Michael probably wasn’t counting on me taking his comment and turning it into a post. But it’s interesting enough that I don’t want to see it skipped over. Michael’s been in the trenches and has done a lot of work to promote downtown preservation. He’s also someone who does more than just speak a good line – he’s taken on some very admired projects himself along with partner Randy Floyd. So, without any more delay…
Of course, there is no actual parking problem in Bricktown . . . only an inaccurate perception and the resultant whining by people that are accustomed to pulling their SUV into a free parking spot right in front of the entrances of the strip malls or chain restaurants they typically frequent. And, I think paying for parking is the bigger issue . . . not a shortage of parking . . . people in OKC are used to parking in a giant paved lot at the mall for nothing. If you get a ticket parked at a meter during the posted enforcement hours, pay the $10 ticket and don’t do it
I love to quote former City Councilman Gorey James’ comment from Bricktown’s early days after Spaghetti Warehouse had been open a few months in 1989 and people were bitching about the lack of parking . . . he said . . . “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen much congestion in downtown Oklahoma City . . . and we are looking forward to seeing a lot more congestion in the future.” The Bricktown Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant took in almost $4 Million it’s first year . . . selling mediocre Italian food, so I guess people were both very hungry for an urban dining experience and somehow able to find a spot to park. Also, on the 4th of July weekend a few years back when the Bricktown Canal opened, over 250,000 visitors reportedly passed through Bricktown and there was way less parking than there is today.
So, the complainers should park where they can find a spot, walk a few blocks if necessary and shut their pie holes.
Side Note: Spaghetti Warehouse paid $189,000.00 in 1989 for the ten story building that they still only occupy two floors of . . . Those upper floors don’t have great ceiling height, but they do have incredible wood floors and huge rough sawn wood columns and beams . . . the building is a great mixed use development opportunity for a developer that really knows their stuff. How many $Mil would that building bring today . . . pretty savvy real estate investment.