Renovation of Bricktown's Mideke Building into apartments is set to start next week after the successful sale of the century-old warehouse's top three floors.
Mideke Building LLC., a partnership formed by brokers Andy Burnett and Zach Martin, developer Marva Ellard and contractor Jeff Johnson, completed a monthslong negotiation for the $2 million purchase on Friday.
“This was a difficult transaction,” Martin said. “First you have a four-person partnership doing an apartment development inside of a mixed-use, multitenant building. That's not easy.”
The partnership also was the first to buy just the empty top floors of a Bricktown building, allowing the owner, Gary Berlin, to retain control of the bottom two floors that are leased out to CityWalk, CocoFlow Cafe and a some office tenants. A future purchase of those floors is being pursued by Burnett and Martin as part of a separate redevelopment effort.
“Consider also that our development included a community development block grant (for reduced apartment rents), tax increment finance funds and historic tax credits,” Martin said. “This was no easy deal.”
When the renovation is complete in summer 2014, the Mideke Building, 108 E Main, will have a restored vintage sign out front and will be home to 30 apartments. Designs were drawn up by architect Sam Gresham, while renovations will be completed by Johnson's company, Real Property Construction.
“I think this will be one of the unique housing projects yet downtown,” said Johnson, who is looking for more downtown housing development opportunities. “The urban living with a true loft experience will be very different from any other traditional apartment, along with the prime location and its natural historic flair.”
Ellard and Burnett are not strangers to downtown housing development. Ellard developed the Sieber Hotel Apartments in MidTown, while Burnett is a partner in the redevelopment of the former Stewart Metal Fabricators complex in east Bricktown into a mix of apartments, retail and a hotel.
Ellard said she hopes a successful conversion of the long-vacant floors at the Mideke Building might inspire owners of other Bricktown warehouses with vacant upper floors to pursue similar deals.
“The demand for housing is definitely there,” Ellard said.
Mideke Supply Co.
Built in 1919, it was home to the Mideke Supply Co. for 87 years. The building's listing on the National Register of Historic Places shows the company operated the warehouse as a supply house for grain elevators, cotton gins, cotton seed oil mills, power plants, oil fields, plumbers, bridge and road builders, refrigerators and air conditioning. The first two floors were converted into the Bricktown Mercantile, an antique and gift shop that operated during much of the 1990s.