Gardner-Tanenbaum keeps the light on for Oklahoma Health Care Authority
Developer Richard Tanenbaum said he considered a new hotel, student housing, a college campus, apartments and senior housing, with office use the furthest from his mind, until the state agency let it be known a year ago that it was looking for new digs.
Oklahoma Health Care Authority should be in its new digs — next door to its former home on Lincoln Boulevard — by early 2014, developer Richard Tanenbaum said Friday.
Videoview all videos
Mar 15Demolition was under way Friday in preparation for...
Photoview all photos
Gardner-Tanenbaum Group started rehabbing for the former Lincoln Plaza Hotel, 4345 N Lincoln Blvd., earlier this year after months of nipping and tucking plans to suit the state agency finally ended with a lease contract, CEO Tanenbaum said.
The developer is gutting the old three-story hotel to the studs and will rebuild the space from the inside out.
When finished, the transformed property will also be larger, a total of about 160,000 square feet, thanks to a 35-foot-deep addition across the front, which faces Lincoln Boulevard.
The health care authority, now leasing a comparable amount of space at Shepherd Mall, issued a request for proposals for new office space almost a year ago. The agency's eventual relocation rattled already troubled Shepherd Mall, against which foreclosure proceedings began March 1. However, the agency apparently never intended to remain at the mall for long.
Oklahoma Health Care Authority previously leased space just north of the Gardner-Tanenbaum property at Lincoln Plaza Office Park, 4545 N Lincoln Blvd., which also fell into foreclosure just last week. That property never recovered from a massive hailstorm May 16, 2010, that caused such extensive damage the health care authority had to move out, leaving it nearly vacant.
Tanenbaum said he will spend around $19 million renovating the building for use by the health care authority. It will cost another $7 million or so to convert a second building, with seven floors, attached by a skywalk. Larry Cody, vice president of construction, said the second building is being marketed to both state and private office users.