Demolition of the former Steffen's Dairy in Bricktown is set to begin Feb. 1, with construction to begin immediately afterward on a 124-room, five-story Holiday Inn Express.
The 16,700-square-foot hotel, at 101 E Main, is set to include food service, meeting rooms, a fitness center and pool.
K.J. Jones, head of construction for Irving, Texas-based developer Newcrest, said the hotel will be built, owned and operated by the company's president, Daxesh Patel, through his venture Supreme Bright Bricktown LLC.
“It may be a bit aggressive, but we want to have it open by Christmas,” Jones said.
Jones would not reveal the development cost of the hotel, but an application filed at the city's building permit office estimates the project cost at $18 million.
Plans for the hotel, drawn up by Architectural Design Group, were applauded at Tuesday's meeting of the Bricktown Urban Design Committee, but not without conflicting guidance given on plans for the entryway. Panel members unanimously agreed to allow the project to proceed, but with possible changes to the hotel's entrance to be considered at a later date.
Committee member Bob Bright, also a planning commissioner, repeatedly criticized the height of an entrance archway, while another member, architect Mark Krittenbrink, argued for the height but didn't like its angled protrusion.
“Making a prominent entrance is typical of the era,” Krittenbrink said. “But the leaning out … is not historical.”
Another member, Avis Scaramucci, indicated she had no problem with the archway. She also disagreed with Bright's suggestion that the entrance canopies were not a good fit for the district, arguing the design does reflect other canopies found in Bricktown.
Bright also questioned whether the two-story glass-encased lobby was in keeping with the historic nature of the century-old warehouse district.
“It just seems like someone decided to stick something on the front to make it look modern,” Bright said. “It doesn't seem consistent with where we are.”
Scott Dedmon, project architect, responded the design team wished to avoid a “Disneyland replication design” that attempts to recreate historic buildings.
“We're building a building in 2013, not a building in 1915,” Dedmon said.
The committee previously approved demolition of the dairy, which has been empty for more than 20 years and was first eyed for potential hotel development in 2008.