Boardwalk at Bricktown
(Mike Allen)

While it started out as a curious and perhaps even humorous building proposal, the fantastical concept of the Boardwalk at Bricktown development has now made national headlines thanks to the ever-increasing height “planned” for one of its residential towers.

Now proposed at 1,907 feet, the hypothetical structure would become the sixth-tallest building in the world. Yes, that’s right. The tallest building in America would be located next to the Bricktown U-Haul storage center, so you can imagine how wildly out of scale it would be with the rest of the district. I seriously start laughing every time I see the rendering of it.

The entire premise begs a reasonable question: “Why?” On its surface, the revised and grandly expanded Boardwalk at Bricktown proposal now appears to border on being a joke.

Sometimes I wonder what happened to the developer’s prior pitch for this property — you know, the version with several units among luxury residential floors dedicated to affordable housing, workforce training and nonprofit social supports for transitioning the unhoused? Did that part just get overshadowed in the press releases after the OKC City Council approved TIF financing in August? Why and how is this project now shooting for — and approaching — the moon?

Perhaps the answer is as simple as wanting to drum up attention for the development, but I’m not sure how often private equity lines up behind a pie-in-the-sky proposal like this, which also includes three other large, but now overlooked, residential towers, a retail complex and underground parking. The 1,907-foot-tall building idea is being dubbed “The Legends Tower,” and it would stand more than twice as tall as the Devon Tower.

Maybe Matteson Capital and Architects Orange are just adopting the ol’ Russell Westbrook mantra of “Why not?” That phrase has become ingrained in the spirit of the Oklahoma City in recent years, but I’d be shocked if the Super Tower is ever constructed. Then again, I’m already shocked by Oklahoma City coming as far as it has in the past 25 years, so I suppose stranger things have happened.

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