A “hotel and motel liquidation sale” that began two decades ago at 519 NW 23 is about to come to an end as the block is targeted for redevelopment into an upscale shopping center.
Johnathan Russell, president of Land Run Commercial Real Estate, is eyeing conversion of the worn-out shopping center and surrounding block at NW 23 and Walker Avenue. Over the past few months, his acquisitions included a mid-20th century former Texaco station at 2425 N Walker Ave. and a nightclub at 2415 N Walker Ave.
He confirmed in an interview with The Oklahoman that he has a contract to buy the Hotel and Motel Liquidators shopping center with a closing set for next month.
“We saw opportunity; we saw demand,” Russell said. “We felt like this could have a major impact on the area. The property is situated dead center in Paseo, Jefferson Park, Heritage Hills and Mesta Park. It connects MidTown to Paseo. It's between the Capitol and OCU (Oklahoma City University). It's pivotal.”
Russell expects renovations to begin this winter, with completion set for mid-2013. His redevelopment of the block, which he has started to present to surrounding neighborhoods, calls for a mix of restaurants and shops.
Renderings created by TAP Architecture show storefronts still facing NW 23 but with a new facade facing what is now an alley that runs east and west to the north of the shopping center.
Architect Anthony McDermid said the block is in dire need of a makeover.
“The 23rd Street elevation has evolved over the decades into something that looked dated and clumsy,” McDermid said.
“Our design philosophy was to go back, turn the clock back, and do something more elegant and more authentic compared to what was there originally. What was there originally was predominantly storefront glass and awnings. And that's what we intend to bring back on 23rd Street side.”