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OKC Central: Hotels keep finding room to build in Bricktown
Two properties sold Monday for hotel development in Bricktown with another set to sell Thursday is a sure indicator the energy downturn is not slowing down growth in the state's premier urban entertainment district.
The AC by Marriott, Hyatt Place and Staybridge Suites hotels are not new news; the projects and designs have been public for several months for the first two, and for the past couple years for the Staybridge Suites.
Bricktown has seen a wave of hotel announcements through the years. Architects are commissioned to design projects that sometimes don't become a reality. But when millions of dollars are paid for premium properties in Bricktown, that's when it gets serious.
All three hotels are on the east end of Bricktown, which is rapidly transforming with the opening Saturday of the Criterion, a music venue that looked packed with 2,000 people but can accommodate up to 4,000.
Construction of a five-story Springhill Suites is underway to the east of the Criterion, and columns are going up for the Steelyard, a 400-unit apartment and retail complex on the north side of Sheridan. Atul Patel, who bought the property for the Springhill Suites a couple years ago, previously told The Oklahoman he plans to build a second hotel immediately east of Springhill Suites.
Dallas-based NewcrestImage, meanwhile, closed its purchase of the northeast corner of Sheridan and Joe Carter avenues and is preparing to start construction this spring on the AC and Hyatt Place hotels. The development was impressive from the moment the drawings were finalized, but again, the property purchase Monday makes it that much more real.