The laundry at 1012 NW 1 was built in 1929 and closed in the mid-1980s. The building lacked most of its roof and the windows were broken and boarded up when it was sold in 2015 for $725,000 to the Pivot Project, whose partners are David Wanzer, Jonathan Dodson and Ben Sellers.
Wanzer, Dodson and Sellers also redeveloped the Tower Theater in Uptown — another historic renovation that included an iconic neon sign. The Sunshine sign, Wanzer said, was in bad shape when work began earlier this year.
“It hadn't run for decades,” Wanzer said. “The parts were all rusted out. The neon was all busted. It had only some of the internal workings left.”
What remained of the sign, however, guided the repairs to include restoration of an animated starburst on the neon sun atop the lettering. All of the old animation patterns will once again be seen by passers-by.
Wanzer said the $2 million renovation has gone as planned — success he credited to Gardner Architects and Lingo Construction. Those celebrating the relighting Wednesday included Joel Irby, who is opening the Stonecloud Brewing Co. at the old laundry next spring.
“We've tried to keep the building as original as possible to preserve the character,” Irby said. “The tap room will keep the historic feel of the Sunshine building. It will be a refined, casual atmosphere.”
Irby predicted the brewery market will continue to grow following Tuesday's passage of State Question 792, which will allow retailers to sell full-strength cold beer and give brewers more choice over distribution.
“Oklahoma City is going to see a transformation, especially with Senate Bill 424 passed earlier this year, and now 782 which passed last night. You will see neighborhood breweries that we've seen in Denver and Portland. We will have small local breweries that cater to the area around them. It's a fun and cool model.”