The developer flew in from London to make this presentation
“Over the last 50 years our firm has had the privledge of designing signature office buildings throughout the land.”
Such projects, he says, can enrich a the lives and cultural fabric of a community.
“Devon has assembled a world class team to assemble this project.”
“Pickard Chilton Architecture has redefined and enhanced skylines throughout the world.”
“Having employees scaqttered in five different buildings is not th emost efficient way to run a company.”
”Oklahoma City, as we all know, has experienced remarkable growth.”
“We want to create a building that adds to that momentum.”
“Oklahoma City has come a long way to changing its image, and we hope this building will continue to do just that.”
Nichols points out that a new skyscraper in downtown Charlotte several years ago was key to changing that city’s national image. Nichols wants the tower to be a place employees will show off when they first move into their new offices.
Plans are being unveiled now at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. A packed auditorium of business and civic leaders were in attendance as architects showed off plans for a 54-story glass tower. Devon Energy submitted the only response to a request for development proposals for the city-owned parcel across from the Myriad Gardens. Devon hopes to start construction by the third quarter of 2009.
The building floors will range from 25,000 to 28,000 square feet. The tower will appear to float in the reflecting pool that rings its base. Several glass enclosed atria spaces will be incorporated within the development. THe focal point of the space is a six-story glass rotunda, located in line with the Harvey Avenue access drive, which will serve as the primary pedestrian entrance for both Devon employees and the general public.
It’s bigger than a bread box.
Everybody wants to know what’s under that box. And Chip Minty and Larry Nichols, below, aren’t saying yet.
Give the Urban Renewal Authority credit – they’re doing better at knowing when to move their board meetings away from the office. The board room on the 24th floor of CityPlace is a tight fit for ordinary meetings these days. At best there is seating for about a dozen people to sit and listen to the actions of this prestigious board.
The last time they left the office, they met in the board room at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to review development proposals for the Skirvin hotel. It was a good decision – the agency made a good impression on the developers and also got to show off one of downtown’s premier attractions to a lot of out-of-towners.
But even the museum board room – a big circular area – likely wouldn’t be big enough for today’s presentation. A who’s-who of downtown business and civic leaders are on hand today to see what we’ve all been waiting for – the Devon tower designs. How big will it be? What will it look like?
The library auditorium holds about 150 people. Those in attendance include Roy Williams, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, developer Grant Humphreys, architects Betsy Brunsteter, Anthony McDermid and Scott Dedmon, Automobile Alley civic leader Meg Salyer, American Fidelity foundation head Dave Lopez, and council members Pat Ryan and Gary Marrs.
Your faithful reporter is preparing to leave home, drop the kids at school, and then to the downtown library where designs will be presented today for the new Devon tower.
It is, without a doubt, a historic day for downtown. We learned a little bit of new information in a story today in which Devon Energy CEO Larry Nichols describes the design as non-traditional. What that really means, however, remains to be seen.
As long as the technology doesn’t fail me, I promise I’ll provide you with updates throughout the morning.
Check out Wednesday’s Oklahoman, and you’ll have a head start on the big presentation…..
Once upon a time, my job consisted of reporting on a breaking story, assembling all the information together, and then writing a story for the next day’s newspaper. We all know the world has changed since then, and I’m very happy to report to you that I fully intend to have Devon Tower designs posted at www.okccentral.com as soon as I can move them from a disc to this blog. That means, my friends, that if you’re at work tomorrow morning, be sure to check in at www.okccentral.com between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
I’ll have my laptop powered up, the wireless card connected, and hopefully, we’ll all have some fun finding out what the downtown Oklahoma City skyline might look like in five years.
Here’s a hint: it won’t be “traditional.”
The city once again surveyed residents about various quality of life and service issues, and downtown was one of the key topics. What can we learn from the latest numbers? More people are going downtown. But something may be amiss with what they’re seeing and experiencing. Take a look and tell me what you think:
Quality of Downtown:
2005: 70 percent
2007: 68 percent
2008: 64 percent
Visited Downtown Past Year:
2007: Yes, 81 percent, No 18 percent
2008: Yes, 82 percent, No, 18 percent
Frequency of Visits Downtown in the Past Year
Less than five times: 46 percent
Five to 10 times: 22 percent
Ten to 20 times: 31 percent
Don’t know: 1 percent
Less than five times: 36 percent
Five to 10 times: 32 percent
Eleven to 20 times: 14 percent
Twenty times or more: 18 percent
Why Are People Visiting Downtown?
Leisure: 70 percent
Cultural event: 45 percent
Sporting event: 35 percent
Business: 34 percent
Festival, parade, special event: 33 percent
Shopping: 16 percent
Live downtown: 4 percent
Other: 9 percent
Satisfaction with downtown visits:
Very satisfied: 33 percent
Satisfied: 51 percent
Neutral: 10 percent
Dissatisfied: 4 percent
Very dissatisfied: 2 percent
Very satisfied: 29 percent
Satisfied: 52 percent
Neutral: 11 percent
Dissatisfied: 6 percent
Very dissatisfied: 2 percent
It’s a vision – that’s for sure. How much of it will come true, especially without Greg Banta’s name no longer attached? Hard to say, but Blair Humphreys over at www.imaginativeamerica.com brought this to our attention just as we’re all wondering what’s next for MidTown now that Banta has sold his interests to partners Bob Howard and Mickey Clagg.