Tanenbaum’s Plan for M-F Project on John Marshall High School Site Wins Key Approval

The Oklahoma City Planning Commission has approved plans for the construction of an apartment complex on Oklahoma City’s former John Marshall High School site.

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Oklahoma City Planning Commission has approved Richard Tanenbaum’s plans to build an apartment complex on the former site of John Marshall High School. The plan now goes to the city council for a final vote.

NewsOK.com reports that Tanenbaum is planning to bring the “Big House” multi-family design of Dallas-based Humphreys & Partners Architects to Oklahoma City. He said the gated development, dubbed Marshall Square, will resemble large single-family homes more closely than conventional apartment buildings.

After visiting two Big House projects in Dallas and another in Tulsa, Tanenbaum decided that the gated Marshall Square would be a perfect fit for the former high school site situated southwest of Britton Road and Western Ave. Earlier this year, Tanenbaum’s Premier Assets acquired the property, which includes three buildings totaling 220,000 square feet, in a $400,000 deal with Oklahoma City Public Schools. The property had been listed in 2011 for $650,000, and although there had been several buyers under contract, each of the previous deals fell through.

Located at 9017 North University Ave., the 20-acre property is surrounded by single-family homes. The commission approved the plan over objections from some residents, who submitted petitions with more than 250 signatures detailing concerns about the project’s impact on density and traffic. The current plan, a revision of Tanenbaum’s original proposal,  would result in 30 percent less traffic, which would amount to less traffic than when the high school was operating.

Constructed in the late 1940s,the school buildings have been unused for several years and have issues such as mold and stripped wiring. At least one fire has been intentionally set. Tanenbaum said the land was a good investment but that he plans to demolish the buildings.

Rendering of Mueller Big House in Austin Texas Courtesy of: Humphreys & Partners Architects