Popular Midtown Area Undergoing Renovations

Thursday, June 12th 2014, 8:52 pm
By: News 9

New businesses are set to boom in Midtown, as several buildings are under construction. This includes more shops, restaurants, offices and apartments inside historic buildings that developers are transforming.

The Midtown area is experiencing a renaissance as developers have seven new projects in the works.

"A well-rounded neighborhood, a place where you can live, you can work and you can come play and go to restaurants."

That's the vision developer Mickey Clagg has for the heart of Midtown, along with his partners Bob Howard and Chris Fleming, a part of the Midtown Renaissance. The group is responsible for 30 projects in the area near N.W. 10th and Broadway, and 11 of the projects are refurbishments of old buildings.

"We really embraced the historic nature of the buildings," said Clagg, president of Midtown Renaissance. "We love the old buildings, and we love bringing them back to their original luster."

Classic structures like the Marion Hotel, built in 1905 and Oklahoma City's oldest commercial building, will become 10 apartments.

The Pontiac and Buick buildings are also being restored. The Buick building will house offices, a bar and restaurant and there will be a 285-car parking garage adjacent to it. On top of the building is a big neon sign that is the original design from 1927.

"We needed another landmark, and this is historic automobile alley," Clagg said.

"It's kind of taken on a life longer than what we anticipated," Principal Partner of Midtown Renaissance Bob Howard said.

Howard says their goal is to create a small community.

They'll have the Mayfair, a German beer garden and bowling alley.

"We started out six or seven years ago to kind of create a neighborhood inside a city, and that's what we're striving for, a place where people can get together and socialize and get to know each other," said Howard. "Different from a 300-unit apartment, our apartments are typically 30 to 40 units. So, you get to know people in your apartment house."

And so far, their plan is working.

"I think it's really neat to see Oklahoma City becoming an up and coming city where there's lots of fun places to go, kind of urban," Heritage Hills resident Kim Allen said.

"It's definitely in a good direction, because I think it's really smart to repurpose all these old buildings and stuff and make it exciting and interesting for younger people," said Brody Lockett, who lives in Midtown and loves going to the Waffle Champion.

The developers say it is costing them tens of millions of dollars for all the projects. Clagg said they are also working to have a food truck food court.

Some of the projects that are currently under construction are expected to be completed by the end of the Summer, and everything will be done by the end of the year.