Progress seen, but not ev­ery­where

The Oklahoman - - REAL ESTATE - BY STEVE LACKMEYER Busi­ness Writer slack­meyer@ok­la­

Q: Is the Brick­town Re­nais­sance Ho­tel off?

A: Andy Pa­tel says he is still mov­ing ahead, but ev­ery time I in­quire as to when, the an­swer is some­thing like "within a few months." This is the an­swer I got about a month ago. And last spring. And in au­tumn of 2017. And in early 2017.

Q: What's the lat­est on the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Spaghetti Ware­house build­ing?

A: All work has stopped. Don Hayes said the own­ers are still in dis­cus­sions over how to pro­ceed.

Q: Any word on the Food­ies build­ing?

A: Yes. I've al­ways loved this quaint lit­tle diner build­ing that has been treated hor­ri­bly over the years. It got some love when it was leased by a young Korean cou­ple who op­er­ated Food­ies, a great Asian-fu­sion con­cept and twist on Amer­i­can diner fare.

It all came to an end when they tried to ex­pand with a lo­ca­tion closer to their homes in south Ok­la­homa City (it didn't sur­vive) and some weird things hap­pened with them turn­ing over the diner to folks who tore it up and then aban­doned it.

A cou­ple of weeks ago the city coun­cil added the build­ing to the aban­doned build­ings list. The front win­dow has been par­tially boarded up, leav­ing the diner ex­posed for months and the own­ers have ig­nored re­peated no­tices from the city.

An ef­fort, mean­while, by restau­ra­teur Joe Jung­mann to turn the prop­erty into a BBQ and out­door food and drink busi­ness fiz­zled.

But now for the good news. The Pivot Pro­ject, which is build­ing the Hud­son Street Mar­ket and Elk Val­ley Brew­ery next door, re­port they have a lease on the Food­ies diner and will be fix­ing it up for a tenant.

Q: What would your ideal in­clu­sions to MAPS 4 be? It seems a mas­sive hur­dle to solve the ed­u­ca­tion is­sues.

A: I see pub­lic tran­sit as a part of the mix in ad­dress­ing ed­u­ca­tion, poverty and home­less­ness in that it can ex­pand op­por­tu­ni­ties for our city's most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents.

As the MAPS 4 dis­cus­sion evolves, ex­pect to hear some ex­cit­ing ideas about cre­at­ing long-term ap­proaches to ed­u­ca­tion, home­less­ness, ad­dic­tion and men­tal health.

Mayor David Holt is look­ing at some in­no­va­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties.

The city alone can­not "solve" the ed­u­ca­tion is­sue. Law­mak­ers have the ul­ti­mate au­thor­ity, and that in­cludes look­ing at whether the 19th cen­tury school board ap­proach to school gov­er­nance is prov­ing to be in­ef­fec­tive and a poor match for what we face in the 21st cen­tury.

Q: What are your top 3 ideas for MAPS 4?

A: Ex­tend the street­car down Robin­son into Capi­tol Hill, down 4th Street into the Ok­la­homa Health Cen­ter and east­side neigh­bor­hoods, and to Classen to con­nect with Classen-10-Penn and Plaza Dis­trict. Cre­ate a bus rapid tran­sit cor­ri­dor along North­west Ex­press­way. Ex­pand pub­lic tran­sit city­wide.

Q: I see a law firm is go­ing in on the NE cor­ner of 3rd and Wal­nut. That should be cool. I hope they watch out or that first step will be a killer in front. Any­thing planned for the other cor­ner?

A: In­deed, the old school board build­ing is set to see its steps re­built. Mean­while, Richard McKown owns part of that op­po­site cor­ner and Ur­ban Re­newal owns the other part of the cor­ner. Ur­ban Re­newal is about to is­sue a re­quest for pro­pos­als so ex­pect some move­ment soon.

Q: Steve, any word on what is planned for the strip of land that is open­ing up for devel­op­ment in front of the Ch­e­sa­peake Arena? I would love to see some sort of cov­ered out­door area to watch the game on a big screen but wor­ried it will end up just be­ing a mer­chan­dise shop.

A: This land, be­tween the Ok­la­homa City Boule­vard and the arena, was re­cently put out for pro­pos­als by the Ur­ban Re­newal Au­thor­ity. I'm bet­ting the Thun­der re­spond with some sort of en­ter­tain­ment mix.

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