Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - Uptown whirl

Uptown whirl

NW 23rd Street lots sold as neighborhood's comeback picks up steam

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

by Brianna Bailey

The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – The revitalization of the Uptown NW 23rd Street neighborhood continues to gain momentum and at least one real estate firm has redevelopment plans for it.

Over the past nine months, a limited liability company with ties to Oklahoma City-based Land Run Commercial Real Estate Advisors has bought up most of the block between NW 23rd and NW 24th streets between N. Dewey and N. Walker avenues. The properties include several vacant lots on NW 24th and a vacant, dilapidated service station facing Walker. The company also recently purchased the old Hotel and Motel Liquidation store at NW 23rd and Walker.

Mike and Janet Jezdan, who own Hotel and Motel Liquidation, confirmed that they have sold their property to Land Run, but declined to comment further. Situated in an old department store building, the liquidation store has been in operation for 21 years at 519 NW 23rd St. For the past several years the store has had signs in the windows advertising that it was going out of business. The signs have been taken down.

Calls to Land Run were not immediately returned on Monday.

Land Run has asked the Oklahoma City Planning Commission for permission to close an alleyway behind the Hotel and Motel Liquidation store. Commission staff recommended that Land Run present its redevelopment plans to the city, but it hasn’t done so yet.

“There’s potential redevelopment happening there, but I have not seen anything firm yet,” Oklahoma City Planning Director Russell Claus said.

Several business owners in the area said Land Run’s redevelopment plans include a new shopping center at NW 23rd and Walker.

“We are very enthusiastic about Land Run being a part of Uptown 23rd,” said Jennifer Seal, an organizer for Uptown 23rd, a merchant’s association that is drumming up volunteers to promote the neighborhood. “They are very visionary and forward-thinking in their plans.”

The NW 23rd Street corridor is quickly becoming one of the city’s trendiest corridors for restaurants and shops.

Two new restaurants, Pizza 23 and an Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, are preparing to open at 600 NW 23rd St. Across the street, Grandad’s Bar also is getting ready to open within the next few months in a long-empty storefront at 317 NW 23rd St.

A recent Uptown 23rd meeting drew anywhere from 35 to 50 people anxious to volunteer to help promote the area, organizers said.

A Good Egg Dining Group, which owns two pioneering Uptown restaurants, Cheever’s Cafe and Tucker’s Onion Burgers, has purchased a long-empty building at 2500 N. Walker Ave. and plans to fix it up to use as an office and a production center for its growing catering business. The building was once the home of Tull Overhead Door Co., but has been empty for the past eight years.

“We’ve had our eye on that building for five or six years,” said Keith Paul, one of the founders of A Good Egg. “We knew it would make a huge impact for that area when we bought it.”