Ellard recalls an early visit with one banker who lived in Edmond.
"He said ‘who would ever live there?’ I thought he was teasing,” Ellard said. "But I could tell the banker wasn’t teasing.”
A recent tour of the renovation shows a building that has been completely rebuilt; the hotel that once featured more than 80 rooms is now home to 38 apartments and space for ground floor restaurants and shops.
Apartments designed by Michale Stapleton offer modern amenities and yet reflect the Art Deco era of the hotel’s heyday.
Since leasing began in the fall about half of the apartments have been rented without any publicity or advertising (units start at $1,000 a month). Incoming president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., Jane Jenkins, is among the incoming residents. Those touring the building include a top executive with Hinz, which is developing the new Devon Energy tower.
Ellard said the waiting, the hard work, the uncertainty was all worth what she sees today.
"It was a beautiful building and somebody needed to do something,” Ellard said. "And it was us.”