A piece of Brutalist architecture just south of downtown is being reimagined.
A local group is converting the former Boulder Plaza Apartments and River Parks Lofts, 1840 S. Boulder Ave., into an 82-unit boutique hotel called The Brut, said Kimberly Honea, vice president of hospitality and development with Tulsa-based Sharp Development.
Sharp Development is backing the roughly $10 million project with ownership partner Wolf Group Properties. Completion is expected in early 2022.
The Brut’s name is derived from the building’s Brutalist architecture, a style that emerged during the 1950s in the United Kingdom as one of the reconstruction projects of the post-war era. Brutalist buildings are characterized by minimalist constructions that highlight the bare building materials and structural elements over decorative design.
“We will have little Brut champagne bottles to serve,” Honea said of the proposed hotel. “We’re going to get fancy and fun with it.”
The redevelopers plan to add a ninth-floor, glass-encased rooftop restaurant/bar to the building, which was constructed in the early 1950s. Sikes Abernathie Architects is the designer of the project.
“With this hotel, the focus will be more local, community events,” Honea said. “We plan on doing fashion runway shows, art installations in the courtyard area and yoga retreats.”
Bicycle, roller blade and skateboard rentals also will be offered. The idea, Honea said, is to magnify the hotel’s proximity to downtown, Cherry Street and Brookside while linking it to leisure activities at nearby River Parks and Gathering Place, the $465 million, world-class park that opened in 2018.
“We have 19th and Riverside blowing up right now,” Honea said. “We’re just trying to vibe off all that and the Gathering Place. It has an outdoor enthusiastic vibe in the area, anyway. So, you have to ask yourselves, `How can we build off that? What’s hot in the hotel market right now.’
“That’s where hotels are going. It’s almost like a gateway into downtown now, that 18th and Boston area. Gathering Place is gaining such national attention that a lot of the focus is north of that. We want to make sure it’s done right.”