As I’ve written about Nick Preftakes this past week, I’ve come to realize that despite his lengthy career and his portfolio, he’s not as well known as say Randy Hogan or other downtown developers. This is by choice – Nick routinely avoids the spotlight and let’s his work speak for itself.
And this is what makes covering Nick fun. He’s not going to give me anything when it comes to figuring out what he’s up to with his big block of property west of the new Devon tower site. If I want the story, I’m going to have to do a lot of work to get it.
So we know he owns some buildings that he certainly won’t tear down, and has indicated as much – the One North Hudson Building was formerly the Black Hotel. Nope, that’s going nowhere. He also likely knows he’ll have a huge fight on his hands if he tries to tear down the neighboring Auto Hotel.
But what about the old Carpenter Sqaure Theater? Or the Lunch Box? He won’t dare upset downtown’s power players by closing the Lunch Box. But would he move the cafeteria and tear down the lovably worn out building?
And would he dare tear down the Union Bus station if he were able to acquire it?
I don’t know. But we do know Nick has done some great historic preservation projects:
1995: Developers Mark Ruffin, left, and Nick Preftakes, Precor Realty Advisors Inc. stand in a loft apartment complex believed to be the first in the city which opened at 113 NW 13 in a former auto dealership garage.
Nick Preftakes and partner Mark Ruffin were pioneers when they were the first to attempt a renovation of an old building to lofts in 1995. The project has been an unqualified success story.
Nick Preftakes has also won praise for the Hudson Essex building at 825 N Broadway
Nick Preftakes found a vintage Hudson-Essex sign to display in the first floor garage of the restored Broadway dealership building.
The former C.R. Anthony's headquarters at 701 was an example of a really bad muck-up of what was once a historic building. Nick Preftakes could have restored the old facade, but instead went for an entirely new, more modern look.
What Nick Preftakes didn't get to build: a drawing of what he proposed several years ago for the former site of Mercy Hospital in MidTown.
The Arts District Lofts LLC, a partnership between Nick Preftakes and Mark Ruffin that bid to develop Urban Renewal property at Robert S. Kerr and Walker, proposed an $11.9 million, 160-loft complex that would mimic the Art Deco style of the nearby Civic Center and Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The project was turned down by Urban Renewal commissioners who cited a lack of density and who instead chose Legacy at Arts Quarter by Mike Henderson.
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