Crowe & Dunlevy, one of the state’s largest and oldest law firms, is set to move to the Braniff Building, taking up all remaining vacant space in the newly renovated historic landmark.
The 10-year lease, with a five-year renewal option, is for 70,000 square feet among nine floors, about 90 percent of the building’s Class A office space. The building’s owner, SandRidge Energy, also is subleasing 5,000 square feet in the nearby City Place Tower to the law firm for additional support staff.
Cushman Wakefield represented Crowe & Dunlevy and Mark Beffort with Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort represented SandRidge in the transaction.
“This building has almost as much history as our firm itself, which makes it perfectly suited to serve as the new home for our Oklahoma City attorneys and staff,” firm President Kevin Gordon said.
SandRidge Energy completed renovations to the Braniff Building, 324 N Robinson Ave., in 2013 as part of the development of the SandRidge Commons, and originally intended to use the building for additional office space. The first floor is leased to Kitchen No. 324 and the Braniff Hair Co. barbershop. One office floor was previously leased to Osage Energy.
“SandRidge remains focused on maximizing shareholder value through the efficient and strategic use of our assets, and today, the fully leased Braniff Building is further evidence of that commitment,” said SandRidge CEO James Bennett.
The 10-story Braniff Building was designed by architect Andrew Solomon Layton and built in 1923. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but was vacant for more than 30 years before it was purchased by SandRidge Energy. The company restored the historic Robinson Avenue facade while building a new modern glass facade facing the SandRidge tower.
Crowe & Dunlevy employs 197 in Oklahoma City and another 47 people in Tulsa, and has been based in four floors of the Continental Resources building at 20 N Broadway for the past three decades.
Gordon said a move was required due to the expansion of Continental Resources operations and the expiration of the law firm’s lease in October 2015, which Continental said would not be renewed. Crowe & Dunlevy currently occupies about 60,000 square feet.
“It’s been very tight and we looked at a lot of alternatives,” Gordon said. “This was the best. We’ve always been a downtown law firm, and we intended to keep it that way.”
Law firm’s plans
The firm intends to finish out a second-floor conference center, kitchen and dining space as originally envisioned by SandRidge, but will convert the top 10th floor, initially envisioned as dining and conference space, into offices. The firm also will establish a ground-floor reception facing the SandRidge plaza and also accessible to Robinson Avenue.