For those who follow this blog and my column, you know I’ve written qutie a bit about the potential of a School of Rock making the old Fred Jones Ford factory its long-term future home. But like many people, I got tripped up on whether to refer to the area as Film Row or the Film Exchange. Developer Chip Fudge recently wrote and offered the following bit of education on the area:
Thank you for all of the recent press regarding the Film Exchange District and Historic Film Row.We love the idea of UCO’s collaboration for the “School of Rock”.
I believe Roger Webb and Scott Booker have a very forward thinking vision for this type of public/private partnership and it will be great for our community.
It dawned on me that we have done a poor job of explaining the difference between “The Film Exchange District” and “Historic Film Row”. The District is shaped like a piano (see attachment in orange) and borders Classen on the West, Hudson and Walker on the East, the Arts District on the North and the new I-40/Boulevard on the South. It encompasses a much larger area than Film Row.
“Historic Film Row” refers to the two block area on the 600 and 700 blocks of Sheridan extending North and South from California to Main. “Historic Film Row” is the specific area that was placed on the National Historic Register last year with a great deal of help from the State Historic Preservation office and the documented historical significance by local designer David Wanzer. Historic Film Row was the home of various movie houses: 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, M-G-M Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Republic Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, United Artists, Universal Pictures, and Warner Brothers. They used these properties to screen the new films and exchange or distribute them to regional theaters.
Besides the great historic buildings in our District, the area comes with a variety of tax incentives for owners and developers, new market tax credits, state and federal rehabilitation tax credits for historically significant properties, and many employee related tax incentives for companies that relocate to our District.
I am sending this email to Fred and Kirk Hall, along with your article from December 2nd, so that they are in the loop. Feel free to use any or all of this information in any future articles as you wish.
Finally, this project would not have progressed to this point without all of the help from the City of Oklahoma City, specifically Robbie Kienzle, Brent Bryant, Cathy O’Connor, Ann Simank, and many others. As we have discussed in the past, I do not consider myself much of a developer. I have a day job that keeps me busy.
I like to put back together older properties for fun and sometimes for profit. One added benefit has been the education I have received about our homeless issue. I had the opportunity to serve on the Mayor’s “Homeless Task Force” committee and we have great communication with Tom Jones of City Rescue, Dan Straughan of the Homeless Alliance, and now Tim Ulrich of the Refuge Oklahoma City Mission. The Hart building and parking lots will be the anchor of the West end of our District, directly across the street from City Rescue. The bottom line, we are comfortable with our office next to the homeless shelters.
Thanks again for your support. I know we both have a love of the rich history of the great historic buildings in our community. I will keep you posted on all future progress.
Sincerely, John M. “Chip” Fudge
Businessman, Part-time Developer