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CTroyMathis May 15, 2005 5:23 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY | Projects & Construction

BG918 May 16, 2005 7:22 AM

I guess I'll start with Oklahoma City, they seem to have a fair amount of new projects either U/C or proposed.


-The tallest of the current projects, the full renovation of the 21 story Citizens Tower in midtown (just north of downtown) into upscale condos called The Classen. The building is completed and they are currently selling condos.

It is rumored that the developer of The Classen, Gardner/Tanenbaum, is looking to buy the old downtown library (a new modern one was just built) and tear it down to build a high rise residential tower. It would be big news in OKC because there are only a handful of residential high rises.

-A massive project, the $100+ million Native American Museum and Cultural Center (will be the largest Native American museum in the world) should begin construction next year by the Oklahoma River southeast of downtown, completed by 2008.

The museum, done by the same architects that did the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, will have large exhibit halls, a research center, well landscaped grounds along the river (with future riverboat access to downtown) and a hotel/tribal conference center.

-The Montgomery, "adaptive re-use" recently completed and selling units near the new art museum and library in west downtown.

-I-40 re-location south of downtown, beginning next year and completed by 2009. The existing I-40 will be torn down and a new landscaped boulevard into downtown/Bricktown will be created in its place.

-$250 million proposed urban development for the new "Riverside District" south of Bricktown by TAP Architecture. Lots of mixed-use development with an emphasis on residential.

-The Factory, a proposed 12 story apartment building in Bricktown by TAP.

-5 story urban housing, Legacy Summit will be located in the arts district of west downtown. Construction should begin next year.

-The Lincoln Ave. Renaissance, the blvd. leading up to the state capitol complex east of downtown, proposal also by TAP.

-New Boldt Construction HQ along Lake Hefner Parkway in northwest OKC...the building is LEED-certified. Under construction.

-10 story Embassy Suites hotel in Bricktown across the canal from the new Harkins cinema and in between Sonic HQ, Bricktown Ballpark, and Bass Pro Shops. Construction should begin sometime next year, no rendering...sorry.

-Oklahoma History Center, a $70 million state history museum under construction near the state capitol.

OKC Underground, the renovation and expansion of downtown's tunnel system into urban art galleries.

The old 15 story Skirvin Hotel is currently being renovated into a Hilton and will be downtown's finest hotel once completed in 2006.

The Triangle District, an ambitious mixed-use urban revitalization proposal for north of downtown creating a "triangle" between downtown, midtown, and the Oklahoma Health Center/research park and state capitol. OKC's version of Atlanta's Atlantic Station or Dallas' Victory...

jaga185 May 16, 2005 10:50 PM

all of these are awesome, I love the whole "bricktown" thing

JACKinBeantown May 17, 2005 1:29 PM

Wow, OKC actually has a bit of a skyline. I never knew. I'd compare it to the Copley Plaza area of Boston minus John Hancock and Prudential.

Mopacs May 17, 2005 1:36 PM

The I-40 relocation project reminds me alot of the reconstruction of I-30 to the south of downtown Fort Worth. Just like 40, I-30 was realigned several blocks to the south and subsequently creating a nice landscaped boulevard (Lancaster Ave?) where the old I-30 elevated lanes once stood.

This should definitely benefit the Bricktown district! I'll be in OKC in July, for the first time in 8 years... I can't wait!

Here's a map and set of photos of the I-30 Fort Worth project:

Demolition of the old I30 elevated lanes, with the new freeway in the background

CTroyMathis May 18, 2005 10:52 PM

I'd really like to see some current shots of the newly renamed 'The Classen' building. I always thought that was an interesting area of OKC, as well.

Great start-up BG.

CTroyMathis May 18, 2005 10:54 PM

Oh, and the OKC Underground concourse project looks like it would be extremely cool.

BG918 May 19, 2005 1:51 AM

^ Yeah I think so too, hopefully it will actually happen. Same for the Riverside and Lincoln Ave. projects. The Triangle is the most dynamic of all these projects though as it will really fill the need for an urban retail/residential district just north of downtown. There is also a project that was just greenlighted for an old steel yard north of Bricktown that will be mainly townhomes with some integrated retail. Humphrey & Partners of Dallas are the architects, haven't they done some quality urban work in DFW?

Defiant6 May 19, 2005 1:23 PM

So they're going to tear down the elevated section of I-40 and move it further south? I know I'm in the minority when I say this, but I love elevated highways/freeways especially when driving on them passing by the skyline of downtown areas in cities. I've only been on that elevated section of I-40 once a few years back as I was going camping with some friends at Red Rock Canyon. If it does spur more development though by tearing it down, then I say go for it.

OKCity Jun 8, 2005 2:39 AM

Defiant, that elevated highway was planned to last 40 years, and it is now much passed that, and it is falling apart. I like the views to, but it really needs to go. And moving the highway south will alow down town to grow more to in that direction also.

soonermeteor Jun 8, 2005 10:49 PM

Does anyone know anything about a bricktown extension-like project? I can't remember where, but I saw awhile back that becuase of the success of the original bricktown, there was either another or a second canal planned from the North Canadian, something directly from the river that would be larger.

BG918 Jun 9, 2005 2:00 AM

There is a master plan for the area, I wish I could find it. They do plan on extending the canal to the east towards the convention center and arena. It is also an area where there are several hotels and in the vicinity of the future OKC Underground. Because of elevation differences, the canal can't connect to the Oklahoma River. You will have to get off the canal boat, walk down to the dock, and then you can board the bigger boats on the river.

Karried Jul 30, 2005 3:32 PM

Something new to Bricktown.


Toby Keith's New Bar and Grill

Karried Jul 30, 2005 4:20 PM

Chiluly Exhibit
Cocktails on the Skyline - you can a few pics of our skyline here:

Oklahoma Arts - Museum of Art Chihuly Exhibit:

Dale Chihuly: An Inaugural Exhibition reopens April 1 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in its original design. With more than 2,000 pieces of glass, the exhibit contains 18 theatrical displays, groups, and series of various shapes and colors, including a ceiling, chandelier, walls, sets, and free standing pieces.
Created specifically for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art's opening in the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Art Center in 2002, Dale Chihuly: An Inaugural Exhibition received unprecedented attendance, sparking public interest in the arts and the Museum's campaign to purchase the exhibit for $3M-The Chihuly Project. The reinstallation of the exhibit celebrates the culmination of this Project.

Karried Jul 30, 2005 4:32 PM

Our Airport has just undergone a transformation and construction is almost complete:

Will Roger's Airport:
Big Twelve Conference Store:
Inside Terminal:
Southwest Airlines New Gates Airside:

Karried Aug 2, 2005 11:54 PM

A few more interesting tidbits regarding OKC.

Today, Oklahoma City is the second-largest city in the continental U.S. in land area behind Jacksonville, Fla., but just 29th in terms of population. And the tourists have come. Hundreds of thousands of visitors a year come to the Oklahoma City National Memorial to view the rows of empty chairs representing the lives lost and to visit a museum commemorating the event.

A couple of blocks away the $88 million Ford Center, a 20,000-seat arena that opened in 2002 draws huge crowds to the area. In 2003 it was one of the top-10 concert-ticket selling arenas in the world, according to Pollstar, a music-industry data provider. Newer additions include the $52 million Civic Center Music Hall and a $22 million library, while a $133 million American Indian Cultural Center is about to break ground just south of downtown. One of the biggest draws is a Bass Pro Shops superstore, which brings 2.3 million visitors a year downtown.

The downtown economy has also benefited from the success of local companies. Devon Energy Corp., now the largest independent U.S. oil and gas company, has grown strongly while hamburger chain Sonic Corp. built its new headquarters on the banks of the Bricktown Canal.

Karried Aug 3, 2005 7:07 PM

Other noteworthy pics of recent and new projects:

Museum of Art:

Library & Learning Center:

Pedestrian Bridge:

Civic Center Music Hall:

Doug Loudenback Aug 5, 2005 11:50 AM

Colcord Hotel
One of the nicer things going on in the center of downtown right now is the conversion of the venerable downtown Colcord Building (1910) into an upscale boutique hotel. The Colcord sits on the NW corner of Robinson & Sheridan, diagonally across the street from the Cox Convention Center.

Coury Properties, Tulsa, is the developer, and it did a marvelous job with an earlier, similar, project in Tulsa with the old Ambassador House hotel, very nice.


Here's a vintage pic of the same building, from the "Vintage" area of my downtown Okc pages at where other links about the Colcord can be found.

Doug Loudenback Aug 5, 2005 12:01 PM

Though a little off-topic, here's a nice view of downtown looking souteasterly from a little west of the south end of the bombing memorial. The US courthouse is in the foreground. The pic is courtesy of the Kerr-McGee Corporation and a much larger high res version (4200 x 1973 px) of the same pic can be downloaded at the KM website, here:

Doug Loudenback Aug 5, 2005 12:47 PM

Another "old wine into new" is the extensive renovation of the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. The Skirvin, closed for years, is being restored and renovated by Marcus Hotels et al, with a planned reopening time of Fall 2006 and to become the "Hilton Skirvin". The Marcus web link @ the Skirvin is here: and here's a pic of what is being restored:

A fine article by Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, about the Skirvin, is here:

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