A slight realignment of two downtown districts includes a new name for the area around 21C Museum Hotel, The Jones Assembly and Film Row. Taking its name from the large apartment cluster adjacent to 21C and Jones, the West Village District will include Film Row and parts of what used to be the Arts District.
“People never really embraced the Arts District as a distinct district,” said Kristen Vails, the director of place management for the Downtown OKC Partnership. “Historic Film Row does have its own identity, and people have embraced the name, but it didn’t seem right to extend that name to the West Village Apartments and other businesses nearby, given that Film Row has its own distinct character and architecture.”
After cycling through several options, the board landed on West Village District. Film Row will continue to be known as such, but it is now part of the new, expanded district. The boundaries run west to east from Classen to Walker and south to north from California to a midpoint between Main and Colcord.
“We had to pick the midpoint to include new parcels in the district,” Vails said. “The Arts District used to extend to the MOA and Civic Center, but those areas are now part of the City Center District.”
The City Center District — formerly Central Business District — was on the original 2001 Business Improvement District plan, as was the Arts District. The old Park Plaza District has been absorbed into City Center and includes the Regency Apartments, OKC National Memorial and Museum, and St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral. The federal building and grounds have been absorbed into Midtown, a move that the public already treated as a done deal for many years. The realignment makes City Center the largest of the downtown districts.
Adding the five parcels to West Village means the Green Team will be able to work in the area between Main and Colcord just east of Shartel, providing full service to an area that would have been otherwise undistricted. The realignment also allows businesses in the district to participate in the special assessment that covers the Green Team’s services and other services provided by Downtown OKC.
While the West Village District is the smallest of the downtown districts, its economic strength is impressive given the presence of The Jones Assembly, Crew Workspace, 21C, Stitch Cafe, West Village Apartments, Bar Arbolada, Chip Fudge, and other notable businesses, including the Paramount Building’s tenants (The Study, Core 4 Brewing, etc) and OKC Cider next door. Its proximity to Stonecloud, Fair-Weather Friend, Beer City and Flycatcher Club makes it one of the most attractive entertainment districts in the urban core, and truly, citywide, and that popularity will only increase with the addition of Russ Johnson’s (R&J, Ludivine) soon-to-open Sun Cattle Co. onion burger joint.