The state has accepted a bid of $130,000 in what will be its first sale of underused piece of property, an old television studio in Tulsa, as part of a recent effort by Oklahoma, the single largest owner of buildings, land and leases in the state, to sell its unneeded property.
The building is among nearly 150 tracts of land or buildings that the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services identified in the past year as being underused.
Two other properties are being prepared for auction and several others are expected to be put up at auction in the next several months, John Estus, an agency spokesman, said Wednesday.
“It's going to be a lengthy process,” he said. “We're not going to be seeing a fire sale where there are dozens of properties on the auction block overnight. Each one of these properties has its own unique challenges so we have to work through each property individually and address those before we can get them ready to go to market.”
The state awarded a bid for the old Oklahoma Educational Television Authority studio in Tulsa to Victor Tafolla, of Broken Arrow.
The state originally placed a minimum bid of $148,500 on the 6,500-square-foot building, which had been used for storage. The first auction produced no bids; a second appraisal resulted in the minimum bid being lowered to $99,000.
The sale is expected to close in the next 60 days.
Proceeds from the sale will go to the Maintenance of State Buildings Revolving Fund, which was created in legislation that was passed and signed into law last year.
The fund received a $30 million startup appropriation under the budget approved for the 2014 fiscal year, which began Monday.
“Most of that is intended for buildings that the state plans to keep,” Estus said. “Some of it could be used to address issues in buildings that the state could then sell for a profit, but we're not interested in spending more than we're going to get from a sale on buildings.”
Proceeds from the OETA building sale and other sales will be used to pay for maintenance costs of other state buildings, and could include repairs to the state Capitol.
Legislation passed this year, HB 1910, reorganized the makeup of the Long Range Capital Planning Commission, whose members will decide how the money in the fund will be spent. Eventually, an eight-year plan — similar to the long-range plans used by the state Transportation Department for road and bridge projects — would be developed to manage the state's buildings and properties.
Previously, 163 state agencies handled their own building needs.
The nine-member commission will consist of three appointees each from the governor, the House speaker and Senate president pro tem. No appointments have been made yet.