Global company has home in Norman

Fan cheer on the Sooners at the newly renovated Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during the first home-game of the 2016 season. Populous, a global architecture design firm with an office in Norman, worked on the project. 

Which one of these cities is not like the other?

Denver, Brisbane, London, Boston, San Francisco, Sydney, Singapore, Norman, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Taipei, New Delhi, New York, Tokyo, Dubai.

If you picked Norman, you are the winner.

What all of these cities have in common is a Populous office. Populous is an architectural design and consulting company. According to the company website, there are four architects at the Norman location, 2600 Van Buren St. which is east of Highway 9. City building permits indicate the business is relocating to 36th Avenue NW and Tecumseh Road near the HealthPlex in the future.

The Norman team has worked on some local and not-so-local projects.

Populous associate architect Ryan Fogle graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelors degree in architecture, and worked on the Headington Hall Student Housing project and the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium expansion.

Principal architect Todd Gralla specializes in master planning and design services for equestrian facilities and fairgrounds with a focus on equestrian sporting venues, racecourses and training venues, horse parks, polo clubs, private and public equestrian centers and private equine ventures.

His projects include the Oklahoma State Fair Arena and a year-round event complex at the Oklahoma State Fair Park as well projects across the U.S. and some outside the States. He earned a Bachelor of Business/Construction Science at OU.

Associate Principal Charlie Kolarik also works on equestrian and livestock projects including master planning and designs for multi-purpose expo buildings, indoor and outdoor event arenas, and barns. He also worked on Oklahoma State Fair projects as well as several others across the nation.

Senior Principal Charlie Smith has more than 35 years of experience in the design, programming and master planning of mass attendance facilities including fairs, exposition centers and multi-purpose arenas in 50 states and 23 countries. He has participated in the master planning and design of two World’s Fairs and two Olympic venue master plans.

Based on Populous media posts and tweets on social media, multiple architects beyond the four listed for the Norman site have worked on Oklahoma projects, and the teams seem to travel widely, most likely based on where contracts are awarded.

It’s kind of cool that a global company with offices in places like Tokyo, London and Dubai have found a home here in Norman.

Just one more indication that, yeah, we totally rock. Until next week, #ShopNorman.

Northwest Norman

A building permit to build a new Populous office at 3451 W. Tecumseh Rd. was requested by Crimson Capital, LLC, representing a $325,000 investment. Populous is a global architectural design and consulting company. The current Norman office is located at 2600 Van Buren St.

INOK Investments is finishing out a warehouse space for a tenant at 4150 28th Ave. NW. At this time the real estate investment company is not ready to name the tenant.

Edith & Branch Salon, 3522 24th Ave. NW is coming soon. With a dedication to “sustainable beauty” this is a Davines concept salon dedicated to “overall beauty and conserving the world around us,” according to

Thai Thai, 3522 24th Ave. NW, by Sooner Traditions represents a $100,000 new construction investment, according to city building permits.

Black Mesa Brewing Co., 3901 N. Flood Ave., is making a $500,000 investment to move to Norman, according to city building permits.

Norman Pediatric Associates, 3231 Healthplex Dr., is investing in a $4.2 million building, according to city permits.

Tribute Memorial Care is building a new funeral home at 3601 Tecumseh Dr. for a $1.8 million investment, according to city building permits.

The Press & Plow, 2596 W. Tecumseh Rd., appears to be nearing completion. Based on a March building permit, it’s a coffee shop, but it looks like one side offers coffee and “provisions” while the other side offers fine wine and spirits. In the same Tecumseh Retail Center, Land Run Grill is also nearing completion including a sizable patio. These join RCB Bank, Flaunt and Amour Nails & Spa.

Brookfield Custom Homes LLC received an occupancy permit for the Keller Williams office, 3421 W. Rock Creek Rd., Suite 100 valued at $140,000.

Brookfield Custom Homes LLC received a new shell permit at 3311 W. Rock Creek Rd. for Legacy Office Park valued at $500,000, according to building permits. Monterey Construction Office will take Suite 130 of the Legacy Office Park with a $105,000 value.

Full Circle Adult Daycare Center guests and staff are getting new digs at 4223 28th Ave. NW. The $1.16 million facility is just getting started and will be built by Landmark Fine Homes.

Campus and Campus Corner

Kong’s Tavern Norman, 563 Buchanan Ave., is hiring. Experienced line cooks preferred. The Norman site is expected to open in mid-August.

Othello’s, 434 Buchanan Ave., is aiming for a reopening the last week of July or the first week of August. Spearman Investments, Inc. is putting $50,000 worth of repairs into the restaurant.

Chase Bank is moving away from its current location, 116 S Peters Ave. across from Cleveland County Courthouse, to 215 W. Boyd St. on Campus Corner. The grand opening is slated for Aug. 20. The county plans to build a parking garage to serve downtown Norman on the current location.

Coming soon: Skinny Slim’s, 320 White St., a sports bar.


Main Street

The former Hastings Books, Music and Video property, 2300 W. Main St., is being sold in a real estate auction. Sealed bids are due July 25 to The property is advertised as “highly visible” with an average daily traffic count of 50,000 plus vehicles. The single-tenant building is 35,771 square feet on 2.74 acres built with access from both Main and 24th Avenue. County assessor records indicate the current building was built in 1979, but deeds indicated Safeway purchased the property in 1970 and a 1977 Norman phone book lists Safeway Bake Shop at that address.

Southeast Norman

New store, MABs Natural Solutions, 2315 E. Lindsey St., carries aromatherapy, CBD oil and other holistic therapy products. The store just opened this week and will carry medical marijuana in the near future.

Private school, Terra Verde, 1000 36th Ave. SE, recently purchased a $1.6 million building permit for new construction to build a combination gym, auditorium, and cafeteria with construction starting in February and hopes for an August 2018 completion date. The school recently completed a new middle school wing in August 2017.

West Norman

Outback Steakhouse, 860 Interstate Dr., is undergoing a $450,000 interior remodel, according to city building permits. The restaurant manager said no further information is available at this time.

The Neighborhood Market Walmart at 3571 W. Rock Creek Rd. is undergoing a $116,000 remodel.

Walmart expects to spend an estimated $42 million over the next year in Oklahoma through the remodeling of 12 stores as well as the rollout of several in-store and online innovations designed to help busy customers save time and money. The spend is part of Walmart’s total capital expenditures guidance of approximately $11.0 billion for Fiscal Year 2019, which was outlined last October at the company’s annual meeting for the investment community and reiterated in February 2018.

The Moore location, 640 S.E. 4th St. is also on the list slated for improvements.

CiCi’s Pizza, 540 W. Main St., is doing $90,000 worth of fire damage repairs, according to a recent building permit.

Inside Sooner Mall, Journeys, the teen-oriented chain supplying casual, surf and skate-inspired clothes, shoes and accessories, is finishing up a $44,800 remodel.

Robinson Village, LLC, 501 E. Robinson St., a $552,284 investment received a building permit to do foundations. The facility will be an active seniors community.

A building permit was recently issued for a remodel of the Delta Norman by Marriott, 1000 Interstate Dr.

Norman Music Institute Theater is expanding and is building a new location just down the block from their currently location. The new address at 2795 Broce Dr., represents a $500,000-plus investment and should be completed by August.

Classen Boulevard

Starbucks, 3051 Classen Blvd., is nearing completion with a recent city building permit for interior finish valued at $804,183.

Sandy Beaches Sun Spa, 2627 Classen Blvd. Suite 124 is doing a $50,000 expansion.

Classen Crossing Apartments, 2608-2664 Classen Blvd. recently received an occupancy permit from the city. Classen Crossing features two and three bedroom units in a private, gated community. That community is comprised of 44 smoke-free units with upscale interiors, energy efficient stainless steel appliances, over the range microwave, washer and dryer and access to the 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center at East Village.

Classen Landing, 1915 Classen Blvd., bought a new shell building permit for a $1.6 million investment. Classen Landing will include over 19,000 square feet of new retail shops and a restaurant at Classen and Lindsey coming in the fall.

Expect a new Aldi grocery store at south Classen Avenue and Highway 9. This will be the second Norman location.

Lindsey Street

Opies House of Spirits, 1430 W Lindsey St., has permanently closed.

Ed Noble Parkway

Gaberino’s Homestyle Italian Restaurant is moving to the old Chili’s building, 400 Ed Noble Parkway. Owners Mitch and Laura Duprez said they recently closed on property which they purchased. They will open this summer and are targeting mid-July. Gaberino’s is currently located in Red Bud Plaza where it has been for the last seven years.

The new space will be larger and allow for a full bar including mixed beverages. There will also be a patio and a special event room. The restaurant also includes vegan and gluten free options.

“It’s a great area and it’s accessible,” said Laura of Ed Noble Parkway. “I hope we’ll be part of the revitalization.”

Alameda Square and east Norman

A new construction building permit was recently issued for the 24th Ave. Church of Christ, 1660 24th Ave. SE, across the street and to the southwest of Ronald Reagan Elementary. The estimated value of the new church is $768,000.

FFO Home discount furniture store is coming to 831 Sonoma Park Dr. north of Walmart on 12th Avenue NE. According to the new construction building permit, the value of the future store will be $1.65 million.


 Downtown Norman

Plans for BIG Brew Co. brewery with taproom is proposed for 216 East Main St. (south side of Main at Peters Avenue) are moving forward with plans to open in the fall. BIG Brew plans to have eight to 10 taps and expand to 12-15 as the market allows.

University North Park

Petco, 1670 24th Ave. NW, is getting an interior remodel representing $250,000 investment, according to city building permits.

A GoHealth Urgent Care, 2312 24th Ave. NW is coming just northwest of Embassy Suites. An interior finish building permit for the $335,000 facility was issued recently.

Brain Balance will be coming to Norman at 1806 24th Ave. NW. Brain Balance helps children who struggle behaviorally, socially, and academically through a holistic and integrated approach that is customized to meet the needs of each child. The nationwide franchise already has a location in Oklahoma City.

Residential building permits for – – July 5- 11

Ten permits for new single family residences were issued with a combined reported valuation of $3,214,805. The average reported value is $321,481. One of which applied for the cities recently adopted 2018 Home Energy Rating System (HERS/Energy Rating Index (ERI) Fee Adjustment Incentive Program. A permit to repair fire damage was issued for 3140 Millbrook Square and 3144 Millbrook Square. Twenty permits for additions or alterations to residential properties were issued with a combined reported valuation of $309,870. Ten of which were storm shelters. Five applications for new single family residences were submitted with a reported valuation of $3,206,410. The average reported value is $641,282. A permit to repair tornado damage was summited for 5611 Dixon St. Seven applications for addition or alteration to residential property were submitted with a reported valuation of $432,000. One of which was a storm shelter. A demo permit was summited for 3140 Millbrook Square. reported valuation of $197,950. Three of which were storm shelters.

A demo permit was issued for 13820 E. Stella Rd.

Four applications for new single family residences were submitted with a reported valuation of $827,850. The average reported value is $206,963. An application to repair water damage was summited for 412 W. Himes St. One application for addition or alteration to residential property was submitted with a reported valuation of $2,475. 

My passions include yoga, running, swimming, cycling, hiking, nature photography and a love of animals and the natural environment.