Commercial conquests

New residential projects include the 1212 apartments in Midtown that quickly sold out last summer, and planned work on Judy Hatfield’s Carnegie Centre. Developer Ron Bradshaw broke ground on the $15 million, 139-unit Maywood Apartments at N.E. Fourth and Oklahoma.

The Hill, located at Russell M. Perry and N.E. Second in Deep Deuce, was approved for a second phase by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority.

Elsewhere Downtown, Oklahoma City University announced plans to move its law school to the old Central High School, and the Thunder’s Kevin Durant is planning his own restaurant in Lower Bricktown.

Here are a few of the commercial development highlights from 2012.

The Rise

On the northwest corner of N.W. 23rd and Walker, developer Johnathan Russell is working on a 40,000-square-foot building that has housed a hotel/motel liquidation store for years. He plans to turn it into a retail and restaurant building and call it The Rise.

Last year, Russell, president of Land Run Commercial Real Estate, began purchasing surrounding lots and properties with plans to create a retail destination. His company will handle leasing, and when renovations are complete in the coming months, he hopes to announce his tenants.

The Rise could open as early as spring.

Level

Richard McKown and architect Wade Scaramucci envisioned a hip, urban apartment complex in Deep Deuce. The 228-unit Level opened this summer and is fully leased. The $24 million project sits on 2.6 acres at N.E. Second and Walnut.

In October, the first Downtown, full-service grocery store opened in Level.

Matt Runkle and Sara Kaplan moved their Native Roots Market from Norman to ground-floor space in the building. The store features many organic and Made in Oklahoma items.

This year, McKown hopes to announce a restaurant tenant for the other ground-floor retail space along Second Street.

Aloft

Construction began in 2012 on a $21 million, 135-room Aloft in Deep Deuce on the southwest corner of N.E. Second and Walnut. As part of the chic W Hotels chain, Aloft hotels feature modern designs for the hip traveler.

Developer James Thompson says the brand, rather than using a standard prototype, allows for unique designs at the properties. He hired Anthony McDermid, principal at TAP Architecture, to design the hotel.

“It will be very architecturally significant,” Thompson says.

With the Level apartments just across the street to the north, McDermid aligned first-floor restaurant and bar space to create a lively street scene.

“It’s going to feel very urban,” McDermid says. “It will activate that street.”

The hotel is set for completion by midyear.

Holiday Inn Express

After a Holiday Inn Express planned for 101 E. Main in Bricktown was scrapped due to financing, a new plan emerged for the hotel on that site.

In November, J.C. Witcher with ADG brought plans for an all-brick, 124-room Holiday Inn Express for the site before the Bricktown Urban Design Committee. The previous plan called for four floors and 97 rooms; the new one adds an additional floor of guest suites.

Witcher says those additional rooms will help offset the cost of the project: “We’ve gotten a higher yield by adding a fifth floor.”

He says he expects demolition of the existing site and construction of the new hotel to take about 16 months from start to finish, and the owner would like to start work early this year.

The Edge

After an arduous selection process, Gary Brooks was chosen to build an apartment complex on Oklahoma City
Urban Renewal Authority-controlled land in MidTown bordered by N.W. 12th
and 13th streets, and Walker and Dewey avenues.

On the former site of Mercy Hospital, Brooks is at work on the 250unit Edge apartments, after breaking ground in October.

Cathy
O’Connor, who oversees OCURA as president and CEO of the Alliance for
Economic Development of Oklahoma City, says it was a long, hard road to
find a redeveloper. The old hospital was torn down in 2002, and since
has sat vacant.

“Projects
don’t happen just because the Urban Renewal Authority wants them to,”
she says. “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.”

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