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Steve Lackmeyer: Up to six downtown towers in play for OKC skyline

Steve Lackmeyer forecasts what new towers may be coming to OKC — and where.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: August 19, 2014


photo - 
A downtown skyline dramatically changed by the addition of Devon Energy Center two years ago is set to experience even more transformation with construction of between two and six more towers. Photo by NewsOK Contributor Will Hider
A downtown skyline dramatically changed by the addition of Devon Energy Center two years ago is set to experience even more transformation with construction of between two and six more towers. Photo by NewsOK Contributor Will Hider

If you read Real Estate Editor Richard Mize’s cover story in The Oklahoman on Saturday, you may have noted that the forecast by Price Edwards office specialist Craig Tucker mentioned the possibility of two additional towers being built on the west edge of downtown Oklahoma City.

No public announcements are being made about these projects, but based on information from several good sources, I can confirm not just the likelihood of these additional towers, but also where they are set to be built.

First, consider that the issue of higher office rents — a prerequisite for any such construction — is set to be tested by Chuck Ainsworth, who is preparing to build new office space as part of a second phase of redevelopment of the block at NE 6 and Harrison.

Fencing went up this past week for renovations and expansion of the existing flatiron building on the block, and Ainsworth recently told the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority he plans to build the new space this next year. To do so, Ainsworth will need to recover up to $30 per square foot in rent. He thinks the market is ready — and demand may very well prove him right.

If the new rent structures hold, the next question is, how extensive of an expansion are we set to see in the downtown market?

Consider what is already public knowledge: Rainey Williams Jr. is preparing to build a mid-rise tower (though it may end up higher when built) for OGE Energy Corp. on the site of Stage Center at Sheridan and Hudson Avenues. Williams also previously said he is seeking a developer to build a second tower on the block.

Clayco, a Chicago firm hired by Williams to assist in development of the OGE Energy Corp. headquarters, is seeking to build a significant structure on the south half of that block — a development that may result in three towers being built between Reno, Sheridan, Hudson and Walker Avenues.

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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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