.
Location: Western Avenue and Eubanks Avenue.
Developer: Owner-occupied
Cost: Unknown
Size: Unknown

17 Golden Phoenix Center renovation, Asian District


Description: This newly-completed Asian District retail strip was recently totaled in a fire. The building is going through extensive repairs and a new facade will be added onto the building, bringing the building slightly closer to the street, which may eliminate the angled parking setback along Classen.
Location: NW 27th and Classen Boulevard
Developer: Golden Phoenix owners
Cost: Unknown
Size: Unknown

18 Guyute's, Uptown 23rd Street



Description: Before and after depictions above. While it is unknown what Guyute's is, it has been said that this will be a significant renovation to a building that is currently an eyesore.
Location: NW 23rd and Shartel (south side of 23rd)
Developer: Unknown
Cost: Unknown
Size: Unknown

19 Lincoln Plaza hotel/apartment restoration, Lincoln Renaissance



Description: Richard Tanenbaum is retaining architect Rand Elliott to restore this faded mid-century modern OKC landmark. So far he has come up with two different visions, one involving bringing a hotel chain in on site, the other involving turning it into student housing and office space.
Location: NE 43rd and Lincoln Boulevard
Developer: Richard Tanenbaum
Cost: TBA
Size: 316-room hotel and 70,000 square feet of office space

20 Four, a Modern Micro Community, Meadowbrook Acres



Description: Modernist development has overtaken the mid-century Meadowbrook Acres.
Location: 1133 NW 56th Street
Developer: David Wanzer
Cost: Unknown
Size: 4 units + an undisclosed second phase

21 Prado Verde, Meadowbrook Acres


Description: Yet more modernist development overtaking the Meadowbrook Acres neighborhood, directly adjacent to CHK's new Classen Curve development.
Location: 1123/1125 NW 56th Street
Developer: Imran Rad
Cost: Unknown
Size: 6 units

22 Oklahoma Employee Credit Union, Lincoln Renaissance


Description: New office building for OECU just north of State Capitol complex.
Location: NE 30th and Lincoln Boulevard
Developer: OECU
Cost: $10.3 million
Size: 40,000 square feet of office space / 3 levels

23 Old Surety Life Building, Lincoln Renaissance


Description: Office tower with a ground-level cafe space fronting Lincoln, where there is no setback (parking is located in the back, to the north (toward a set of 6-story buildings that CHK recently acquired from Enogex, who is moving downtown).
Location: NE 50th and Lincoln Boulevard.
Developer: Old Surety Life Insurance Company.
Cost: $6 million
Size: 3 levels

24 Paseo Plunge restoration, Paseo Arts District


Description: The first public swimming pool in OKC is being redeveloped by veteran Paseo redeveloper John Belt. It will be a mixed-use space with a restaurant, featuring a balcony that overlooks Paseo Drive. Belt has mentioned this balcony may be used for live music to compliment the First Friday Gallery Walk event each month.
Location: NW 29th and Paseo Drive
Developer: John Belt
Cost: Unknown
Size: Unknown, 10,000 square feet?

25 Sun Moon Plaza, Asian District



Description: This proposal has been the source of some minor controversy as an example of urban design approval bait-and-switch (and many have criticized that the finished product, while distinct on its intersection, looks cheap and garrish.)
Location: NW 23rd and Western Avenue
Developer: Unknown
Cost: Unknown, probably not much
Size: 26,000 square feet

26 Tucker's Onion Burgers, Uptown 23rd Street


Description: A former eyesore, an abandoned Carl's Junior, is now an upscale burger joint owned by local restaurant group Good Egg Group (who also own Cheever's across the street). Tucker's specializes in having an exclusively Made-in-Oklahoma menu.
Location: NW 23rd Street and Hudson Avenue
Developer: Keith and Heather Paul
Cost: Unknown
Size: 1,400 square feet

27 Tower Theater restoration, Uptown 23rd Street



Description: The old theater space is being repurposed as a community events center, with the eventual goal of attracting live music regularly a la Cain's Ballroom. The gallery space in front has been accounted for by the Deep Fork Group, who will run a restaurant in the space. Redeveloper Marty Dillon will have his family's party supply store in the upstairs space above the Deep Fork restaurant.
Location: NW 23rd and Walker Avenue
Developer: Marty Dillon and others
Cost: $3 million
Size: 25,400 square feet

28 Grandad's Bar, Uptown 23rd Street


Description: A dark storefront is getting a facelift and becoming a neighborhood bar.
Location: 317 NW 23rd Street
Developer: Greg Seal
Cost: Unknown
Size: 2,800 square feet

29 Mutt's Amazing Hot-dogs, Uptown 23rd Street

Description: Another abandoned fast food joint/eyesore along the Uptown stretch of 23rd (right across from OCU) has been redeveloped into a critically-acclaimed eatery.
Location: 1400 NW 23rd Street, just a block down from OCU campus
Developer: Owner-occupied
Cost: $200,000
Size" 1,700 square feet

30 Blackwelder Apartments, Plaza District


Description: 2-story rundown apartment complex on the edge of the Plaza District is getting some TLC. One building will be office, one building will be studio apartments intended for artists. They will reclad the exterior in black-gray brick, similar to what is used in Classen Curve, aiming for a modernist aesthetic.
Location: NW 16th and Blackwelder.
Developer: Jeff Struble
Cost: Unknown
Size: Unknown

31 Plaza office conversion, Plaza District


Description: 2-story rundown apartment complex on the edge of the Plaza District is getting some TLC. One building will be office, one building will be studio apartments intended for artists. They will reclad the exterior in black-gray brick, similar to what is used in Classen Curve, aiming for a modernist aesthetic.
Location: NW 16th and Blackwelder.
Developer: Jeff Struble
Cost: Unknown
Size: Unknown

32 Building 18, CHK

Description: For graphic site depictions, see main Chesapeake section at the top of this listing.
Location: NW 63rd and Shartel, SW corner
Developer: CHK
Cost: Unknown
Size: 180,000 sf / 4 floors + basement.

33 Urban WineWorks, Plaza District


Description
Location
Developer
Cost
Size

34 Innovative Spaces, Plaza District


Description
Location
Developer
Cost
Size

35 Plaza District public art



36 Uptown office remodel, NW 23rd Uptown


37 Saint's Irish Bar, Plaza District



38 Dave & Buster's

39 Chesapeake On-Cue

40 I-44/Broadway interchange

6 comments:

Andrew Boatman said...

Beauty's Cafe
We are across the street from Beauty's Cafe on 11th and N. Western. It is a horrible building that is currently being occupied by squatters. What can I do as a citizen to get this building cleaned up and progress like the one's you feature in your article?

NR said...

Here you go:
http://www.okc.gov/action/index.html

John Sauler said...

It constantly amazes me that all this development and urban renewal continually focuses the areas north of I-40 and West of Easten Avenue. I live in Norman and work on the South side (89th & Penn) for reference here. All the other suburbs of the city are having their own resurgences respectively. They have all done a great job of revamping city ordinances to attract a newer set of development standards. But yet the South side of OKC seems to be left in the dark. Basic chain restaurants and bland architecture. P.B. Odom and family seem to be the only ones interested in bringing the South side up to date. Come to think of it Chatney Square at 104th & Penn. Is the best looking retail center of the South side. Not sure what it will take to bring those developers further South but I sure wish something would happen.

reclad northshore , said...

I can't understand why they have done that.It's beautifully planned I really impress your working and strategies.

Lee John said...

Wonderful and huge projects are worthy watching. Thanks for your valuable post. Here you can get some other information too: http://www.buildingandbeyond.co.nz/builder-northshore

reclad northshore said...

The projects in downtown are wonderful and the collection of pictures is too good.