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Oklahoma City seeks to condemn, acquire Santa Fe train depot in $21 million dispute

by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: May 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm •  Published: May 29, 2013

Oklahoma City's public works department is set to start construction of the streetcar system next year. The project includes $10 million for purchase and expansion of the depot.

The depot, if acquired, is set to become a transit hub that would connect current Amtrak service with a downtown streetcar system and potential rail service to Midwest City, Norman and Edmond.

Plans also call for the depot to be used for high-speed rail if it ever is established in Oklahoma.

What's next?

Assistant City Attorney Dan Brummett said when an eminent domain action is filed, the court appoints three commissioners to independently determine a value for the property. That may happen after the first hearing on June 20.

The Brewers can accept that ruling or ask for a jury trial. If the ruling is appealed, the city is required to deposit the amount in escrow, and if any increase is deemed due to the Brewers, that money is paid and funded through an assessment added to annual property taxes.

Brummett said such evaluations usually take about 30 to 45 days, which could allow the city to acquire control of the property by the end of summer.

Zach Martin, a broker with Newmark Grubb who has represented several transactions in Bricktown, expects the Santa Fe valuation will be closely watched by the downtown real estate community.

“There's a huge spread in that number,” Martin said. “That is a unique property. I don't know how one can value that — you've got a lot of frontage there, and that adds value. But $23.5 million? I suspect that would set new record for the area

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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