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August 1st, 2011 - Kelley Chambers

Whatever happened to that?!?


In the Oklahoma City metro area and its surrounding communities, many development projects have been planned, talked about or reported as forthcoming.

Some projects took off and did well, while others never came to fruition. Some just fell off the radar.

OKCBiz takes a look at some of these commercial projects to see whether these deals are moving forward or dead in the water. Simply put, “Whatever happened to that?!?”

Twelve Twelve Building

1212 N. Walker Ave.

THE PLAN: In 2006, as Greg Banta was actively redeveloping retail in MidTown, he discussed plans to convert several buildings into condominiums and apartments. One of those was at 1212 N. Walker, a fourstory vacant building in the heart of MidTown.

THE PROBLEM: Banta departed MidTown in 2008, and Bob Howard and Mickey Clagg took over the projects. As the recession set in, work slowed on many MidTown projects, including several housing options, but Clagg and Howard set to work renovating buildings in the area for apartments. Still, as Plaza Court continued to add tenants, and Walker Avenue developed to include 1492 New World Latin Cuisine, Stella and Louie’s Grill & Bar, 1212 N. Walker sat vacant. Howard and Clagg were tight-lipped about future development of this property until earlier this year.

THE PROSPECT: In March, Clagg told members of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber that plans were in the works for the highly-visible property. Construction has begun on the Twelve Twelve Building, 1212 N. Walker, calling for 24 luxury apartments and 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. With drawings for its new look, completed by Anthony McDermid, work began in June. The building is being completely gutted, and its new face will incorporate a painted steel and glass exterior. Balconies will be added for each apartment.

McDermid, principal with TAParchitecture, presented his plans for Twelve Twelve, which were approved by the Downtown Design Review Committee in May. He says this could very well be the first time the building has been occupied. County records show it was built in 1957.

House of Bedlam

101 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, Bricktown

THE PLAN: In 2007, developer Gary Cotton planned a $36 million condo and retail project that would have included two towers with frontage along the Bricktown Canal, dubbed the Cotton Exchange.

THE PROBLEM: In 2008, Cotton threw in the towel, citing financial issues and an immaterialized market for the project.

THE PROSPECT: Developer Chris Johnson has plans for the House of Bedlam, a retail building and parking structure at 101 S. Mickey Mantle. Plans call for a threestory building. One of the floors would be at the canal level. The site is currently vacant.

Johnson is working through design specifics with the Bricktown Urban Design Committee. At its June meeting, Johnson’s plan was found not in compliance with several design guidelines, especially in regard to the placement of a parking lot and garage at the site. The plan was again on the July agenda, and recommended for continuance after city staff cited many aspects of the project were still not in compliance with development regulations in Bricktown.

CHK I Central Boathouse

Boathouse Row

THE PLAN: In 2010, a boathouse for the University of Central Oklahoma was set to join the Oklahoma City University Devon Boathouse, the Chesapeake Boathouse and the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. At that time, the university partnered with Chesapeake Energy, which provided the initial $3 million investment.

THE PROBLEM: Fundraising has been slow, but is ongoing. While the boathouse is still in the planning stages, the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower is set to open this month. Mike Knopp, Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation executive director, says while no groundbreaking has been announced for the university’s boathouse, the next piece of the Boathouse District will be the lighting of the river as part of MAPS 3.

THE PROSPECT: While there is no groundbreaking date or timeline for completion, UCO has raised $3.5 million of more than $6 million required for the CHK I Central Boathouse. It is planned to have a small music venue and art gallery, says Adrienne Nobles, director of communications and marketing for the UCO Office of University Relations, noting those details still are being worked out.

Concrete prows, meant to resemble the fronts of boats entering the water, have been constructed on the banks of the river at the sites of future UCO and University of Oklahoma boathouses.

“With the great momentum we are experiencing now, we’ve got great things going on at the river,” Knopp says. “We, naturally, are looking forward to starting the next project after the finish line tower.”

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