The Journal Record – March 28, 2018

Developer’s Challenge: Use Firstep

After developer Gary Brooks’ presentation on First National Center, he challenged those attending the Mayor’s Development Roundtable to contact Firstep for possible hiring of people recovering from drugs or alcohol. OKC Metro Alliance administers the work and recovery co-ed program. Brooks said, “We need to be proactively looking for opportunities to put people to work that need opportunity. We’re not giving away money. We’re giving people an environment where they can excel, despite the decisions they’ve made.” - January 12, 2017

First National Center Sale Closes  

First National Center sold for $23 million to local ownership of Gary Brooks and Charlie Nicholas ending years of out of state investors.  In 2015 U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot directed the property into receivership.  The sale was one year after the purchase contract was executed.  Brooks gave credit to Judge Friot, receiver Jim Parrack, and Joe Bocock at McAfee and Taft.  Tax increment financing and historic tax credits are expected to be part of the redevelopment.    After many years, the flags returned and beacon lights were on signaling the new ownership. - December 7, 2016

First National Center Sale Likely to Close  

First National Center is scheduled to close Jan. 11, 2017 for $23 million to buyers Charlie Nicholas and Gary Brooks.  The redevelopment of the 1931 Art Deco tower will feature a hotel, retail, and residential spaces.  Negotiations are with Marriott for a high-end hotel.  Renovation costs are estimated at $200 million.   This includes the Great Banking Hall, current office spaces, mechanical systems, and elevators. - January 16, 2015

ULI Oklahoma Impact Awards

Urban Land Institute of Oklahoma held their first Impact Awards on January 15, 2015.  These awards focused on initiatives which were completed in last two years that created constructive upgrades in Oklahoma City's urban vicinity.  ULI members selected three finalists from open submissions for each of the six categories. 

The Edge at Midtown was selected as the winner of the Best Large Scale Infill Development (land recycling), ranging from 50,000 to 300,000 square feet.  The Edge at Midtown is a five story, 250 unit mixed use, upscale apartment complex with 8,000 square feet of retail.  Amenities include a roof top outdoor community space with tanning pool, fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and dog park. - November 5, 2014

Ceremony unveils The Edge, Oklahoma City's newest apartment complex

The Edge mixed-use apartment complex was unveiled Tuesday in Midtown Oklahoma City.  A preview of The Steal Yard, a residential/retail complex, was also shown.

About 200 civic leaers, urban developers, and others were at downtown's newest apartment complex, The Edge.   Developer Gary Brooks said he promised a tight timeline on the 250-unit, mixed-use complex after he was chosen in 2011 by Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority for the site of the former Mercy Hospital which remained boarded up for three decades.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development was recognized for assisting with financing. 

The Edge has amenities not seen in downtown, such as roof top dog park, two courtyards, upscale lobby. - June 16, 2014

Oklahoma City sees Midtown apartment complex nearing completion

The $36 million, 250 unit complex is being built on the former Mercy Hospital site and will have 423 space parking garage and 7,500 square feet of retail.

Trades are working on sheet-rock, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing.  On a recent tour workers were laying brick in the $800,000 courtyard.

The fifth floor will have downtown's first rooftop dog park which will have an eight layer filtration system of gravel, sand, a felt-like material topped by artificial turf with a series of drains.

Gary Brooks said leasing is about 50 percent of the units. - September 15, 2013

Many developers work to improve Bricktown projects

Design plans which had good reviews from the Bricktown Urban Design Committee for the east Bricktown 250 unit apartment complex were discarded so new, improved plans could be drawn up.  The second set was considerably different and plausibly more costly.

It was decided the two block stretch of complex was too long.  The parking garage on the northwest corner might not be well received by the adjacent The Hill residents.

Urban Renewal Authority's architecturual consultant, RTKL, worked with developers Gary Brooks and  Andy Burnett to draw the complex into two buildings divided by a promenade.  The retail portion was increased to 18,000 square feet.

The project is now being called, "The Steelyard." - August 23, 2013

East Bricktown Project:  Before and After

The east Bricktown multi-housing/retail project is proceeding as planned, but the actual plans have changed.  The previous plans received praise from the Bricktown Urban Design Committee during a June presentation.  The Urban Renewal Authority, which has a more extensive design review, reviewed it as nice, but not ideal.

The first plan had a lengthy continuous building on Sheridan and a long garage facing The Hill in Deep Deuce.  The complex has now been structured to be two buildings which gives space for a promenade courtyard. - June 12, 2013

Bricktown housing plan includes low-cost units, retail

The new east Bricktown housing/retail development will have 39 apartments for residents whose incomes fall between 50 percent and 125 percent of median local income.  The income level units will be throughout the complex.  This is not Section 8 or public housing.

The Bricktown Urban Design Committee was pleased with the initial presentation.  The formal application will be presented later this summer. - June 11, 2013

East Bricktown housing, retail development designs unveiled, site preparation continues

Designs were shown for the first time of a $70 million mixed-use development in east Bricktown.  There is still utility relocation and soil remediation to do.  First phase will be 250 apartments which is the first large-scale housing for Bricktown.

The development, led by Gary Brooks and Andy Burnett, could possibly represent the largest sole investment in the entertainment district's recent 30 year history.    This also is the largest only use of federal stimulus funds, $4.5 million, for urban housing in Oklahoma City.  Developers agreed to increase the percentage of rent-capped apartments.

There will be about 80 percent facade of traditional red-toned brick and earth tone aluminum panels as architectural highlights.  Approximately 39 units will have capped rent rates to be affordable to working class and students. - March 23, 2013

Metal crunched in Bricktown to clear site for development

Scrap metal from the previous facilities of Stewart Metal Fabricators in east Bricktown began being removed last week.  Removal process is anticipated to continue 30 days.  Developers will be recycling the metal.  Last November Andy Burnett and Gary Brooks paid $4.4 million for the property.  They have plans to build a mix of apartments, retail, and a hotel.  Burnett said it will take another year for soil cleanup and relocation of underground utilities.

The Daily Oklahoman - November 29, 2012

Developers in Oklahoma City pay $4.4 million for Bricktown site planned for $75 million housing and retail complex.

On November 29, 2012, The Daily Oklahoman reported $4.4 million was paid by Bricktown Apartments LLC for the north half of an east Bricktown site that was formerly Stewart Metal Fabricators plan. A $75 million mix development project of apartments, retail, and hotel is planned.

The Journal Record - October 17, 2012

Constn to start on OKC’s Edge at Midtown

The Journal Record reported the Edge at Midtown groundbreaking on October 17, 2012. This marks the beginning of construction on the much anticipated Edge at Midtown multi use development at NW 13th and Walker. Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority Chairman Larry Nichols spoke of the former Mercy Hospital site. “It’s going to be a tremendous addition to the community and provide housing and retail space to people in the area.”

The project, which will take about 20 months to construct, will be 250 apartment units with retail on Walker Street. Berkadia Commercial Mortgage and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are part of the financing. The project will also receive tax increment finance funding from Oklahoma City.

Gary Brooks of Cornerstone Development was selected for this project because of the company’s experience with HUD financing. At the groundbreaking Brooks thanked many people including his attorney, architect, and engineers. “It takes a lot of people nodding their heads yes to make a project like this happen.”

Journal Record - August 15, 2012

Bricktown apartment project could blossom

Two unusable tracks of land that Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority previously considered undevelopable may see redevelopment as a mixed market rate and affordable housing. Andy Burnett and Gary Brooks proposed to build a four story 249 unit apartment complex on the former Stewart Metal site at Sheridan Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program will be utilitized for funding. If the development is effective, use of two other adjacent tracks owned by Urban Renewal Authority could be included. The mixed use development could have retail and hotel areas.

The Journal Record - March 14, 2012

Edge at Midtown developer agrees to restrictions

Gary Brooks agreed to some restrictions on the kind of businesses that can lease retail space at Edge at Midtown multi use development. The Journal Record published an article written by Brianna Bailey on March 14, 2012 reporting on this meeting between Brooks and the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. Some of the retail businesses banned from leasing space at the Edge at Midtown are adult video stores, tattoo parlors, commercial blood banks, pawnshops, and storefront churches. There was also a provision that obligates contractors working on this project to have fences around the site, limit heavy equipment traffic through Heritage Hills and Mesta Park; keeping trash and mud cleaned up. Brooks stated, “We recognize the importance of this project and if anything it inspires us to work harder as a team so that when it’s finished the neighbors and people with offices in the area will be happy with it.”

Journal Record - August 25, 2011

Roundtable Discussion - OKC Downtown Housing

On August 25, 2011, Brianna Bailey with the Journal Record reported on the round table discussion Andy Burnett, with William T. Strange & Associates/Sperry Van Ness, hosted on multi-housing in downtown Oklahoma City. Several well-known developers participated including Gary Brooks of Cornerstone Development. One of the topics covered was why downtown was getting higher rent than the other markets. Brooks stated, “…it’s a supply-and- demand issue. It’s really just now coming into its own for most Oklahoma City residents. The action, the activity, the fun – it’s a different downtown than it was three years ago.” Other discussion involved the amount of investments such as the MAPS programs and upgrades that had been made in downtown Oklahoma City and how it is paying off with a higher quality of life. Burnett added, “…I met with the mayor of Shreveport, La., last week and he’s the one who wanted to know how we had done so well with housing downtown. I pointed to, if you take away the canal, take away the ballpark, take away the Chesapeake Energy Arena – if you take away a lot of the amenities that the city has invested in downtown, where is our market?”