Architect Rand Elliott announced Monday he is developing a master plan for the block of Harrison Avenue and NW 4, a triangle-shaped property that has been home to his firm Elliott Associates Architects for almost 20 years.
Elliott’s firm is in the historic Heierding Building at 35 Harrison Ave., and last summer he acquired the remainder of the block, including a run-down one-story building that was last home to a downtown Leo’s Barbeque restaurant. Before Elliott bought and renovated the Heierding building, it was boarded up and presumed destined for demolition.
“Developing and improving this block of downtown Oklahoma City has been a dream of mine for many years,” said Elliott, who owns the land with his wife, Jeanette. “When E+A moved our offices to the Flatiron District in 1995, the area was lifeless, yet held great promise. In the past five years, the area has been reborn and the urban image dramatically improved. Look around now. The transformation is nearly unfathomable.”
That transformation includes redevelopment of another flatiron-shaped building across the street at 127 Harrison Ave. that will become home to PLICO insurance, and development of the Maywood apartments to the south.
“The Flatiron district is now a highly desirable place,” Elliott said. “We see extending the pedestrian-friendly area where people shop, dine, live and socialize north to our block. Our team is having a great time envisioning the possibilities for this gateway block into downtown.”
Elliott recently razed the 6,787-square-foot former Leo’s Barbeque building at 7 Harrison Ave., which he deemed unsafe for redevelopment.
“I know Rand as a preservationist — someone whose respect for architectural style and history is reflected in his firm’s designs,” Oklahoma Historical Society Executive Director Bob Blackburn said. “Rand’s building restoration for his firm’s corporate headquarters in the Flatiron District was inspired by historical precedent. I am certain what Rand and his firm will design for this block will complement the existing context and contribute to the district’s continued reinvigoration.”