The Journal Record Building, largely vacant since it was acquired by Oklahoma City after the 1995 bombing of the nearby Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, may finally be redeveloped in time for the tragedy's 20th anniversary.
The Oklahoma City Cultural and Industrial Facilities Trust recently issued a request for development proposals that will be due Jan. 7.
“It's been a difficult space to try to find someone interested in purchasing it,” said Cathy O'Connor, who oversees the trust as part of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. “We've not tried to lease it to anyone. We've tried to sell on several occasions, but never could make it work.”
O'Connor said several parties have expressed interest in the past about the building, though only one party, Heritage Trust, has confirmed it may bid for the property.
“Because of the city's excellent stewardship of this property over the past 17 years, we now have an opportunity for a responsible and sensitive restoration of the building,” said Bond Payne, co-chairman of Heritage Trust.
“Having studied this project for more than two years, I look forward to the redevelopment of this historic landmark.”
The building, built in 1923, was originally home to the Masonic Temple and was later a movie theater. In the years leading up to the 1995 bombing, it was home to the Journal Record, a business newspaper. The building was extensively damaged by the bombing, and was acquired and repaired by the city before it was turned over the facilities trust.