OPUBCO eyes downtown move

Oklahoman Modified: January 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm •  Published: January 14, 2013

The Oklahoma Publishing Company is in negotiations to return its headquarters to downtown Oklahoma City after a 20-year absence, Chief Executive Officer Gary Pierson told employees today.

The company, currently located at 9000 N Broadway, is in the process of planning a move into the long-vacant Century Center Mall, 100 W Main, subject to ongoing negotiations, approvals and commitments for both it and the landlord.

“We’ve been working toward something very special for both OPUBCO and downtown," Pierson said. “We are hopeful it all comes together.”

OPUBCO would be moving approximately 350 employees and an annual payroll of more than $26 million into 67,000 square feet.

The building, built along with the adjoining Sheraton Hotel in 1977, was successful as a retail operation in the early 1980s. Stores included an F.A.O. Schwartz Toy Store, a florist, clothing and gift shops, a fitness spa and restaurants. But its occupancy plunged as downtown suffered along with the rest of the state during the oil bust that overtook Oklahoma through the late 1980s.

The building has stood empty for the past 20 years. 100 W Main LLC, an investment group represented by Steve Hurst, bought 115,000 square feet of the mall from the hotel’s owner, American Property Management, for $2 million on May 11, 2011.

Tim Strange and Andy Burnett with Sperry Van Ness/William T. Strange & Associates represents 100 W Main LLC. on leasing of Century Center while OPUBCO is being represented by Mark Beffort and John Cohlmia with Grubb & Ellis/Levy Beffort.

“We are very excited to have The Oklahoma Publishing Company move home to downtown and anchor such an important location,” Hurst said. “This repositioning of the Century Center continues the renaissance of downtown OKC into a first class place to work and live.”

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