Two experienced Bricktown commercial real estate brokers are teaming up with a redeveloper of historic buildings to convert the top three floors of the 94-year-old Mideke Supply Building into housing.
The building, 108 E Main, was one of the earliest warehouse redevelopment projects in Bricktown, the first floor home to the Bricktown Mercantile and Uncommon Grounds in the 1990s, CityWalk the past dozen years and, more recently, Coco Flow.
The second floor, meanwhile, has been home to a variety of professional firms.
Andy Burnett and Zach Martin, brokers with Sperry Van Ness whose Bricktown transactions included the Kingman, Oklahoma Hardware and Sherman Iron Works buildings, said they teamed up with Marva Ellard, who oversaw redevelopment of the Sieber Hotel in MidTown, after realizing the popular entertainment district was filled with old warehouses like Mideke with upper floors empty for decades.
“It's something we've all been aware of — that people have been able to make a nice living just leasing out the first floors of their buildings and off of parking lots,” Ellard said.
“And the upper floors have remained empty and don't do anything to contribute to making this a neighborhood with other uses other than being an entertainment district.”
Martin said he and Burnett approached several property owners with the unique proposition of selling just their empty upper floors. Burnett credited Gary Berlin, owner of the Mideke building, with being willing to be a pioneer in the new approach to Bricktown development.
The deal, which is set to close in about 45 days and is pending a $500,000 tax increment finance district allocation from the city, allows Berlin to retain ownership of the first two floors while selling the remaining space for conversion into 30 apartments.
It's a project Berlin himself once hoped to pursue, and some of the design work he commissioned with architect Sam Gresham is still a part of the plan moving forward.
“To Gary Berlin's credit, he's the first who understood and was reasonable about a price for space he wasn't using,” Ellard said.
The build out will be overseen by RPC Construction, whose owner, Jeff Johnson, lives in nearby Deep Deuce and is also a partner in the development. Financing, meanwhile, is being handled by Jonathan Dodson with Legacy Bank.
Ellard hopes the project, once completed, might inspire other Bricktown property owners to add housing to the top floors of other old warehouses.
“It's the maturation of a city,” Ellard said. “If we are going to be a city and truly have a downtown, it can't go dark at six o'clock. It has to have a neighborhood identity. We've seen an explosion of housing in Deep Deuce. That has to come to Bricktown.”