Competing Petitions Seek to Save/Destroy These Nine Buildings
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen corporate interests press so hard for public support for demolition of downtown properties as I’m seeing this week leading up to Thursday’s vote by the Downtown Design Review Committee on the fate of buildings on the block of Hudson and Main. The Mayor’s State of the City Speech includes a petition being circulated by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber urging people to sign their petition favoring demolition – get updates here. A petition to save the buildings has been circulated by Preservation Oklahoma. I am not taking sides, but I will show the historic photos and the current photos to let people see for themselves what is being proposed. I will also note 499 W Sheridan proposes two separate garages that will comprise more than half the space being built and used as part of the 27-story tower development.
As recently as two years ago I was tracking interest in converting the old Hotel Black into either housing or a hotel. Nick Preftakes began terminating leases last year at the converted office building and it has stood empty since last summer. Developer Hines indicates the building is functionally obsolete and in need of repairs. Ditto for the Motor Hotel to the north.
And finally, the building that the Planning Department is taking on a stand on and recommending be saved or incorporated into the project – the Union Bus Station. The bus station went vacant in November, 2013 when operations moved to Reno and Eastern. The building was eyed by Keith Paul and Good Egg Dining last summer but his effort to lease the property for a Republic restaurant died when the owner stopped showing interest in leasing the space.