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Exciting Times Ahead in Film Row

What was once an area dismissed as being unfeasible for redevelopment is quickly proving otherwise. In today’s Oklahoman we get our first look inside the former Fred Jones Manufacturing plant, originally a Ford Model T assembly plant built 100 years ago.

The 21c Museum Hotel, quite simply, is an amazing addition to downtown and one that is quickly changing the west fringe of downtown.

New Police Headquarters (above) and municipal courthouse (below)

Nearby we have a new police headquarters open and steel work is well underway on the new municipal courthouse. Work has also started on new for sale housing in one of the former courthouse parking lots - it will be called the Civic Center Lofts.

Renovations continue on the Main Street Arcade
Renovations continue on the Main Street Arcade

The Main Street Arcade is looking great just a block away from the future hotel. Just to the west of the hotel, work is set to start this year on converting the old Sunshine Laundry building into a brewery and tap room. And planning and design work is well underway for housing and retail to be built all around the 21c.

Just east of Film Row we have the BOK Park Plaza rising up from the ground and I'm told a deal is near for a scaled down OGE Energy Center on the former site of Stage Center. 

Construction meanwhile, started this month on two buildings southeast of 21c that are being converted into a restaurant, lounge and live music/event venue by Graham Colton and Brian Bogart. Their name: The Jones Assembly.

Graham on choosing the space:

“It all started with the space. It spoke to us. In addition to being where the assembly line took place, walking in, it just felt like a gather place.”

Graham on the name:

“Even before we had the actual space, the concept that existed was truly a gathering place. So the word assembly, to assemble, was important. It’s important for us to have a place that can do many things, serve many people, and gather for all different types of people.”

“Brian, (chef) Britany and I were adamant that it had to have Jones in title. We could have easily called it the Assembly. But it was very important for us to do that, Jones is part of the story – we wanted to keep it alive.”

Fun discoveries:

“With a place like this, the creativity never ends on how to incorporate the history. The fun will be as we start construction, figuring out how to incorporate that history. It’s a must. We found old lockers… they have to be in there. We’re taking off three fourths of the top floor of the east side of the building…. We will be salvaging the wood and reusing it.”

It’s not just a music venue:

“Although music is going to be a part of our DNA, what I really want to talk about is the massive patio, dining and the food. This is a restaurant and bar. And it has world class space for music. But the seven nights a week, what the space will be defined by its elevated rustic menu, craft cocktails, and premier outdoor patio space.”

The Jones Assembly is set to open this fall.

Related Photos
Renovations continue on the Main Street Arcade

Renovations continue on the Main Street Arcade

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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›