The demand for owner-occupied residential housing in downtown Oklahoma City continues to grow, so developers are adding more housing to the area.
The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming told KGOU that those development include the Wheeler District south of the river, the former Villa Teresa school, 701 Hudson, The Bower and The Broadway Condominiums, among other projects.
“There's a lot of new housing coming along and people have been looking for it because there's a limited supply of new products. You can buy historical, you can buy old and fix it up. But the brand new homes are limited,” Fleming said.
One project includes the redevelopment of Villa Teresa, a former Catholic school in Midtown. Developer Marva Ellard and her business partner Billy Woodring already have down payments on four of the ten town homes and condominiums they are building during the first phase of construction at the site. The second and third phase will include converting two brick homes into a 38-room boutique hotel.
Fleming writes that Ellard and Woodring brought in architect Brian Fitzsimmons and construction manager Monty Jacobs for the project.
Woodring said he’s watched other historic renovation projects not get finished because the developer ran out of money. But Jacobs isn’t hiding anything, so he said this will help them know all their costs initially so they have enough money during the entire project.
“If you don’t plan for it, you have problems later on,” Woodring said. “I’ve never seen the amount of details that Monty’s put into this.”
In western downtown Oklahoma City, developer Richard McKown has plans to construct 32 residences at NW Fourth Street and N. Lee Avenue. He is working with architect Dan Govin on the development.
Fleming writes McKown’s market research shows the community needs high-quality owner-occupied homes in this area of the city.
The development has three main buildings. The tall building on the property’s north side has 24 condominiums. The two buildings closer to the street hold eight town homes in total. The town homes range from two bedrooms to four bedrooms. Each town home has a private, enclosed garage.
Meanwhile, The Broadway Condominiums at 700 N. Broadway Avenue remains under construction. Fleming writes that last year, developer Nick Preftakes and architect Bruce Bockus changed their design of the building due to demand. Potential buyers were interested in more space, so they reduced the number of units in order to accommodate larger condominiums.
“People want to be here especially with the construction of John Rex Elementary and now they're adding the middle school and then we have the park coming on line as well. Downtown is becoming even more family friendly,” Fleming said.
Jacob McCleland: It's the Business Intelligence Report, a weekly conversation about business news in Oklahoma. I'm Jacob McCleland and I'm joined by Molly Fleming. She's a reporter with The Journal Record newspaper. Molly thank you for talking with us.
Molly Fleming: Hey, you're welcome.
McCleland: And Molly you cover a lot of real estate news, so I want to talk with you today about some for sale residential development projects in downtown Oklahoma City. One is the the redevelopment of the former Villa Teresa property in Midtown, which was a Catholic school until 2012. Developer Marva Ellard bought the property last year and she's already in the first phase of redevelopment. What's she done so far?
Fleming: She has taken deposits. Actually, she and development partner Billy Woodring are rebuilding 10 townhomes and seven loft flats. They've taken deposits on four of the ten townhomes so far. And when I talked to him, they were having more meetings this week with potential owners. They still have to present this project, though, to the Downtown Design Review Committee. That will happen in February. I haven't seen anything in the plans that would make me wonder if it would get approved but the DRC has definitely approved projects that I didn't think they would get their approval.
McCleland: So what will Ellard do during the second and third phases of this project?
Fleming: Well first off I just think it's commendable that Marva and Billy are doing this in phases. That was something that Billy and construction manager Marty Jacobs talked about a lot. You know, we've seen people's take on historic rehab projects. Maybe they don't get done or they take on a huge project and and it doesn't get finished. So they're double checking their numbers constantly because, I mean, you would hate to see this fail and so doing it phase-by-phase makes sense and they can see you know success of one face and go on to the second one. The second and third phases will include more historic renovation work including turning the two brick homes into 38 room boutique hotel, and the 1951 school building into 11 condos.
McCleland: Let's talk about another downtown project developer Richard McKown plans to build an owner-occupied housing development on the west end of downtown on NW Fourth Street and North Lee Avenue called The Bower. What are some of the details of this project?
Fleming: Yes it's going to be three buildings totaling 32 condos and they'll be two buildings in the front and then a larger taller building in the back. Richard has done a lot of multifamily housing in Oklahoma City. He also developed the OKSea spelled like the ocean, which is a shipping container project over in downtown. So a lot of his housing is over on the Second and Third Street area, Walnut, Oklahoma type intersections. And so as he's doing these condos he's ultimately returning to his history as a home builder, so he's really going back to his roots.
McCleland: When will this Bower project be complete?
Fleming: In Spring 2019. They're still waiting on construction bids to get some pricing but they're trying to keep them in the lower 300 thousand dollar range.
McCleland: Well let's end on one more housing development in downtown. It's the Broadway condominiums project. What's the status of this project right now?
Fleming: It is under construction and it's right there at Sixth and Broadway. So they are dealing with construction on that site and then the construction of the streetcar which is going up Broadway right now. So it's right next to the retail strip that includes OK Runner.
McCleland: And currently, as far as you know, I mean, is there demand for owner occupied housing in the downtown metro area right now?
Fleming: Oh absolutely. You know these projects that we just discussed have all either come out or probably like the last year. But before that there was the condominiums being built at 6th and Hudson. And then you know we have the Wheeler district happening across the river. So there's a lot of new housing coming along and people have been looking for it because there's a limited supply of new products. You can buy historical, you can buy old and fix it up. But the brand new homes are limited. And people want to be here especially with the construction of John Rex Elementary and now they're adding the middle school and then we have the park coming on line as well. Downtown is becoming even more family friendly.
McCleland: Molly Fleming covers real estate for the Journal Record newspaper. Molly thank you so much.
Fleming: You're welcome.
McCleland: KGOU and the Journal Record collaborate each week on the Business Intelligence Report. You could find this conversation at kgou.org and also follow us on social media on Facebook and Twitter. We're @journalrecord and @kgounews.
The Business Intelligence Report is a collaborative news project between KGOU and The Journal Record.
As a community-supported news organization, KGOU relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond.
Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.
The Journal Record is a multi-faceted media company specializing in business, legislative and legal news. Print and online content is available via subscription.
Music provided by Midday Static.