The proposed Left Frame Lofts in Film Row will feature panoramic views of the downtown skyline. [Rendering by ba.sis Design]

Upscale living is coming to heart of Film Row with plans advancing for a four-story, six-unit apartment building on the site of a decades-old former grocery that was destroyed by storms last May.

Homebuilder and concrete company owner Justin Schovanec plans to start construction on Left Frame Lofts in September with completion by summer 2018. The design by architect Clint Newsome calls for 10 parking spots on the first floor topped by three stories of two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,400-square-foot apartments. The building will be topped with a 2,000-square-foot rooftop patio.

The corner at 631 W California is tight at 25 feet by 140 feet. Records indicate the building that stood at the corner dated back to the early 1920s when it was a “Cash and Carry” grocery.

“We fell in love with the building,” Newsome said. “We loved the brick.”

Newsome said the pair’s original talks with previous owners Andy Burnett and Jeff Johnson evolved around adding floors above the one-story building. When the building collapsed from strong winds, the group collected about 18,000 decades-old Acme bricks that will be used on the interior walls of the new building.

The exterior, meanwhile, will be clad in black zinc, concrete and glass.

“It’s a new concept with an old soul,” Newsome said. “We tried to incorporate the spirit of the old building in what will be a new building.”

Burnett, who is partnered with Mark Beffort and the Hall family in developing nearby West Village mixed-use development, applauded Schovanec and Newsome for their design and the use of the old bricks.

"We had multiple offers on the site after the building blew over," Burnett said. "We felt Clint’s ideas for the site were fresh and original — small, urban infill housing."

Plans were unveiled this week as part of a presentation asking for $165,000 in tax increment financing. A report to the downtown TIF review committee forecast the property taxes for the corner will go from $3,700 to $30,000.

The application, which pays the assistance from the increased taxes over nine years, was unanimously approved. It still needs approval from the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust and the Oklahoma City Council.

Schovanec said he has built 500 homes, some commercial development, and is planning to act as his own contractor. The Left Frame Lofts is his first urban project.

Newsome said the development is inspired by the recent openings of the 21c Museum Hotel and The Jones Assembly on the west end of Film Row along with the adjoining West Village apartment and retail development.

“This is entering a niche market with six units,” Newsome said. “There just isn’t a lot of product out there. So we are getting ahead of it with the Jones Assembly and everything else being built. This will provide what we’re seeing a lot of other cities with these small infill products.”

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