Altogether, Hogan sees this mix as a success — one that he notes is 500,000 square feet and exceeding the minimum of 400,000 square feet as required in his redevelopment agreement. He admits retail has been elusive, but adds it has not been a slam dunk in other urban entertainment districts in bigger cities.
The proposed Kevin Durant restaurant, meanwhile, has limited interaction with the canal, designed with main entrances facing the parking to the south and not the canal. Hogan notes that concerns have been raised about whether the building is so short that the rooftop air conditioning and other equipment might be visible to the patio dining at neighboring Earl's Rib Palace.
Hogan calls the design by Rees Associates “outstanding” and said the mix of rock and brick in the facade borrows from buildings he saw in Aspen, Colo. Readers of my OKC Central blog, however, were overwhelmingly critical of the project's design and scope in a poll posted Monday.
When asked Monday why he abandoned previous plans for the Kevin Durant restaurant site that called for a two-story building, Hogan responded that parking in the area already is tight, and a larger building would require structured parking. He said the construction of a new boulevard in the old Interstate 40 alignment south of Lower Bricktown will provide space for some additional spaces — but not enough to allow for denser development.
And that brings us back to why the selection of Hogan was handled in rather quick fashion — a month or so — when this development was first conceived.
Fifteen years ago, city leaders were most concerned about creating enough parking for the nearby Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Consideration of the development design was secondary in those early conversations.
This leaves Urban Renewal commissioners with questions to ponder Wednesday: Is parking still the dominant consideration at play in deciding appropriate design and development in Bricktown? And is the proposed one-story restaurant they are being asked to approve the best they can require from Hogan after a 15-year wait to see this site developed?