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Somebody's Bricktown paradise will take out a parking lot

Adept Commercial Real Estate has the parking lot at Sheridan and Oklahoma avenues in Bricktown listed for $4.5 million. [PHOTO PROVIDED BY ADEPT]
Adept Commercial Real Estate has the parking lot at Sheridan and Oklahoma avenues in Bricktown listed for $4.5 million. [PHOTO PROVIDED BY ADEPT]

This is new: A parking lot, destined to be developed into something else, is tugging on my sappy, ol' heartstrings — a parking lot!

"This is a prime development site located in the heart of Bricktown," the flyer coldly announces. I saw it and gasped: Not that one!

Yep, that one, the one on the southwest corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma avenues. Adept Commercial Real Estate, just a stroll away at 1 NE 2, has the 35,000-square-foot property listed for $4.5 million.

I get it. Progress. I do get it.

But it reminds me of the time my daughter, when she was about 20 or 21 (she's 34 now) blurted out: "I hate development!" as we were heading west from our solidly suburban 1980s Edmond neighborhood at Santa Fe Avenue and Danforth Road (NW 192). If I'd still dipped Copenhagen, I mighta swallowed it.

In 1999, when we moved here, NW 192 from Santa Fe west to Portland Avenue was basically a humble county road, with wheat fields, and sometimes tractors, grazing calves, trucks and combines. By 2007, neighborhoods were taking over.

"Lordy! I said. "What if it got out that the real estate editor's daughter hated development!" I laughed. She kept scowling.

I'm smiling now, not scowling — amused that a dang parking lot actually holds personal meaning for me.

Without that parking lot, I might not have become an OKC RedHawks (now Dodgers) fan, or fine-tuned my appreciation for fine cigars, or ever given a listen to The Flaming Lips, or finished my master's degree in history.

Why? Because that's where I parked when I went to the ballpark, which used to be often; popped in at Tapwerks Ale House & Cafe, occasionally; ate at Bourbon Street Cafe, once in awhile; or stopped in at Maker's Cigar Lounge, RIP, just about weekly — early, early in the evening, before the crowds, with a book or two or three, especially while I was working on the history degree from 2001 to 2004.

Maker's closed in 2010. The year before, I started seminary, which took until 2014. With my smoky reading lounge gone, and almost no time for baseball, my regular trips to Bricktown became a thing of the past. So did walking down Flaming Lips Alley to get to the ballpark; when the alley was named in 2007, I figured I'd finally better give the Lips a listen.

Before long, The Oklahoman was back downtown, and it was booming, and Bricktown had to compete. I just lost the Bricktown "nightllife" habit. Hitting 50 in 2014 had something to do with that.

You may be thinking: Dude, there were other places to park, including the parking garage right next to the ballpark. Yes. Two things there, one small, one big at the time:

First, convenience and habit. Maker's was right there, next door at 25 S Oklahoma Ave.

Two, uh, well, I used to get claustrophobic driving in parking garages.

It's true! I could ride, as someone else drove. But I freaked out if I was driving. Sometimes I had to. Once at a hotel garage in Washington, D.C., the space was so tight, I remember the tension like it was yesterday. I am country boy, after all. You could stack a lot of hay in that garage — but somebody else would've had to back the truck in!

So, yeah. That parking lot and I had an understanding.

Nobody is paving paradise, I have no environmental complaint, and sentimentalism doesn't pay anybody's bills, but Joni Mitchell got one thing right, for sure, in "Big Yellow Taxi."

Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got

'Til it's gone?

Reach Real Estate Editor Richard Mize by email at

Richard Mize

Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked... Read more ›