A year ago there were at least a handful of downtown developments on the drawing boards that seemed to be sure things. One of those was the Flatiron, a mixed-use development by Grant Humphreys at 5th and Harrison.
Construction was to start in the fall. And that’s where things get all messed up; have your leases and financing nailed down in July, 2008, and things are still set. But fall was a totally different story following the economic crash, and while Oklahoma City has been spared much of the pain, financing is still troublesome for pretty much everybody.
Grant Humphreys wants to make this deal work. He spent time and money on the project. He invested his creative energies and hopes.
The local economy isn’t shutting down, but it’s not immune from the outside pressures. Interestingly enough, I’m seeing more leasing activity along Broadway and in Bricktown than I have the previous two years.
By all accounts, Devon Energy is showing no hint of delaying or stopping construction of its 54-story highrise.
Yet the banking crunch is having its effort. Without any further delay, here’s Grant’s open letter:
From: Grant Humphreys
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 5:03 PM
Subject: THE FLATIRON – A SYMBOL OF RESILIENCE – of our downtown, of our city, of our Oklahoma spirit
Across the nation, the economic crisis has forced many development projects to be put on hold or brought to an end. Yet Oklahoma City, despite some very real economic downturns, continues to prove itself as one of the most resilient markets in America.
After almost three years of design and due diligence, our project known as ‘The Flatiron’ is poised to become a reality. When the construction of this project begins at the gateway of downtown OKC, The Flatiron will deliver the message that Oklahoma City is still in the game. Watching this new 5-story mixed-use project be built will boost confidence in our market and help maintain or increase property values as well. No doubt the Devon Tower will deliver this same message around the world, but we’re the small business version that is ready to go. But we need YOUR help.
We need YOUR help to meet our pre-leasing hurdle. The Flatiron will create more than 73,000 RSF of Class ‘A’ office and retail space ideally located at the gateway to downtown, Bricktown and the Oklahoma Health Center. Our asking rates are $22/RSF (gross) for loft office and $22/RSF (net) for street level retail (with CPI bumps). We need credit tenants willing to sign a 5-year lease. Local tenants are great. Once we’ve pre-leased 50% of this space, we will move towards an exciting groundbreaking event. We want to work with brokers. So bring me a deal. With your help, we can meet this goal . . . and you’ll be the first invited to the party!
All the information you need is available online at www.flatironokc.com. You can find floor plans, marketing brochures and a video of the project. Make a point to watch the video. It’s awesome.
Dave Ortloff, our Director of Marketing, is handling the broker relations. He’s here for you. If you’d like to arrange a tour or receive more information about this exciting project, just call Dave at (405) 228-1000 (ext 4). His contact information is also on the website referenced above.
Let’s work together to show everyone that, despite the rest of the nation, the real estate market in Oklahoma City is alive and well. I appreciate your help!
Find out more by visiting their website at: FlatironOkc.com!
UPDATE: A co-worker got an interesting call from a “homebuilder” who complained about this post. The homebuilder didn’t bother contacting me directly, but apparently feels this is a ”lovefest” for Grant Humphreys and wanted to know how much Grant paid for it.
Grant paid nothing. I post what I find interesting. I found the new animation interesting. I thought Grant’s comments were interesting. There you have it, anonymous homebuilder. The same logic went into yesterday’s posting on the Prohibition Room.
I also think this might be interesting to my readers. If I’m guily of a ”lovefest” here, I guess you can also say I’ve had “lovefests” with Marva Ellard and the Sieber, Ron Bradshaw and the Maywood Lofts, Larry Nichols and Devon Tower, pretty much all of Bricktown and all of MidTown and all of Automobile Alley.
Here’s the thing people keep on missing: I cover downtown and the inner-core. That’s what I do. If I were the Sooner beat writer, I guess I’d be accused of having a lovefest with Bob Stoops.