Mixed-use development set for presentation to OKC council
A marketing campaign and a new name is being launched for a mixed-use development being pitched for the corner of Northwest Expressway and Pennsylvania Avenue.
The project on the southwest corner of the intersection, across from Penn Square and 50 Penn Place, initially was named Penn Central, but after further discussions with planners and nearby residents, developer Ryan McNeill is promoting it as OAK to reflect the 60-year-old oak trees that anchor the property.
“We saw the value in the indigenous live oaks, and drew our master plan around them,” said McNeill, principal of Veritas. “We are taking a sensory approach to design and focusing on the street-level experience — the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and touchpoints that come together to create an exceptional pedestrian environment that elevates the quality of life in OKC.”
Zoning for the development was approved by the Oklahoma City Planning Commission in June and will be introduced to the city council on Tuesday with a final vote set for Aug. 13.
Plans show more than two miles of sidewalks will weave together retailers, restaurants, offices, residences, a hotel and a central greenspace. McNeill said the open space will be programmed with spontaneous and planned social gatherings such as outdoor concerts, wellness activities, and seasonal events.
The application to the city also dictates that building designs will consist of 70% brick veneer, rock or stone masonry, and architectural metal. No more than 30% synthetic stucco will be permitted.
The 20-acre development at 5101 North Pennsylvania Ave. also includes a proposal for a realignment of the intersection and traffic light at NW 50 providing direct access between OAK and 50 Penn Place. McNeill said OAK is expected to create 1,200 jobs and generate $130 million in revenue for the city.
“The location of the project affords the unique ability to vertically integrate the mix of uses in a way that they all thrive and create value for one another,” McNeill said. “Our team is applying the lessons we learned by touring the country’s premier mixed-use developments to create a community destination that is special and unique to Oklahoma City.”
Retail and office leasing is underway with brokers at CBRE overseeing retail and Newmark Levy Strange Beffort are overseeing office leasing.
Due to early and strong interest in office space, McNeill said the latest rendering shows multiple floors being added to the office tower that will feature retail on the ground floor.
Local investor and businessman Everett Dobson is a partner in the project.
“OAK knits together Midwestern values with best-in-class design,” Dobson said. “It will be a transformative, regional draw, bringing new businesses and unique retail concepts that are seeking to expand in dense, open-air, mixed-use environments with public spaces and an active street.”