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Norman council approves 'high-end' apartments, despite protest from residents

City council members Tuesday paved the way for construction of a “high-end” apartment complex in northwest Norman, approving a change in land use and rezoning from commercial to medium-density residential.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: November 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm •  Published: November 29, 2012
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— Developers of a proposed apartment complex in northwest Norman say the project is aimed at young professionals, people who can afford to pay rents of $800 to $1,200 a month.

The 235-unit, three-story complex planned for Tecumseh Road and 36th Avenue NW is “definitely high-end, a quality project,” said Sean Rieger, who represents OSOI Tecumseh Development and NE Development.

Units are designed more like townhouses, with enclosed garages, he said.

Apartment interiors will feature 9-foot-high ceilings, crown molding and wood laminate floors. The exterior will feature brick, stucco and decorative stone. Amenities will include a clubhouse, swimming pool, fitness center, business center and kitchen, Rieger said.

The apartments would be on the west side of 36th Avenue NW, south of Tecumseh Road.

More than 800 residents who live in the Cascade and Castle Rock neighborhoods, just west of the project, signed a petition opposing a change in land use and rezoning from commercial to medium-density residential.

The petition notes that residents prefer commercial development of the 10-acre tract. More than 100 of the residents appeared at Tuesday's city council meeting.

In a 5-3 vote, and following several hours of debate, the council approved the land use and rezoning change. Voting against the changes were Mayor Cindy Rosenthal and council members Roger Gallagher and Chad Williams.

Rosenthal said she couldn't ignore “the level of protest” from residents and felt it was “shortsighted” to take a major commercial intersection off the market.

“This is the last prime commercial corner remaining in Norman, and the city lives and dies by sales tax revenue,” Rosenthal said.

Resident Christie Remualdo said the area needs commercial properties nearby, such as gas stations and other service-type businesses.

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by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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