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New Century Center in downtown Oklahoma City owners plan extensive renovation

by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: May 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm •  Published: May 26, 2012

Steve Hurst admits that the Century Center Mall is an ugly building, but after representing an investment group in buying the downtown property for $2 million he is eyeing an extensive makeover.

The mall, built in 1977 and only briefly a success in the early 1980s, was purchased May 11 by 100 Main LLC. Plans call for an extensive renovation that will be coordinated with an upgrade of the adjoining Sheraton Hotel and possible expansion of publicly owned structured parking above the former retail space.

Hurst said the investment group bought 115,000 square feet of the mall from the hotel’s owner, American Property Management.

“There’s just an imaginary line of demarcation that separates what we bought from an area the hotel kept because they want to expand their meeting space,” Hurst told The Oklahoman on Friday. “The bones of the building are good. The ugly concrete panels can be removed and a new floor to ceiling glass facade will be installed.”

Hurst said the new owners will talk with city officials about their discussion as to whether to add two more stories to the parking garage — an expansion that would result in about 350 more spaces. The hotel’s owners, meanwhile, reported they plan to launch their own multimillion dollar room renovation that will be completed by spring 2013.

The acquisition was brokered by Zach Martin and Tim Strange with Sperry Van Ness, and leasing will be overseen by Andy Burnett and Danny Ojeda, also with Sperry Van Ness.

The plaza, the only real downtown retail built during the urban renewal era of the 1960s and 1970s, opened with a mix of restaurants, gift shops, clothing stores, a fitness center and even an FAO Schwartz toy store. The second floor was filled with offices during the oil boom of the early 1980s. The mall quickly emptied out with the following oil bust, and life never returned.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author 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...
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