Senior, single-family housing, offices proposed for Sunbeam campus

Sunbeam Family Services, an anchor in Oklahoma City’s Mesta Park Neighborhood before the neighborhood really existed, could be redeveloped into senior multi-family housing and offices under a plan being pursued by Marva Ellard.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: February 5, 2014
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The Sunbeam Family Services, an anchor in the Mesta Park Neighborhood before the neighborhood really existed, could be redeveloped into senior multifamily housing and offices under a plan being pursued by Marva Ellard.

Ellard, who developed the historic Sieber Hotel at 1305 N Hudson Ave. into upscale apartments, is under contract to buy the campus from Sunbeam and is set to discuss her plans Thursday night with Mesta Park residents.

The pending sale coincides with construction of a new home for Sunbeam at NW 14 and Classen. Executive Director Ray Bitsche Jr. estimates the nonprofit will move into its new home in October. The group, which provides foster care, counseling and aid to the elderly and low-income families, has been in the five-building campus at 620 NW 21 since 1912.

“We have a contract and Ray is working on due diligence,” Ellard said. “One thing we need is a special exception from the Board of Adjustment. We wanted to talk to Mesta Park to see if they feel comfortable with what we want to do.”

The proposal calls for three 3,100-square-foot, six-bedroom “cottages” to be converted into single-family homes. The main building, built in 1928 after the original wood frame house on the site was destroyed by fire, would be converted into senior multifamily housing.

A football-sized building built in 1964 — a modern-style structure used for offices by Sunbeam — is a bit trickier to figure out, Ellard said.

“The building, what we call the ‘ark,’ is something we don’t have a clear purpose for,” Ellard said. “It’s been an office since it’s been built. We would like to keep it office. But it could become residential.”

The long-term plan, if the sale goes through, may also include new, low-density multifamily housing to be built in adjoining lots owned by Sunbeam.

The deal started with a competition between Ellard and Bitsche in bidding for the future Sunbeam home at NW 14 and Classen.


by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
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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At a glance

Home is several years in making

Sunbeam Family Services began its quest to build a new home in 2011. Construction of the new $10 million campus at NW 14 and Classen started last year. The new Sunbeam campus will consist of a 5,400-square-foot senior shelter and a 33,400-square-foot main building. Completion is set for October.

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