Mystery buyer proposes turning First National annex buildings into parking

With a deadline looming for Oklahoma City's First National Center to go into receivership, a potential sale is in the works that involves the center and east portions of the complex being converted into structured parking.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: August 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm •  Published: August 17, 2012
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With a deadline looming for First National Center to go into receivership, a potential sale is in the works that involves the center and east portions of the complex being converted into structured parking.

Architect Don Beck appeared before the Downtown Design Review Committee on Thursday on an unscheduled presentation and told members his unidentified client had not yet bought the properties but was looking at turning them into parking.

The proposal calls for two garage entrances facing Park Avenue and one facing Broadway. Ground floor retail would be maintained in the central building facing Park Avenue.

First National Center spans three buildings totaling more than 1 million square feet with office space on the upper floors and retail on the ground floor arcade.

Aaron Yashouafar, who leads investment groups that own the property, said Thursday no deal has yet to be completed.

“Since its acquisition of First National Center, the ownership has been exploring various alternative uses for the Center Building or East Building,” Yashouafar said. “These contemplated uses include potentially adding a hotel, residential, or parking component to the Center or East Buildings to complement the historic and iconic West Building. While the ownership has been approached by a few local investment groups, at this time, there is no agreement in place for possible sale or joint venture of First National Center.”

The deal detailed by Beck, if it proceeds, would allow for a conversion of the existing buildings, a 14-story addition opened in December 1957 with frontage on Park Avenue, and a second 14-story addition facing Broadway built in 1972.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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