Construction is starting up for a greatly modified House of Bedlam along the Bricktown Canal that will now include a third floor for a laser tag and entertainment center, with other tenants including a coffee shop, restaurant and sports apparel store.
New plans for the $4 million development won unanimous approval and praise Wednesday from the Bricktown Design Review, which once sought to kill the project over developer Chris Johnson's original plans to include canal-side parking.
The new plans do away with all but a handful of valet spots enclosed in the street-level of the building, and add a 5,444-square-foot third floor, increasing the building's size to 15,577 square feet.
“We're bringing in family entertainment,” Johnson said. “There will be laser tag and redemption games, and there will be birthday parties and celebrations right there along the canal.”
The new designs also include a street-level walkway similar to pathways built by the city along the north segment of the canal.
Johnson, owner of USA Screen Printing, flirted with developing the property both as an owner and prospective buyer several times since the canal opened in 1998.
He took the unprecedented step of bringing attorneys and a court reporter to design review meetings when he battled committee members over initial plans submitted in 2011 to build structures that included parking lots that would face the canal.