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Edmond City Council denies Plaza USA building downtown

The proposal for the new office and retail building does not call for enough parking spaces, council members said.
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman Modified: May 29, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014

The design of a proposed multimillion dollar retail and office building in downtown Edmond drew compliments from city council members, right before they voted 4-0 to deny its construction.

The issue this week also sparked a renewed debate on parking availability in downtown Edmond.

Council members said they liked the architectural look of the proposed two-story, 15,584-square-foot building at Campbell and Broadway. But the lack of parking for the project, called Plaza USA, is what ultimately doomed it.

Plaza USA was estimated to cost between $2 million and $2.5 million.

Representing the developer, Saeed Zahrai, was attorney Randel Shadid. Shadid did not mask his displeasure with the council’s decision. He said he wasn't sure if or when the project would ever come back for review.

“If I were him (Zahrai) I’d say to hell with it and let weeds grow all over the lot,” Shadid said.

The proposed site is a parking lot just south of the Edmond Post Office on Broadway and to the west of Keller Williams Realty on Campbell.

Plaza USA received approval earlier in the month from the Central Edmond Urban Development Board in a 5-1 vote. The chair of the urban board, David Forrest, spoke in favor of Plaza USA and conceded the lack of parking might have been a problem. He said the board overall thought the project was a positive development for northern downtown.

Shadid, who owns an office across the street, said Plaza USA would be a great destination point for shoppers and also a link to the nearby University of Central Oklahoma to the east.

But council members, as well as the only dissenter on the urban board, Gary Moore, said the project needed to abide by the rule of one parking space per 400 feet of development.

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