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First tenants move into Braniff Building in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City’s historic Braniff Building, initially renovated to accommodate expansion for SandRidge Energy, is available for lease.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: February 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm •  Published: February 27, 2014

Chad Taylor has a new office with a view of the historic old U.S. Post Office — a view that for now is exclusive to Taylor and his employer, Osage Exploration and Development.

On Feb. 7, the small company moved into the eighth floor and became the first office tenant in the Braniff Building since it was mothballed in the early 1980s by then-owner Kerr McGee.

“Whenever I saw this floor and this view, I thought I’d lay claim on this office,” said Taylor, exploration manager at Osage. “It’s nice to have a brand new office built for you downtown.”

The Braniff Building underwent an extensive renovation last year as part of the SandRidge Commons development, and original plans by SandRidge CEO and founder Tom Wardcalled for it to accommodate an ambitious expansion.

But as the first retail tenants moved into the ground floor of the building in 2013, Ward exited the company amid a change triggered by investors in the public company. The company’s direction changed, and executives decided to put the Braniff office space up for lease.

The 10-story building was designed by architect Andrew Solomon Layton. It was built in 1923 by Thomas Braniff for his insurance agency and was later home to the airline he founded, Braniff Airways, until he moved operations to Dallas in the early 1940s. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Accommodating history

A tour of the completed office space provides hints of how Ward envisioned the building fitting into the overall campus. The building rehabilitation included a restoration of the historic facade facing Robinson Avenue, while the less ornate east alley facade was removed and replaced with a modern steel and glass expansion.

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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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