Presley Apartments emerge from old Lincoln Plaza Hotel

Presley Apartments emerge from old Lincoln Plaza Hotel

OKLAHOMA CITY – A 1970s hot spot north of the state Capitol on Lincoln Boulevard will be vibrant once again when a 318-unit residential complex packed with amenities opens this fall.

The Presley Apartments, 4545 N. Lincoln Blvd., will be open for tours next week after more than two years of construction.

Gardner Tanenbaum Holdings has redeveloped the former Lincoln Plaza Hotel and Conference Center into an apartment community targeting young adults who work at the nearby state government buildings, OU Health Sciences Center and growing Innovation District. The vibe is resort-like with 20 areas inside and out to play and hang out.

“We will make it a party. We will market it as a party,” said developer Richard Tanenbaum, CEO of Gardner Tanenbaum.

The celebration has been a long time coming.

Lincoln Plaza Hotel had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s when it was known for hosting politicians, lobbyists and Elvis Presley on a few occasions. Ownership changed hands throughout the ’90s and it ultimately fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Tanenbaum purchased the development in 2011 and later purchased the office complex on the west part of the complex in an online auction.

The Lincoln Plaza Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Place in 2016 for its association with community planning and development in Oklahoma City.

The Gardner Tanenbaum team worked to obtain the historic designation and the tax credits that go with it to make the retrofit project possible.

“It doesn’t happen without the tax credits. We needed that to get this done,” Tanenbaum said. The refund will be about $24 million of the $70 million project cost, he said.

That allows rents – starting at $695 for a studio apartment – that are affordable to the “much younger market” the project is designed to attract, Tanenbaum said. “They get charm, history and phenomenal amenities at a rate they can pay.”

Along with the tax credits, the historic designation requires the developer to uphold the standards of its Modern Movement and New Formalism architectural origination.

“It’s extremely important for us to honor the history of this property as well as the community that surrounds it,” said Cindy Murillo, Gardner Tanenbaum chief operations officer.

“This project is an important part of the resurgence along Lincoln Boulevard,” Murillo said.

The development spans 20 acres and includes more than 413,000 square feet of modern studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments each with a washer and dryer. The apartments come in 32 layouts – including one three-bedroom unit – a result of the configuration of the buildings.

Working with the historic requirements is challenging and big improvements in the design were made just three months ago, said Kevin Dunn with Capstone Construction. About 150 workers have been on the job daily for more than two years.

“You have to make this fun, but it is incredibly difficult,” Dunn said.

“The good news is we’re almost done,” Tanenbaum said.

Move-in is planned for Oct. 1.

Residents will have a 24-hour concierge, Amazon package room, fitness center, underground parking, coworking spaces, movie room, game room and grab-and-go breakfast five days a week.

Outdoor amenities include a pool, sports courts, interior courtyards, entertaining spaces featuring fire pits and outdoor TVs, grilling stations, gaming areas, basketball and pickleball courts, and pet stations.

Tanenbaum’s past redevelopment projects include the Montgomery and Park Harvey apartment buildings in downtown Oklahoma City and the Classen, formerly Citizens Tower, at 2200 N. Classen Blvd.