OKLAHOMA CITY – Phase three of the EastPoint development along NE 23rd Street received approval Tuesday for $3,888,000 in tax increment financing to support construction of a boutique hotel and business incubator.
The Hamlin Hotel will be a 60,000-square-foot, four-story building with 77 hotel rooms, a restaurant, a ground-floor pool and a rooftop bar facing downtown, developer Sandino Thompson said.
The $26 million project will receive the TIF dollars up front from general obligation limited bond funds and will repay it from ad valorem taxes generated by the completed project. The Oklahoma City Council approved the economic development allocation Tuesday.
Thompson said the hotel will be the closest hotel to the Adventure District, so it is expected to draw visitors to those attractions, including Remington Park, the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex and the Oklahoma City Zoo. It also can serve people attending activities at the nearby Oklahoma Capitol and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Northeast Oklahoma City not only has a deficit of hotel rooms, it also has a deficit of gathering spaces for meetings, receptions, banquets and small conventions, Thompson said. The Hamlin Hotel will feature a fourth-floor event space that can serve up to 150 people to address that need, he said.
One unusual feature for boutique hotels will be the ground-floor micro-retail incubator spaces facing the street. The 600-square-foot spaces are targeted to help incubate small businesses that often struggle to get financing following decades of disinvestment in northeast Oklahoma City, Thompson said.
“Twenty percent of businesses in the first year that they open up will fail. This is set up to allow businesses to succeed or fail without it being a large setback for them,” he said. “The reason for the micro-spaces is we can kind of control the economics of that.”
Thompson said two or three of the spaces will have access to a commercial kitchen so they can operate small food and beverage operations that will complement the hotel services.
“We hope these small businesses that are incubated in the retail space actually grow into and expand into businesses that can occupy larger spaces along NE 23rd Street,” Thompson said.
The developers of the three-phase EastPoint project envision their work will stimulate additional development in the area, he said.
The first phase redeveloped a building into the new home for Centennial Health, a community clinic, and provided a much-needed grocery store, The Market at EastPoint.
The second phase includes 13 retail spaces. Thompson said 90% of the businesses are Black-owned and more than half are owned by women.
He said the hotel development team includes Monarch Properties, a minority construction company owned by sisters Monique Short and Erica Emery; hospitality industry veterans David Davis and Dar Yasseri; and Cordell Love, an EastPoint tenant who is moving into real estate development.