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First National Center up for sale

First National Center is up for sale with brokers urging potential buyers to look at it as a redevelopment opportunity.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: March 27, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: March 26, 2014

Dunn said potential buyers are being urged not to look at the property as “an income play,” but rather as a chance to buy a historic landmark in a thriving downtown that can be renovated with more value to be realized afterwards.

While the asking price is unknown, those familiar with the property have told The Oklahoman an effective renovation and redevelopment will cost at least $80 million and will require some participation by the city.

The previous two ownership groups, one based in California, the other in New York, were on tense terms with city officials over operation and failure to fulfill promised improvements to the 1931, 33-story tower. Both ownership groups saw liens filed against the property as bills went unpaid.

Cathy O’Connor, president of The Alliance for Development of Oklahoma City, said city officials are aware that a public/private partnership will be needed.

“The city is very interested in seeing First National Center renovated and complete occupancy achieved,” O’Connor said. “We all see it as a key to the success of the Central Business District.”

O’Connor added that some ownership groups may not be ideal candidates for such an overhaul.

“I think the city may be hesitant if there is not a comfort level with the ownership,” O’Connor said. “They (potential new owners) will be need to be people they know, like and trust.”

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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