Founders District is a 60-acre multi-use residential/business neighborhood in northwest Oklahoma City, which serves not only the full-time residents and office/retail workers that live and/or work within its borders, but also a broader population of City residents and out-of-town visitors.
Located within the District are various population groups reflecting the District's multiple uses:
1) residents of approximately 60 condominium units
2) office workers of over 100 small businesses housed in its two multi-tenant office buildings
3) retail workers in the District’s Centennial Shopping Mall with two big-box national retailers and seven smaller retail outlets
4) the workers in 21 stand-alone commercial buildings, including five restaurants, a night club, four health-care facilities, a bank, five hotels, a private charitable foundation & archival library, a travel agency, two financial advisement groups, and a construction company.
In addition to those living and working immediately within the District, there is a much larger population of Oklahoma City citizens interested in historic preservation and out-of-town visitors that are served and positively impacted by Founders District:
1) Bounded on the east & south by two of Oklahoma City’s busiest thoroughfares, N. May Avenue & NW Expressway (daily traffic counts of 26,515 & 33,114 respectively), the District provides through-access from these two streets to businesses, city streets & residential neighborhoods to the north. Adjacent to the north are 500 single-family homes, five multi-unit apartment/condo complexes, and the D.D. Kirkland Public Elementary School and the Heartland Montessori private preschool, with a combined enrollment of 550 children.
2) The District is a “home-away-from-home” to 400 plus visitors to the City staying daily in the five hotels within its boundaries. Three are brand-new hotels: one, a Marriott Residence Inn, which opened in 2017, designed for long-term stays, serving, in part, the patrons of nearby Integris Baptist Medical Center. 2018 marked the beginning of work on a full $20M renovation of the former Marriott hotel at NW Expressway and Independence. It opened for guests as an Embassy Suites in late December 2019. An additional 200 plus visitors daily stay in the four hotels within walking distance of the District.
3) The District’s Centennial Plaza retail shopping mall receives 4,000 plus shoppers daily, most from outside the District.
4) The District is located toward the northern end of the City’s proposed new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), “an enhanced bus service designed to emulate the service features of light rail” offering “fast, frequent, reliable, and comfortable”* service with a route that runs along NW Expressway & Classen Blvd., connecting the City’s northwest side, including Founders District, to Midtown & Downtown. This service is planned to begin in 2023, with proposed stations located on the District’s border at NW Expressway and Independence Ave. and with safe and convenient pedestrian crossings allowing easy access to and from the District. There is also a proposed “park & ride” that will border the District, just adjacent to and south of the intersection of NW Expressway and Independence Ave. Interestingly, there is even a proposed alternate route, essentially encircling Founders District, which would depart from NW Expressway going north on May Avenue, traveling west on NW 59th street, and returning again to the Expressway on Independence Ave. [*See “Embark Northwest Bus Rapid Transit Project Overview.”]
5) The citizens of Oklahoma City overall (681,054 at 2020 census) are benefited by the City’s image & reputation being enhanced in the eyes of the out-of-town visitors staying in the District and by an historic area being maintained and showcased as part of the City's urban heritage.