Architect Rand Elliott has filed an application with the city planning department to tear down the above building at 7 N Harrison Ave. Elliott bought the building last August for $400,000, and made it clear to me had no desire to talk to me about the purchase. But it was a significant acquisition for Elliott, one that gave him complete control of the block that is anchored by the historic Hiedering Building that is home to his architectural firm.
Now we know Elliott plans to tear down the building, which was built in 1930. In recent years the building hasn’t been the nicest looking structure on the block. It was last home to Leo’s BBQ until the past few years.
The building is shown in better condition in these historic photos:
Folks might recall that the Urban Renewal property was first being developed by Grant Humphreys, who was on the verge of getting his building permit and starting construction on what would have been a mixed-use development with shops, restaurants and housing. The development, however, was killed by the collapse in the national economy in 2009.
The project would have looked like this (renderings by Studio Architecture):
It was an ambitious project. You can see an animation of the project here: http://www.flatironokc.com/video/index.html
So that was then. This is now. And now, the Urban Renewal Authority has agreed to reassign redevelopment of the property to Chuck Ainsworth, with Rand Elliott taking the place of Studio Architecture as the designer.
The original building will home to PILCO, an insurance company, and Ainsworth has promised Urban Renewal he plans to do a second phase of development on the block soon after completion of the first phase.
And the vision from Rand Elliott is what follows:
The challenge for this block with both developers has been, and remains, parking. Humphreys’ project envisioned parking within the larger, new structure and additional parking on ODOT-owned easement to the east.
Ainsworth said he is pursuing a similar deal with ODOT (you can see the proposed parking in the animation above). But in the meantime, they have a back-up plan as disclosed at an Urban Renewal meeting by Elliott – extra room for parking on his own block to the west.
Currently, the way the block is configured, the only parking is usually filled up with folks who work at Elliott’s firm. But if some other buildings were removed….????