Skip Navigation
Hart Building
CDP funding helps revitalize 'Film Row' in Oklahoma City September 28, 2022
September 28, 2022 CDP funding helps revitalize 'Film Row' in Oklahoma City Community Development Program

In 1945 when the Hart Building was constructed, its neighborhood, Film Row, was home to offices for major Hollywood film studios like Paramount Pictures and MGM.

 

It was one of 37 film districts across the country that helped get the word out to theatre owners about new films by hosting showings of the latest movies. By the 1960s, new technology and transportation options led to the demise of these film exchange areas.

 

“In the early 1980s, the Film Row neighborhood was blighted,” explained Chip Fudge, the developer of the Hart Building. “There were no street lights and many buildings were boarded up. We bought our first property in that area in 1994 seeing the potential.”

 

The OKC Film Row has experienced a resurgence in recent years and is one of the last ones standing in the U.S. with nearly every building still intact. Much of this is due to the vision of Fudge’s company, Film Exchange Row, LLC.

 

Chip’s financial partner along the way has been NBC Oklahoma.

 

“They agreed to finance some of my initial project and have been there for my commercial, real estate and family business ever since,” Chip said. “I won’t bank with anyone but a local banker and really appreciate my relationship with NBC Oklahoma.”

 

Even with their strong relationship with Chip, NBC needed to be competitive on rate to secure the Hart Building project.

 

“We knew that with the size of this project, a ½% could make a big difference,” said Toni Nance, vice president of NBC Oklahoma.

 

They had heard about Community Development Program advances from FHLBank Topeka and decided to find out if Chip’s project would qualify.

 

“Although I know we could have kept our relationship with Chip, we couldn’t have secured this particular project had it not been for FHLBank. The CDP was the perfect fit,” said Toni. 

 

Thanks to the affordable funding, Chip completely refurbished the inside of the building while keeping the art deco charm outside. The Hart Building is home to his company as well as a small café and KOSU, the National Public Radio station for Oklahoma State University. Chip’s projects have led the way in the Film Row neighborhood spurring economic growth and bringing some of that movie magic back to Oklahoma City.

 

Back to Top