The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority on Wednesday will be asked to approve revised renderings for what will be a restaurant in Lower Bricktown affiliated with Thunder star Kevin Durant.
Developer Randy Hogan said Monday that he started “fresh” with architects at Rees Associates after his previous plans were rejected by Urban Renewal commissioners who argued the building was too focused on surface parking and failed to interact with the Bricktown Canal.
“The more we got into it and restudied it, the more I realized there were some very good points raised,” Hogan said. “We went back to the drawing boards and hopefully came up with something that works. I like the building more than I did before.”
Renderings show changes to the canal frontage of the building and a passageway between it and Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill to the east.
The original plans, created by Rees Associates, called for an entrance facing surface parking to the south of the building, with a minimal patio fronting half the building along the canal.
A 9-foot-wide walkway between the proposed new building and Toby Keith's was compared by Urban Renewal Board member Larry Nichols to walking through a canyon with 17-foot-high walls with no windows.
Urban Renewal commissioners at their last meeting appeared united in saying Hogan was going too far in developing his buildings so that they face the surface parking and not the canal.
The new renderings show Hogan's response to the alleyway concern was to create an additional 18½-foot-wide pedestrian corridor just to the west of the east wall, inside the building, that then leads to a new main entrance that will face the canal instead of the surface parking.
The plans also show that the Durant restaurant will occupy the entire 10,000-square-foot building.
Hogan was the first designated developer for the city-owned land in 1997 and paid $3 million for the entire area, the proceeds of which were used to build walkways and bridges to accommodate his project.
The Urban Renewal Authority has design and development control of the area.
Durant last spring confirmed he has an agreement with the Hal Smith Restaurant Group to open a restaurant and bar in the new building.
“I want to start construction as soon as I can,” Hogan said. “I think we can get it done in 10 months.”
The more we got into it and restudied it, the more I realized there were some very good points raised. We went back to the drawing boards and hopefully came up with something that works. I like the building more than I did before.”