Demolition, construction begin at $230M Oklahoma City redevelopment
- Both demolition and construction are underway simultaneously on the $230 million First National Center redevelopment project in Oklahoma City, according to The Oklahoman.
- Cornerstone Development will first oversee the partial demolition of the Center's 14-story 1970s-era annex to make room for entrance and exit ramps into the 1957 annex, which will be home to a parking garage set on a two-story retail gallery. The tower, built in 1931, is being converted into a mixed-use property with residential units, retail and a hotel, which will use the original and ornate Great Banking Hall as a lobby with restaurants, bars, event space and a building museum. During the demolition phase, debris is being sent through elevator shafts in the complex's interior, with approximately 6.5 million pounds already having been removed.
- Cornerstone CEO Gary Brooks told Oklahoma's News 4 in February that the redevelopment will cost about $100 million more than it would to build a similar project from the ground up. The building was recently added to the National Register for Historic Places, which could qualify it for a 20% tax credit. In addition, the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust approved a memorandum of agreement that would give Cornerstone access to a $16 million loan within 180 days of completion of the parking garage in order to pay off a New Markets Tax Credit leverage loan. The Oklahoma City Council also agreed to invest $45 million in the project — $40 million through a new ad valorem tax and $5 million through a sales tax.
When buildings are granted historic status, like the First National Center, developers are required to maintain certain cosmetic and other features to preserve that designation.
For example, in Chicago, crews led by Walsh Construction, as part of a $1 billion redevelopment, will restore the former Cook County Hospital building's Beau Arts façade while converting it into a 210-room hotel, which will also be home to a museum and 70,000 square feet of medical offices.
Unlike the project in Oklahoma City, however, Cook County Hospital's transformation will not receive taxpayer help. As of mid-June, the development team, which includes Plenary Group and Granite Companies, had secured $135 million in financing.
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