Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Developers View Galleria-Myriad / Nationally-Known Rouse, Forest City Interested in `Festive Center'

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Developers View Galleria-Myriad / Nationally-Known Rouse, Forest City Interested in `Festive Center'

Article excerpt

The Rouse Co. of Columbia, Md., and Forest City Enterprises Inc. of Cleveland, both nationally-known redevelopers of d owntown projects, have expressed an interest in developing a year-round "festival center" in Oklahoma City's downtown Galleria and Myriad Gardens, it was reported Tuesday by Mayor Andy Coats.

The "festival center," as previously reported, would include entertainment, food, shops, museums and other cultural activities, Coats told the Oklahoma City Council.

All eight blocks of the four-block Galleria and four-block Myriad Gardens would be considered as one site, said Coats. Both are between Robinson and Hudson avenues, extending from Park Ave. to RenoAve. They are separated only by Sheridan Ave.

Representatives of The Rouse Co. have visited the Galleria-Myriad Gardens site twice and are studying plans for a development, said Coats. The Forest City firm also has visited the site and has expressed an interest, he said.

The Rouse Co. has developed or helped develop four of the most significant festive redevelopments in the country, including:

- The Inner Harbour project in Baltimore.

- The Quincy Market/Fanueil Hall project in Boston.

- The South Street Seaport in New York, which is a redevelopment of the old seaport area and the old Fulton Fish Market.

- The Bayside project in Miami.

The firm is now designing a new Riverfront development in New Orleans on the site of the recent World's Fair.

The Rouse Co. has approximate annual revenues of $163.6 million and over 3,000 employees.

Forest City has developed:

- A $140 million project in downtown Pittsburgh.

- The Rennaisance Center in downtown Detroit.

- A shopping center in Tucson, Ariz.

- A Metrotech center in Brooklyn.

In additon, Forest City is planning a 500-acre multi-use project in Scottsdale, Ariz. and is developing a downtown project in Manhattan, Kan.

Forest City Enterprises has assets of about $263 million and annual sales of approximately $249 million.

In Oklahoma City, the idea of large department stores in the Galleria, as originally envisioned, has been abandoned, said Coats. However, the "festive center" idea is moving forward.

"This project in the heart of our city is alive and well," said Coats. "There are more people working on completing this center than ever before. It will take a combination of private and public funds, and we would like to see the eight blocks linked and developed as a unit. …

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