Work will begin later this year on a 282-car garage that developers hope will allow successful redevelopment of the nearby Marion Hotel and two of Automobile Alley's original dealership warehouses.
Designs for the five-story garage at 123 NW 10 were approved Thursday by the Downtown Design Review Committee after a presentation provided by architects David Kraszewski and Bryan Fitzsimmons.
The garage is proposed to be built on a surface lot between the 1101 N Broadway Building and Frontline Church along NW 10 between Broadway and Robinson Avenue.
“The project is in the spirit of Bricktown and Automobile Alley,” Kraszewski said, referring to the two nearby historic districts. “Automobile Alley has a great diversity in its architecture. Our design is a diversity that reflects the texture of the area.”
Kraszewski said the exterior design includes a series of decorative louvers that are inspired by the louvered windows of the 1101 N Broadway building. He said a series of brick encased planters at street level will be in a pattern and color matching the nearby warehouses as well.
Developers with MidTown Renaissance, which has renovated several nearby historic structures, first announced the garage last year.
The city approved a $1 million low-interest loan and a $2 million forgivable loan tied to a second mortgage for the project with the requirement that the nearby century-old Hotel Marion and decades-old car dealership buildings at 1100 and 1101 N Broadway be renovated by late 2014.
The 1101 N Broadway building, which is expected to be renovated at the same time the garage is built, will be linked with the garage by skywalk.
An alley between the two structures is set to be converted to a landscaped courtyard featuring spirals from the Baum Building, a Venetian-style building that was torn down in the 1970s to make way for the Century Center Mall at Sheridan and Robinson Avenues.
The spiral was on display at the Santa Fe Garage out of public view and was damaged by vandals, but will be restored, said Chris Fleming, a partner in MidTown Renaissance.
“What we're coming down to is more of an aesthetic issue more than one of materials,” said design committee member Chuck Ainsworth. “I like it. I think it's very cool. It's very modern. You don't want to mirror what is next door.”