Even with the opening of the 123 Garage, Fleming admits parking will remain tight in Midtown.
“As it continues to grow and parking gets further and further constrained, eventually there will have to be a solution to that, and structured parking would make the most sense,” Fleming said. “If the dense development called for in the Midtown plan is to happen, structured parking should be a component.”
Beffort sees more parking in the horizon, as well. Beffort leads an investment group that owns Leadership Square, Oklahoma Tower, Corporate Tower and City Place Tower — all located in the heart of the Central Business District and among downtown’s most prominent office space.
Beffort’s group is spending more than $5 million adding a three-story, 336-space addition atop the City Center Garage at Park and Harvey avenues. It’s not a cheap addition — structural re-enforcement was needed.
The expanded garage will begin opening up in phases, starting with the sixth and seventh floor additions opening in September, and the eighth floor opening up in October.
Add the reopening of the Century Center Garage this fall and the relocation of employees at Crowe & Dunlevy law firm from that garage to the Broadway-Kerr Garage owned by SandRidge Energy, and Beffort sees a much less stressed parking system within the next couple of months.
Beffort’s prediction includes accommodating the relocation of the Oklahoma Publishing Co. to Century Center next January and continued growth of Devon Energy, SandRidge Energy, Continental Resources and Enable.
“But as we continue to grow, we will need more,” Beffort said. “I hope by the end of next year, we can have another garage popping out of the ground.”
The restructuring ahead includes construction of a new headquarters for OGE Energy Corp. at Sheridan and Hudson avenues, which would shift hundreds of employees from the Oklahoma County garage at Robert S. Kerr and Hudson avenues, to a new garage that will be built as part of the development.
Bricktown developer Don Karchmer, meanwhile, is awaiting completion of a study to determine how many track lines will be needed north of Main Street so he can design a garage that he plans to link to The Underground pedestrian tunnels serving the Central Business District.
Bond Payne, meanwhile, is continuing design work for a garage at NW 5 and Robinson Avenue as part of his plans to redevelop the former Journal Record Building.
“We’re continuing to see positive absorption of downtown office space,” Beffort said. “In the next 12 to 18 months I expect we will need at least another 500 to 800 spaces.”