An application being filed this week with the Oklahoma City Planning Department asking to raze downtown's Stage Center reveals the property is to be developed as a 14- to 16-story tower that will become the new headquarters for OGE Energy Corp.
The move will consolidate most of the company's 1,000 employees under one roof and might free up two of its existing properties for redevelopment.
In an interview with The Oklahoman, Rainey Williams Jr., president of Kestrel Investments, said the $100 million project will also likely include a second tower, eight to 12 stories high, that will be separately developed as either housing or a hotel.
A conceptual master plan shows both towers will adjoin a multistory parking structure that will include shops and restaurants facing Hudson and Sheridan avenues. A day care and play area are proposed along the south side of the garage facing the Festival Plaza that each year is home to the Festival of the Arts.
Williams said his current timeline calls for construction to begin in 2015 with completion in 2017.
“This project will continue to build on the revitalization of this exciting area of downtown Oklahoma City,” Williams said. “We want the development to complement its surroundings and provide another opportunity to enjoy our downtown. With OGE Energy as our anchor tenant, we are confident our development will be something that Oklahoma City will be proud to have downtown.”
OGE Energy has been in the hunt for a new headquarters on and off for years and previously considered construction of a new tower at Harvey and Robert S. Kerr avenues in the 1980s. The company's workforce is currently located in a handful of buildings throughout downtown, similar to the scenario Devon Energy Corp. faced a decade ago before it built the 50-story Devon Energy Center.
The development does not include relocating operations for Enogex or the new OGE Energy spinoff Enable Midstream Partners L.P., which will remain based at Leadership Square.
“We are excited about bringing our employees together in a new corporate headquarters,” said Peter B. Delaney, chairman, president and CEO of OGE Energy. “We have a large number of employees scattered throughout downtown Oklahoma City at multiple facilities that are outdated and unable to meet our future needs.”
Larry Nichols, executive chairman at Devon, applauded news of the development.
“When we built our building, and as we started the Devon TIF (tax increment financing district) to create Project 180, and to redo the Myriad Gardens, all the sidewalks and streets, we hoped it would inspire more development downtown. … I really think this is just the beginning,” Nichols said.
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This project will continue to build on the revitalization of this exciting area of downtown Oklahoma City. We want the development to complement its surroundings and provide another opportunity to enjoy our downtown. With OGE Energy as our anchor tenant, we are confident our development will be something that Oklahoma City will be proud to have downtown.”
Rainey Williams Jr.,
President of Kestrel Investments