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This View Will Change

Take a good look at the above photo and you'll see one property just behind the Plaza Court and to the left that doesn't fit well with Midtown in 2017. Boulevard Cafeteria was never an architectural masterpiece, but rather a tilt-up concrete one-story building with few windows built in 1976 that has no historic value whatsoever. What was great about Boulevard was the cafeteria inside - the people, the tradition, and food from another era that still made people happy until it finally shut down last year.

Midtown Renaissance bought the property, as expected, and last week filed for a permit to demolish the former cafeteria building. The property is a suburban style set-up surrounded by parking. So I doubt the demolition will get any serious opposition. I spoke with Chris Fleming, a partner in Midtown Renaissance, and he indicated they do not have any plans at the moment to develop the property. They instead want to clear the building to prevent it from becoming a blight to the neighborhood.

I'm not entirely convinced our Midtown folks are clueless as to what's next. As they prepare to demolish the buidling, they are also filing applications to close alleys through the site. The property is in an attractive position, surrounded by The Edge apartments to the north, retail to the east along Walker, and the historic Plaza Court to the south. Look at the photo at the start of this post and you'll see how much a dense development on this site could really change the vibe, feel and scale of Midtown. I am betting the site at 525 NW 11 will be developed within the next few years, if not sooner, into a mix of retail and housing.

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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 ›