Downtown dwellers

In trying to answer the question of why there’s such a demand for living space Downtown, he suggests that people younger than 40 think back to the TV shows they watched growing up.

The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Cheers – some of the most highly rated shows in the 1980s and 1990s were in urban settings where people lived close to where they worked and played.

Nearly three decades later – with a booming interest in apartment living Downtown – Brooks says the Oklahoma City market is in reruns.

“Supply will always meet demand,” Brooks says. “Nobody knows how deep that demand is.”

He figures demand will be pretty strong for a while. That’s one reason his 250-unit The Edge at Midtown project is slated to break ground later this fall, and why he’s partnering with broker Andy Burnett on another multifamily project.

RENT VS. BUY

Burnett agrees that when it comes to the whole renting-versus-buying argument, tradition is being thrown out the window. Since coming into the market with Sperry Van Ness in 2008, Burnett has brokered more than $340 million in commercial real estate transactions.

Specializing in the sale of multifamily and retail property in Oklahoma, Burnett co-brokered the sale of a $132 million luxury apartment portfolio in 2008, which set a state record for one of the largest per-unit prices ever achieved for apartments in the city.

“The rental market provides flexibility. You’re not tied down to a mortgage and a house that’s hard to sell,” Burnett says. “The echo boomers and the empty nesters are really driving the apartment demand today. Those people saw the real estate crash.”

PAYING THE RENT

“I’m an apartment developer, and I know Downtown is a great market, and people are actively seeking a high-quality urban lifestyle. And I like Midtown,” Brooks says. “I thought it was a good marketplace.”

Those are the reasons Brooks gives for continually going back to the same well.

He’s
partnering with Burnett on a Bricktown project that will build on the
site of the old Stewart Metal Fabricators building off of Sheridan.

Set on six acres, the project still is without a name. And for at least two years, it will be without a structure.

“Just
about every problem a site can have, this one has. But we feel that
[it] is a site that needs to be resolved,” Burnett says. “It’s sat like
that for too long. It’s too good of a location to stay Stewart Metal
building, and we think now is the time to fix it.”

Environmental issues needing remediation already have plagued the project, but they are resolvable, he says.

COMING ON LINE

The Stewart project is still at least 24 months, but other properties are coming on line while many begin to sell out.

The
228-unit Level Urban Apartments is finishing up in Deep Deuce, with
one-bedroom options renting for as much as $1,160, and two-bedroom units
for $1,520.

1212 at
1212 N. Walker was selling out by August. That same month, developer Ron
Bradshaw broke ground on the 139unit Maywood Apartments at N.E. Fourth
Street and Oklahoma Avenue.

“People
want to be in the middle of the action,” Burnett says. “We’ve had this
kind of suburbia lifestyle for the last 30 or 40 years in the U.S., but I
would say in the last six to eight years, it’s reversing where people
are no longer wanting the commute times and sitting through the
drive-thru lines. They want to live within walking distance from their
favorite restaurants, their favorite entertainment choices and their
work.”

And where everybody knows their name.

Related posts

*

*

Top