First Core to Shore development well underway
Steel beams are going up along with the elevator shaft for the future Fairfield Inn at SW 5 and E.K. Gaylord – the first of what will ultimately be a wave of commercial development in Core to Shore.
The 133-room Fairfield also will likely be the only hotel other than Omni to be built in proximity to the new convention center.
The city’s agreement with Omni for its 605-room convention hotel restricts the city providing any tax increment financing or other assistance for hotels downtown.
All of the land surrounding the convention center is controlled by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. But the Fairfield deal preceded selection of the current convention center site with developer Andy Patel having bought a one-story warehouse at 5 SW 5 for $1.25 million in April 2014.
At that time, the city was attempting to acquire land south of the Myriad Gardens for the $283 million convention center. He cleared the site and completed designs that won accolades from the Downtown Design Review Committee. Then plans for the convention center changed.
Instead of just asking, backed up the power of eminent domain, to acquire the Patel property, Urban Renewal Director Cathy O'Connor started talks with Patel on how best to help him continue on a nearby site.
The deal approved in October by Urban Renewal Commissioners will sell Patel city-owned land at the southwest corner of SW 5 and E.K. Gaylord — immediately east of the new convention center site.
The design is based on Marriott’s Fairfield prototype, but because that design was mainly EIFS, the design team modified it to be more urban and incorporate standards in the downtown design ordinances. The building is designed to have a presence along both SW 4 and E.K. Gaylord, and also an entrance at the northwest corner for guests who may be accessing the property from the convention center.
LED lighting at the corners will also add life to the SW 4 and E.K. Gaylord façade.
The building façade will consist of metal panels, large format tile, stucco and glass. The hotel also will also feature LED accent light vertically and at the crown of the front façade.
This rendering by POPULOUS of the east side of the convention center facing E.K. Gaylord shows the proximity to the Faifield Inn, which is the white building between the convention center and the Devon tower in the foreground.
The convention center project, meanwhile, is out for bids, designers are being sought for the parking garage that will serve both the convention center and Omni, and construction of the Omni should coincide with the convention center.
All of this will look very different by the end of 2020.