Eastpoint Developers Planning a New Hotel

Developers are working on plans to build a new Eastpoint hotel on NE 23rd Street, The Black Chronicle has learned.

The Eastpoint hotel will feature a restaurant, bar, event space and retail space.

The 77-room, four-story Hamlin Hotel would be built across from the Market at Eastpoint at NE 23rd and Rhode Island Avenue.

The Pivot Project, which along with community builder Sandino Thompson developed Eastpoint, is applying for $3,880,000 in tax increment financing (TIF) for the development.

Mr. Thompson said the team won’t have a timetable for the project until they first go through applications for the special funding and for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program loan.

“We think the timing for the hotel is right now, but it’s a complicated deal with a lot of details emerging to come together,” Thompson said.  “This deal is not done.  We’re having conversations with the city on how we can move forward.”

Similar funding and partnerships were credited with enabling development of the first two phases of Eastpoint, which also included a health clinic, shops, restaurants and a patio bar.  The corridor was for decades red-lined and drained by a flight of capital.

The Pivot Project teamed up with Mr. Thompson and others to overcome a lack of comps, which help banks track property values and lending patterns, but to also team up groups like the nonprofit Placemakers to provide Black entrepreneurs the opportunity to become developers.

The hotel development team includes Monarch Properties, a minority construction company owned by sisters Monique

Short and Erica Emery; and Cordell Love, an Eastpoint tenant looking to expand into real estate development.

“We’re trying to set a precedent for inclusive development,” Mr. Thompson said.   “This third phase of Eastpoint is really trying to set the tone for what it looks like to do development on this corridor that can support economic activity that is local to the community.”

The Urban Land Institute last year named Eastpoint an Americas Excellence winner for its efforts to invest in the minority corridor and deals worked with tenants to give them a chance a ownership in the property.

Pivot Project partner Jonathan Dodson said the ULI judges warned him they would have to “get ahead of their success.”

“They said if you don’t try to do more, you’re going to hurt the community because other developers will come in, but they won’t have the same mission,” Dodson said.  “It will get gentrified and everyone will get displaced.  You’ve started something.  You’ve created your own problem and now you have to address it.”

Pivot Project already owned land on the north side of the street, across from Eastpoint, that was bought at the same time they bought land on the south side of NE 23rd.

Dodson said a hotel was chosen over housing with a goal of bringing more activity to the area.

The planned hotel includes a rooftop pool and deck, and space to host gatherings of 100 to 150 people.

The first floor will include seven 600 sq. ft. micro-retail spaces that are intended to act as an incubator for minority-owned businesses.

“The space will be designed to incubate businesses that can grow into larger spaces on 23rd Street,” Thompson said.  “We will have a commercial kitchen that can support food and beverage as part of that micro retail.  We want to create spaces where people can afford to succeed or fail.

A large number of micro businesses fail, so we want them to learn what it takes to be successful and scale up that success.”

The name is in honor of A.C. Hamlin, the state’s first Black legislator.  He was elected in 1908, but lost re-election after lawmakers passed a constitutional amendment limiting Black voters by creating voter registration requirements based on literacy and registration of individuals or their ancestors prior to 1866.

“The name is inspired by his experience and story,” Mr. Thompson said.  “Something we want to do with the area and this hotel is to highlight the story of Black excellence in Oklahoma City.”

 

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