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Bricktown development with canal-side parking is dropped in Oklahoma City; land is for sale

A controversial development that would have added surface parking along the Bricktown Canal in Oklahoma City is being scrapped, and the property is up for sale.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: August 31, 2012

A controversial development that would have added surface parking along the Bricktown Canal is being scrapped, and the property is for sale.

Chris Johnson, owner of USA Screen Printing, struggled over his plans with the Bricktown Urban Design Committee for four months last year before members narrowly approved the project under city attorneys' advisement they couldn't block construction of parking along the waterway.

Johnson's plans called for the creation of parking lots on both sides of the canal just west of Mickey Mantle Drive. The site also was to include 30,000 square feet of retail split among two buildings on each side of the waterway, with the largest continuous space to be located under a street-level parking deck across from the JDM Building.

During the discussions, Johnson was accompanied by attorneys and court reporters, and he frequently indicated he was eager to start construction.

But at a meeting of the Bricktown Urban Design Committee in June, he confirmed the project was on hold due to discussions under way with other potential developers.

Johnson could not be reached for comment Thursday.

But Don Hayes, whose Hayes Brokerage has the properties listed for sale for $3.5 million, confirmed that Johnson no longer plans to move ahead with the west half of the development. He said Johnson may still proceed with the east half of the project facing Mickey Mantle Drive at a future date.

Hayes said Johnson is willing to sell part or all of the property, or entertain development partners. The site spans 52,721 square feet or 1.2 acres.

Johnson bought the property in 2011 for $2.4 million, nine years after he told the Oklahoma City Council he planned to buy the site to build a $5.5 million, 70-room, three-story hotel that would cross the canal. But he did not proceed with those original plans.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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