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‘The Rise’ in ‘Uptown 23rd’ expected to revitalize OKC’s historic district

OKLAHOMA CITY – A deserted center on a busy Oklahoma City street will soon be transformed.

‘Uptown 23rd,’ which is located near N.W. 23rd St. and Walker Ave., will soon become ‘The Rise,’ an upscale retail destination.

Kathryn Mathis, with Big Truck Tacos, said, “Uptown is coming back alive and we love that.”

Big Truck Tacos is right across the street from the new development.

The business hopes improvements to the historic Uptown District will help ease some skeptics.

Mathis said, “It has gotten a bad rap. When we opened the barbeque place down the street, we had people call and ask if it was safe.”

Experts say 23rd St. is one of the most traveled roads in the state that is not a highway.

Because of all those drivers, business owners moving into this complex said ‘The Rise’ is going to be a hot attraction.

Kristy Jennings, with ‘t, an urban teahouse, said, “Only 20 percent nervous and the rest of it excited.”

‘T, an urban teahouse,’ is one business moving into the strip mall, which is around 45,000-square-feet and is almost at move in capacity.

Jennings says she looks forward to being neighbors with other well-known businesses, like Old School Bagel and Good Egg Dining.

Jennings said, “When someone comes along and already has great tenants like Good Egg, then that’s all the more reason for me to feel comfortable moving into the space.”

Also, the business partners that run Big Truck Tacos will open a wood fire pizza place in the area.

Mathis said, “We like 23rd St. and we don’t want to go anywhere else.”

Developer Johnathan Russell, with Land Run Commercial Real Estate, said construction will be done soon and they will start to see businesses move in by late spring and into early summer.