Commercial Real Estate Professionals Tour Results of MAPS Program

Article excerpt

Over the past decade, downtown Oklahoma City has changed dramatically as a result of the MAPS program. There is nearly $1 billion of new construction and rehabilitation projects completed or under way in the central business district, with nearly $700 million of that money being spent by private developers and investors.

A group of commercial real estate professionals had the opportunity to see firsthand the dramatic transformation transpiring in the central business district as part of the Commercial Industrial Division of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors' fifth annual bus tour. Entitled The Rehab Tour, this year's tour gave commercial Realtors a close look at both new and restored properties that are located in downtown, uptown and Bricktown.

According to Linda Glass, current president of the Commercial Industrial Division, the bus tour is the signature event for the organization each year and added that this year's tour was by far the most successful.

I think this even has grown on momentum each year, she said. This year we had a waiting list and sold out well in advance.

Equipped with a full-sized tour bus, participants were driven around the central business district as Russell Claus, director of economic development for Oklahoma City, served as guide for the tour explaining the various projects that are either under way or proposed.

First on the tour was a stop at the newly constructed Sonic Building and the Bricktown Entertainment Center. David Harper with Stonegate/Hogan explained that work on the Harkins Bricktown 16 movie theater, which will serve as anchor for the entertainment center in south Bricktown, is moving along rapidly and should be open by its target date of Oct. 1.

We are planning a grand opening somewhere around the last week of September for the first week of October, said Harper.

Work is also progressing on construction on the two retail buildings located just north of the theater. Sonic has already committed to opening its first downtown location in 3,300 square feet in one of the buildings in addition to Nothing But Noodles, which will open its second Oklahoma City location in the facility as well. Harper said the company is still in negotiations with several other small eateries for the remaining spaces.

Harper also added that just to the west of the new theater building, developers are working with a couple of groups on a site that could be used for either loft housing or a hotel. Plans are also being formulated for a unique project just to the south of the theater.

We have pad to the south of here that we are working with a national recording artist and a restaurant operator on a 12,000- square-foot building, he explained.

During the tour, Claus pointed out several locations that are being discussed for possible apartment projects in the Bricktown area, including the parking lot located just south of the Bricktown Events Center and east of the SBC Bricktown Ballpark. …