The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority is moving forward with plans to solicit development bids for the downtown block that is home to several major arts groups and the annual Festival of the Arts, but is also cautioning developers those tenants’ futures must be considered in any proposal.
Chicago-based development and planning firm Clayco is asking to submit a development bid for the city-owned property, which is immediately south of Stage Center — a landmark that is being torn down to make way for a new OGE Energy Corp. headquarters.
Clayco is also a development consultant to Rainey Williams Jr. on the Stage Center redevelopment project, and last week an official with the firm told The Oklahoman they are looking at a mix of housing and hotels for the potential development of the property at Hudson and Reno avenues.
Cathy O’Connor, director of the Urban Renewal Authority, told her board Wednesday the redevelopment also could include structured parking, some of which might be available for a new convention center the city is preparing to build southeast of the block.
The property, which is home to the Myriad Gardens Foundation and La Luna Mexican Restaurant, was purchased by the city two years ago for $4.2 million. The city also owns a building that is home to the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and a handful of non-profit arts groups, and a plaza that hosts the festival every April.
Bids are due
Development bids will be due 60 days after the request is advertised. O’Connor said any bid must include paying fair market value for the property. Meetings are scheduled next week with the tenants.
“We are going to need space for these people,” O’Connor said. “We have issues with tenants and relocation we need to think about.”