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Historic Oklahoma City site set for facelift

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OKLAHOMA CITY - As urban renewal continues throughout Oklahoma City, there is one complex in the northeast side, north of the state capitol, that the city currently considers a nuisance property. It's about to return to its former greatness.

"I don't find it questionable at all," said real estate developer Richard Tanenbaum about the old Lincoln Plaza hotel complex.

In recent years, it has fallen on hard times.

"It was vandalized, and there was probably some drug activity there," Tanenbaum said.

The hotel and office park didn't always look like this. It was once a place where the rich and famous stayed - Muhammad Ali, Ronald Reagan and Elvis Presley.

Since the 90s, the property has been in steady decline, but now there are big plans for the historic site.

"That's what I do. I buy old buildings. I retrofit them for a particular use and purpose," Tanenbaum said.

Gardner-Tanenbaum is responsible for historic remodels such as Park Harvey and The Classen. It is looking to do the same off Lincoln near NE 50th.

113 luxury apartments are planned for the former hotel space. Over 200,000 square feet of remodeled office space is slated for the building to the north.

"We have been trying to turn it into a multifamily, very high end, sophisticated, full service, full amenity, multifamily property because of all the activity at the healthcare center," Tanenbaum said.

The development is counting on tenants from the OU Health complex to the south on Lincoln Blvd.

City councilwoman Nikki Nice is happy to see the work about to be done in her Ward 7.

"[I'm] looking forward to what is to come for that property. I know a lot of people have been asking. With any development, you want the correct development and you want the residents to be comfortable with the development that is going to take place," Nice said.

Tanenbaum said the tax credits that come along with remolding the historic building make the project doable even in a non "A" list neighborhood.

"Well, you gotta be a little nuts to take on a project like this, and we are. We're out of the box. I think it's one of the most exciting corridors in our city," he said.

Construction is set to begin early in 2019.

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