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Office plan overcomes concerns

By Steve Lackmeyer Published: September 19, 2008
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or too long we've lived with consequences of poor decisions made 30 to 40 years ago ... I can't sit back and say this is perfect as proposed. I don't think that traffic engineers need to be making urban design decisions.”

Anthony McDermid, who was on the committee until last month, suggested the building be moved to the east end of the property, where surface parking is planned, or that the land not be developed at all.

"The proposed site is the only grassed open space in downtown Oklahoma City,” McDermid said. "There are, of course, several hard-scaped spaces downtown including some with water features — Kerr and Couch parks, BOK Plaza, Leadership Plaza and Murrah park — but no flat open grass space that can be used for a multitude of events.”

Roy Williams, chamber president, responded that structured parking could not be fit into the project's $18 million budget.

Only three members of the committee were able to vote on the project, because of two resignations, the absence of a third member and a decision by Chairwoman Betsy Brunsteter to recuse herself from voting because her firm consulted on the designs.

Member Richard Tanenbaum led the charge to approve the project, including the building design pending granting of a variance by the city's Board of Adjustment.

"I think it's phenomenal,” Tanenbaum said. "We need to get this started.”

Voting with Tanenbaum were committee members Jim Loftis and GiGi Faulkner.