Plans for a Holiday Inn Express in Bricktown are back on track with a new developer and more ambitious designs.
J.C. Witcher, project manager with Architectural Design Group, gave a presentation of new designs to the Bricktown Urban Design Committee on Wednesday that he said will be submitted for approval later this year.
The Holiday Inn Express was first proposed in 2008, when a different architectural firm pitched designs that were widely criticized for featuring 49 percent synthetic stucco in its facade and a style that was dismissed as clashing with the surrounding historic warehouse district.
Revised designs were proposed that increased the use of brick and was seen as a better fit. The project by Kasum Hospitality, however, was abandoned after the economic crash that occurred later that year.
Witcher declined to name the new developer, but added plans call for construction to start as early as January.
The new designs show a building that resembles nearby buildings like the Awalt Building, at Sheridan and Oklahoma avenues. It is home to Spaghetti Warehouse. The designs increased from four to five stories and from 97 rooms to 124 rooms.
Witcher acknowledged the new designs are more costly, but advised the addition of a fifth floor allowed for more architectural detail. The designs showed signage that hearken back to the rooftop signs prevalent in the district during the mid-20th century, sidewalk planters, a fountain and drop-off lane. A pool will be built to the north of the hotel.
“I'd like to say we've raised the bar — it no longer looks like a typical Holiday Inn Express,” Witcher said. “It fits.”
The Bricktown Urban Design Committee previously approved plans to demolish the former home of Steffen's Ice Cream plant at 101 E Main. It has stood empty more than 20 years. The building was built in several phases starting in 1916, and in previous presentations the committee was informed it would be very difficult to renovate for adaptive use.
The building is not on the National Register of Historic Places, and is owned by veteran Bricktown developer Don Karchmer.
Witcher reported Wednesday the project is expected to take about 14 months to complete once demolition is started.
Bricktown is experiencing a spurt in new hotel development that includes an 11-story Hilton Garden Inn at Sheridan and Central Avenues, a six- to eight-story Marriott Springhill Suites at Russell Perry and NE 1 in Deep Deuce, and two more hotels, each six to eight stories high, on the south side of Sheridan Avenue at Byers Avenue.