Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma said Thursday that it plans to relocate its Oklahoma City office to the IBC Bank Center, 3817 Northwest Expressway, and sell its present building.
Blue Cross said it is leasing 49,000 square feet of space and will move some 140 employees from its present location, which it owns, at 3401 NW 63. The move is planned for the weekend of Nov. 8 with the first day in the new office scheduled for Nov. 11.
Chicago-based Group Health Service of Oklahoma Inc., Blue Cross's corporate name, has its six-story, 80,000-square-foot building under a sale contract. The building was constructed in 1977. Blue Cross has owned it since 1985.
“The current Oklahoma City building is larger than needed and in need of capital improvements,” said Ted Haynes, president of Blue Cross. “This relocation to the IBC Center will enable us to right-size our facility, while allowing employees to better collaborate in a cross-functional workspace.”
Haynes said Manhattan Construction started work on the IBC space in early July. ZPD+A is the architect.
“We're pleased with the design and construction progress of the new space, and expect a smooth transition to the IBC Center,” Haynes said.
Finding so much Class A office space to lease in northwest Oklahoma is a rare feat. Average vacancy in the best buildings in the submarket had tightened to 3.7 percent at midyear, according to Price Edwards & Co.
“Larger Class A Users currently have very few space alternatives in this popular submarket and with Class A rental rates climbing to $21.80 per square foot, some new construction is inevitable in the next few years,” Price Edwards said in its midyear office summary.