A new eight-story condominium and a bar and grill are coming to Midtown, Oklahoma City. On this week's Business Intelligence Report, Journal Record editor Russell Ray discusses how the projects are part of Midtown's resurgence and how the condo's development has attracted some protest.
Katelyn Howard: This is the Business Intelligence Report, a weekly conversation about business news in Oklahoma. I'm Katelyn Howard. With me is Russell Ray, editor of The Journal Record. Today I'd like to talk about two stories from your reporter Molly Fleming who writes about new developments in Midtown. When we talk about Midtown, we're talking about the district on the northern edge of downtown Oklahoma City. Over the past decade, the district has experienced what many describe as a renaissance. The two developments Molly writes about are a new high-rise condominium and a bar and grill. But before we get to that, can you tell us a little bit about the history of Midtown.
Russell Ray: You bet. Developers really started buying up Midtown property in the late 1980s. And what would ultimately revive Midtown was people wanting to be around a vibrant core area. Developers imagined Midtown being a place that feels like a township where people can live, work, eat and walk like they did in the '60s.
Howard: Midtown is known for its restaurants and shops like the Plaza Court, and its historical structures like the St. Joseph Old Cathedral, which is adjacent to the OKC National Memorial and Museum. But one of the early catalysts for Midtown's resurgence was St. Anthony Hospital.
Ray: Yeah that's right. The hospital wanted to stay in Midtown when it announced a $220 million campus development project in 2003. Then in 2016, the hospital built a 111,000 square foot, four-story emergency department called The Pavilion on its Midtown campus that cost about $53 million.
Howard: In its resurgence, we've seen growth in smaller commercial and retail space and rental units, but that's changed since Molly reports that a new high rise condominium called The Elliott will be built in Midtown.
Ray: Yes, The Downtown Design Review Committee recently approved an eight-story, 77,000 square foot building with 30 housing units. The units will range in size from 1,300 square feet to 4,300 square feet with a $450,000 starting price. The top-floor penthouse is priced at $2.5 million. And construction will start when 12 units are sold. At least nine have already been purchased.
Howard: The article also mentions that the project has attracted some protest from nearby developers.
Ray: That's right. Some developers are saying they don't dislike the building, but they do dislike the building being on the 1305 Classen Dr. location. Now some people believe the building is not consistent within the context of the design of the four block area.
Howard: And Molly also writes about how one building that blends into the Midtown environment is getting renovated. The Downtown Design Review Committee recently approved a renovation plan for a new bar and grill on 401 NW10th St.
Ray: That's right. The Fan Club will be a bar and grill. R3 Properties has owned the building since 2010 and was waiting for the right time to renovate. The plan calls for a lot of landscaping. The bar and grill is expected to be up and running, we're told, by the end of this year.
Howard: Russell Ray is editor of The Journal Record. Thanks for your time today, Russell.
Ray: You bet. Thank you, Katelyn.
Howard: KGOU and The Journal Record collaborate each week on The Business Intelligence Report. You can follow us both on social media. We're on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @journalrecord and @kgounews. You'll find links to the stories we discussed during this episode at JournalRecord.com. And this conversation, along with previous episodes of the Business Intelligence Report, are available on our website, KGOU.org. While you're there, you can check out other features and podcasts produced by KGOU and our StateImpact reporting team. This includes the latest Capitol Insider report featuring an interview with Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, who shares her thoughts on the state's new report cards, regulating virtual charter schools and school funding. For KGOU and the Business Intelligence Report, I'm Katelyn Howard.
The Business Intelligence Report is a collaborative news project between KGOU and The Journal Record.
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