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Bricktown living


A $70 million residential development is slated for downtown’s entertainment district.

Tim Farley June 19th, 2013

Living in downtown Oklahoma City is expensive by anyone’s definition, but developers Gary Brooks and Andy Burnett aim to change that with a new project in east Bricktown.

Credit: Mark Hancock

The $70 million development, located along Sheridan Avenue between Russell M. Perry Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard, will encompass quality and affordable housing, retail stores and a four-story private parking garage. Because the developers received $5 million in federal stimulus money, they have promised monthly rent for 39 of the 250 apartments will fall between 50 percent and 125 percent of the median local income.

“We will have residents living in this complex who probably make $19,000 a year. We will have residents making $100,000 a year. It will be a real mixed use. That’s what the city wants. It’s what we want,” Brooks said.

The developers said one of their goals is to provide housing to people with modest means, but emphasized it is not a Section 8 project.

“It’s the people who work at the hotels, who work at the restaurants,” Brooks said. “It’s the general population that comes downtown and wants to live here. Putting some of the rents at the median income level is a benchmark no one else has done before.”

Currently, the average downtown rent is $1,300, Burnett said.

“I would consider this project unsuccessful if we can’t keep these price points at a more reasonable level,” Brooks said during the June 12 meeting of the Bricktown Urban Design Committee.

The remaining 211 apartments will be rented near or below market average, the developers said.

“The remaining 85 percent [of units] will be just like a traditional apartment building,” Burnett said.

Gary Brooks
Credit: Mark Hancock

Project architect Mark Tolson told the committee the development will have 50 units per acre compared to 85 units per acre at The Edge, a Brooks-owned development in Midtown. The Bricktown project will include 10,460 feet for first-floor retail space.

The complex will encompass a red-tone, traditional façade on the west, east and south sides, along with a swimming pool, recreational areas and a fitness center. The parking garage will be on the north side.

Keeping with current urban living trends, the apartments will be slightly smaller and more efficient, Brooks said. As a cost-cutting measure, he will use alternatives to materials like granite kitchen countertops that are the norm in most other downtown developments.

Committee members praised the project, which the panel is expected to formally approve in August.

“A less expensive project does not mean less of a design,” said committee member Tom Wilson. “The brick-and-panel design is very effective and can complement what’s already in Bricktown.”

The complex will be 60-percent brick and 40-percent aluminum panels.

Brooks told the committee that a Hyatt Hotel could be located on the far west side of the property, but no contract has been signed.

 
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