Bordered by N.W. 12 and N.W. 13 streets, and
Walker and Dewey, the former home of Mercy Hospital is set for 250 apartments.
Brooks has not had an office in Downtown in nearly a decade, and admitted he
was unfamiliar with the area when his friend and fellow developer Mike
Henderson encouraged him to pursue the project.
The land is controlled by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal
Authority. Its commissioners considered proposals by developers including
Chuck Wiggin, who had a previous redevelopment agreement on the site, Richard
Tanenbaum and Marva Ellard.
“When names like Wiggin and Tanenbaum and Ellard are thrown
out, you knew it was going to be tough,” Brooks said.
In June 2011, Brooks’ Cornerstone Development was selected
to redevelop the site.
Cathy O’Connor, who oversees OCURA as president and CEO of the Alliance for
Economic Development of Oklahoma City, said it was a long, hard road to find
a developer for the site. The old hospital was torn down in 2002, and it had
since sat vacant.
“Projects don’t happen just because the urban renewal
authority wants them to,” she said. “This project happened because the city of
Oklahoma City recognized that this site was a blight upon the neighborhood, and
was creating a detrimental condition for this part of Downtown.”