Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Downtown Apartments Move Upscale

Costs and benefits of renting in downtown OKC



Lift

 


The clothing and hair date the ad from the mid-1960s, as does the verbiage: “These four girls live in a penthouse apartment for just $58.75 each!” To be fair, the amount they are paying for the “penthouse” apartment dates the ad, too. When the Continental was completed in 1965, it was the largest apartment complex in Oklahoma City’s urban core, and one of the target demographics was young, professional women working the city’s secretarial pools.
 

The Continental eventually would become The Regency Tower Apartments, and 50 years later, it’s one of the largest complexes in downtown with 274 units, but young, professional women are still a target demographic. That 1,156-square-foot apartment touted in the ad, which went for $235 per month, would now cost those young women $1,520 per month, plus about $200 per month for utilities.

 

Laura Neal is a wine professional – she sells fine wines in the OKC area – and she moved to the Deep Deuce district downtown fresh out of college in July 2013. She chose the Deep Deuce Apartments (294 units) because she said she wanted to be more closely connected to the city.

“I grew up in Edmond,” Neal says. “I wanted to challenge myself, though, to do something that made me a little uncomfortable, so a girlfriend and I moved downtown.”

What she discovered was a rapidly growing community with an eclectic mix of residents and convenient access to dining, drinking, work and entertainment.

“I thought we’d get down there and find a herd of 20-somethings, but we found empty-nesters, young families, older singles and students,” she says.

That observation is supported by data from Professor Dawn Jourdan, the director of the Regional and City Planning Program at University of Oklahoma.

“The city wanted to get downtown booming, and the only way to make that happen is for people to live down there,” Jourdan says. “While the rent seems high by Oklahoma City standards, we are seeing people coming in from both coasts, and the rent seems reasonable to them. There is also a growing number of empty-nesters who want the urban lifestyle, who don’t want to worry about a house or a lawn.”

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber reports that in addition to the 2,931 units already completed, there are 1,164 currently under development – including The Metropolitan (329), Lift (329) and The Steelyard (250) – as well as another 661 in the planning stage. In total, there will be 4,756 units in the urban core when those 661 are complete.

“The reality is, they would not be building those units if people did not want to live there,” Jourdan says.

clockwise from left: Metropolitan, The Regency, and the Edge apartments.


 

Who is going to live in all those units, though? Who can afford them? According to real estate software development firm Yardi, all seven properties that opened in Oklahoma City in 2015 are classified as luxury or high-end, meaning the average rent is $1,055 per month or higher. Contrast that with a 650-square-foot apartment at Bluff Creek in northwest Oklahoma City, which would cost a tenant $650 a month plus utilities. At The Maywood in Deep Deuce, a barebones 675-square-foot unit is $1,205, meaning that the annual cost-per-square-foot rate nearly doubles from $12 to $21 (the identical rate at The Edge, one of the newest completed complexes in Midtown). At the Regency, a 570-square-foot, one-bedroom unit is $16 annually per square foot, so the move to downtown is more expensive irrespective of the level of elegance or amenities.

The Guardian Lofts boasts one of the highest rates in downtown, at about $24 annually per square foot. Derek Byrd, an architectural designer and former resident, called the housing arrangement at The Guardian “a luxury.”

“I paid $200 to $450 a month in utilities, too,” Byrd says. “Practicality is definitely out the window there.”

 

The recent energy bust seemed to present a problem for growth in downtown Oklahoma City. If all those hundreds of people who were getting laid off left the downtown area, who was going to keep the growth going in residential, entertainment and dining revenue? Turns out, the bust has not really busted residential (or restaurants).

John Gilbert is the president and CEO of Bomasada Group Inc., a Houston-based company that owns The Metropolitan in Oklahoma City, and until November 2014, they owned The Enclave at Brookside in Tulsa, a development that was built in 2012. Gilbert said the company’s focus is secondary and tertiary markets in the Southwest, but they also have developments as far east as Charleston, South Carolina.

(clockwise from top) The Guardian Lofts, Deep Deauce Apartments, Level, and The Maywood in Deep Deuce.


“We came to Oklahoma City in 2006 and 2007 to look around,” he says. “We liked Oklahoma City, especially the downtown area. As for the energy bust, we’re a Houston company. We’ve seen the ups and downs of the energy business, and we still believe in Oklahoma City.”

Bomasada believes in the metro so much that they’re scouting for another location in the city, and they start work on a new development in Tulsa this summer. Gilbert said he doesn’t see the trend toward urbanization ending soon.

“We have had a fantastic response in Oklahoma City, and the trend of young professionals and empty-nesters moving to urban areas is happening all across the country.”

For The Metropolitan, as with Deep Deuce, the trend includes students and faculty at OUHSC, employees at downtown businesses – besides energy – retirees, empty-nesters and even Tinker employees and active duty military. Downtown is a quick shot down Interstate 40 from Tinker, after all. Gilbert said he anticipates an influx of residents from the OG&E development, too.

 

Most of the units we looked at are running at high capacity, especially for two- and three-bedroom units. The Edge had no summer availability for a two-bedroom, but one-bedroom units abound. That is likely due to bill sharing. Laura Neal said she would never have been able to afford a one-bedroom on her own, but splitting the rent and utilities meant that she and her roommate could afford urban living.

Neal has moved to a house now, but she still misses Deep Deuce. “I needed space for my dog, and I do like saving money on rent.” She and her roommates moved to Edgemere, though, because they like the proximity to downtown, and they never seriously considered living outside the urban core. 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

What's Up in the 405

Our top 6 picks for fun stuff to do in and around OKC

The Festival of the Arts’ Legacy

Arts Council OKC director Peter Dolese retraces the origins and expansion of the week-long celebration of creativity that is the Festival of the Arts.

The Natural Touch for Self-Care

Natural products from lotions to fragrances in conscientious self-care that are perfect for a season of renewal.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 2019

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Celebrate Easter with a trip to Andy Alligator’s Fun Park! On Saturday and Sunday, get $5 off an All-Day Pass with our Eggcellent Easter Special. All-Day Passes include Go-Karts,...

Cost: $23.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The OSU Symphony Orchestra will conclude the 2018-19 season with Schubert's monumental and majestic Symphony No. 9 in C ("The Great"). The concert opens with The European Anthem,...

Cost: General Admission: $10; Students & Seniors: $7

Where:
Oklahoma State University Department of Music
132 Seretean Ctr
Stillwater, OK  74078
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma State University Department of Music
Telephone: 405.744.6133
Contact Name: Dr. Thomas Dickey
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is giving back to the local neighborhood with Feed Your Smile, a fundraiser supporting Concordia Life Care Community.  Show this flyer on your smartphone or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
8500 N Rockwell Ave
OKC, OK  73132
View map »


Sponsor: Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Telephone: 405-792-5112
Contact Name: Katy Fabrie
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

"Deliberately silencing the internal chatter and not overthinking. Conscious, but not over-trying. With this approach, things just seem to happen—it’s where all the substance is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Individual Artists of Oklahoma
706 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Individual Artists of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.412.2541
Contact Name: David Smith

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Shop over 200 vendors at this indoor event with everything from vintage furniture, retro and mid-century decor to handmade goods, antiques, industrial finds and architectural salvage!

Cost: $5 at the door, 13 and under free

Where:
Heritage Place
2829 S. MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK  73128
View map »


Sponsor: Junk Hippy
Contact Name: Kristen Grandi
Website »

More information

A Sporting Chance will host the 25th annual Track and Field Meet at Branson Junior High in Branson, Missouri. A Sporting Chance provides year-round sports and recreation programs designed for those...

Where:
Branson Junior High
263 Buccaneer Boulevard
Branson, MO  65616
View map »


Sponsor: A Sporting Chance
Telephone: 404-314-2188
Contact Name: Hannah Schachinger

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

This one-day festival is rooted in the printing of large-scale woodblocks carved by local Oklahoma artists. We bring in a 5-ton steamroller and print pre-carved blocks throughout the day on Tyvek...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Evan
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Andy Alligator's is celebrating teachers! On Saturday and Sunday, teachers with a valid ID will receive a FREE All-Day Pass and $5 off for each family member! An All-Day Pass includes...

Cost: Teachers receive a FREE All-Day Pass; family members get $5 off

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

Get a sample of the nightlife of Spain at Tulsa Botanic Garden's "Viva La Vida." The Garden is bringing star chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro restaurants in Boston, NYC, Bangkok and...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

2nd annual gathering of "The Big Lebowksi" fans at The Dude Abides OKC All Oklahoma City Urban Achievers, Abiders and Coen Brothers fans are invited to join us at Fassler Hall OKC and...

Cost: Free, contests have entry fee

Where:
Fassler Hall
421 NW 10th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Revolve Productions
Telephone: 405.810.6977
Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags