Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Midtown Mess: Changing Street to One Way Could Help Parking Situation near New Attractions

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Midtown Mess: Changing Street to One Way Could Help Parking Situation near New Attractions

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Before The McNellie's Group broke ground on Midtown's Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge and Fassler Hall beer hall, architect Brian Fitzsimmons heard concerns about the building's parking lot, including from developers such as Richard Tanenbaum.

"Love the design," Tanenbaum said during the Sept. 19, 2013, Downtown Design Review Committee meeting. "Fits in, new and old - great combination. This parking is going to be unbelievable."

The facility has a capacity of 500 to 600 people, with additional space for 800 more people in the patio. It has 29 parking spots.

"Is it just walkability and hope and pray?" Tanenbaum said. "Just a comment, I mean, we have nothing to do with it. But my goodness gracious, there's no parking now."

Fitzsimmons commented on the issue during the meeting.

"I think there will be hopefully a solution to that very soon," he said. "We realize it's a problem."

That solution is coming, as there are plans to convert W. Park Place - which sits directly north of the Dust Bowl - into a one-way street and put in angled parking. The private-public partnership between the city of Oklahoma City and the Midtown Renaissance Group has been in the works for 18 months, said Chris Fleming, partner with Midtown Renaissance. The street runs from N. Hudson to N. Walker avenues near Brown's Bakery. Fleming said the bakery supported the street redesign. The street's width will be expanded to create more room for parking and allow for a 22-foot-wide driving area.

Fleming said the city has approved the project and is now reviewing its fine details. City of Oklahoma City Public Works Information Director Shannon Cox said the city is looking over the plans before everything moves forward. Midtown Renaissance is funding the change, which is expected to cost more than $250,000. Neither the city nor Midtown Renaissance could give a timeline for the work. …

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