The largest renovation project in the nation is turning a sight for sore eyes into a promise land. We're talking about the 325 acre North Overton Re-Development Project and if you haven't been down University lately, you may not even recognize the area as construction and destruction is well underway.
This $27-million project is really starting to take shape. They've already torn down 70% of the area, and purchased about 95%. There are new apartment complex's already up and renting, there is a parking garage for The Centre, which will include apartments, as well as retail and commercial businesses in a building that will stretch across two city blocks.
"I think we've made a lot of progress over the last few weeks and I think you can see The Centre is under construction, and we've been waiting on it to come out of the ground for awhile. If you look over to your left City Bank is starting their new bank. Of course the Denerstien second phase is about 60% complete and I've got three other projects that will be starting over the next 60 to 90 days. So really the commercial side we're pretty much cleaned up we've got to get some telephone poles and utility poles up and under ground. But over the next 90 days all of your commercial will most likely have construction going on," says Delbert McDougal, President of McDougal Companies.
McDougal says construction is a year ahead of schedule right now. He is still negotiating the purchase of 25 structures in the area. "It's always exciting when you get to a point that you see things going on. I think there was a lot of skepticism early on that we couldn't get this done and certainly that has proved to not be correct."
Final plans for the single family homes and town house projects are expected to start next month. The Overton Park master plan includes a two block, four story complex of upscale apartments and retail shopping, complete with two courtyards and a pool. The project will completely renovate the area from University all the way to Avenue Q.
The Red Raider Club building will be torn down next week, and McDougal said he just gave the go ahead for destruction on 77 other structures. The Centre is expected to be finished in May of 2005.