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Edmond needs more big speculative office buildings, developer says

Edmond needs additional large office buildings with flex space into which growing companies can grow, built on a speculative basis, according to the commercial manager for Edmond development firm Turner & Co. Inc.
BY RICHARD MIZE Published: February 1, 2012

Edmond's love affair with suburban office buildings that look like houses hasn't cooled.

Demand for residential-style offices and office parks is still strong, but the best opportunities for growth are coming in bigger Class A buildings with bigger spaces, said Josh Moore, commercial manager at Edmond developer Turner & Co. Inc.

North Edmond is still best suited for the smaller spaces, although Turner once thought its Village Center at Coffee Creek, north of Covell Road and east of Kelly Avenue, would be attractive to big office users, Moore said Tuesday at the annual Edmond Economic Preview at the University of Central Oklahoma.

The thinking was that “decision makers and executives” living in the adjacent Coffee Creek neighborhood “might bring their companies out there,” Moore said.

It didn't happen, he said, noting the biggest office space at Coffee Creek is 13,000 square feet.

Bigger is better

That might sound big, but Moore said companies of some size that are growing want more — just in case. Turner & Co. calls it “office flex space” because a growing company that signs a lease for 10,000 square feet wants it in a building with at least another 10,000 square feet for eventual expansion without having to relocate.

Edmond needs more speculative Class A office buildings with that kind of size, he said, crediting developer Clay Farha of B.D. Eddie Enterprises for kicking off the move toward bigger Class-A properties 10 years ago with Kelley Pointe Plaza, a 20,500-square-foot building at 33rd and Kelly Avenue.

Since then, Turner & Co. and development partners have done their part with Fisher Hall Corporate Park, east of Boulevard and south of 33rd Street.

First came the flagship, Fisher Hall itself, a three-story, 64,000-square-foot building completed in 2006. It's the biggest office building in town. It's been followed by a mix of multitenant and owner-occupied buildings.

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