The demand for Class A downtown office space is at a 30-year high, Beffort said, with vacancy rates of just 5 percent. Beffort estimated the buildings will cater to firms needing 8,000 to 80,000 square feet.
“They're (the SandRidge buildings) absolutely considered Class A, even though typically Class A is a much larger space,” Beffort said. “But the quality is Class A and the amenities are Class A in terms of 24-hour-a-day security, conference facilities, the park and plaza area, the barber salon and the restaurant.”
The Parkside Building encompasses 66,000 square feet while the Braniff Building has 90,000 square feet. Beffort believes the staggered openings — the Braniff will be completed this summer while the Parkside Building won't be done until the third quarter of 2014 — will assist in successfully leasing out both buildings.
Beffort, who also is representing the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in the sale of the former Stage Center theater at Hudson and Sheridan Avenues, has over the past year predicted downtown will see construction of a new high-rise tower. He said the addition of the SandRidge space is not expected to effect any such discussions.
“What is discussed or planned for any of the other sites downtown are much larger facilities than this would accommodate and will be driven by a particular use or a particular tenant,” Beffort said.
Dewey said the change in plans for the two buildings do not change SandRidge's place in the downtown community and added the company is still committed to working with Chesapeake Energy and the city in creating a new Kerr Park that will adjoin the Parkside building when it opens.
“We believe it's (the campus and new office space) a gift to the city and one that will come with a return on the investment,” Dewey said. “We do believe SandRidge Energy will continue to grow. It's the pace at which we grow that is changing.”
Dewey said the only pending questions involve parking for the properties, which is being studied. He predicted the Braniff Building, with its restored historic facade and modern glass alleyway facade, won't go empty for long.
“The Braniff has turned into such a beautiful building,” Dewey said. “It's very, unique and unlike anything I've ever seen in any other city.”