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Opening of new KOSU studio marks transition for Film Row

KOSU radio is officially on the air on Film Row — another sign that the former “skid row” is emerging as Oklahoma City's latest hot spot for the creative class.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: September 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm •  Published: September 21, 2013

The newly restored Hart Building also is home to the offices of Claims Management Resources and Advanced Subrogation Resources, Credit Collections Inc., Ferrell Oil, deadCenter Film Festival and Chopt coffee and sandwich shop.

“KOSU is now positioned as an anchor institution for Film Row,” Burley said.

In its mid-20th century heyday, the 700 block of W Sheridan Avenue was one of 35 film distribution centers across the country, home to branches of Paramount, RKO, 20th Century Fox and other studios.

Until the past several years, the block was better known as “skid row,” a blighted stretch on the west fringe of downtown. Developer Chip Fudge bought up several of the Art Deco buildings, launched renovations and worked with the city to start a streetscape. The area is now home to an art gallery, coffee shops, screening room, pizzeria and offices.

About 500 people now work along the two-block stretch of W Sheridan, and construction is set for a two-story office building for a law firm, a tower on the Stage Center property, and a three-story school already under construction will all directly link Film Row to the Central Business District.

Fudge said the opening of KOSU brings the 40,000-square-foot Hart Building to full occupancy. Expansion and renovation of an adjoining building to the east, known as the “sliver building,” is set to become home of Butzer-Gardener Design.

With the district now hosting monthly “Premiere” art walk festivals, the latest being held Friday night, Fudge is extending his investment. He is about to start renovations on a building he recently bought west of the Hart building, and is looking to acquire more nearby properties.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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