“We're embracing that alleyways are where everything happens, and how that can be interesting.”
McKown purchased the “Level west” site at the same time he bought the original Level property. He bought more parcels to the east of Level at NE 3 and Oklahoma last month for $294,000 and hopes to buy the remaining undeveloped parcels on that block from the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority for more housing in the future.
In presenting designs for “Level west” Thursday to the Downtown Design Review Committee, McKown estimated the east site work will begin in about 18 months — if the current expansion is successful. He hopes to start construction on the west development this summer with an opening in mid-2014.
His plans include more ground floor retail, specifically a coffee shop.“We're excited about a coffee shop happening no matter what,” McKown said. “There is enough demand; there are enough pedestrian commuters who want that kind of place.”
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Deep Deuce, generally considered to be bordered by NE 1, NE 4, the BNSF railway viaduct and Interstate 235, was a blighted, formerly African American neighborhood in the 1990s. Redevelopment started slowly with the construction of the Deep Deuce apartments, and then proceeded with renovations of burned-out buildings into housing, restaurants and shops, development of for-sale and rental housing, and then offices and hotels. Only a few parcels remain that have yet to be targeted for construction of housing or more hotels.