Sometimes you never know when and where someone of stature is going to confirm what is the next big story. Here’s all the marbles folks – I’ve been tracking what appears to be yet another skyscraper in the making for downtown. I don’t have the story nailed down yet – I’ve spent a lot of time trying to do just that. But for those of you who think I’m taking crazy pills, consider what Mark Beffort said at a real estate forum today – one covered by my esteemed co-worker and sometimes partner in crime Richard Mize:
Mark Beffort said another new corporate headquarters will be built downtown starting this year, but he didn’t say what company. He also said would-be tenants are vying for Devon Energy’s current space, but he didn’t say who.
The deals are in the works, said Beffort, principal with Grubb & Ellis-Levy Beffort. He spoke at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel at the Forecast Conference of the Commercial Real Estate Council of Oklahoma City.
And to anyone who insists Devon’s move into its new 50-story, 1.8-million-square-foot tower starting next month will wreck the downtown market for office space, he said, “I tell you, you are wrong.”
He said downtown, with a vacancy rate of 12.9 percent in Class A and Class B office buildings for lease, will take some time to absorb all of the 800,000 square feet Devon will leave behind in several buildings. But he said he expects almost one-third of it — about 250,000 square feet — to be filled in six to nine months.
SO, what does this all mean? Well, keep in mind Beffort is no run-of-the-mill downtown real estate guy. He represents the group that owns Leadership Square, Oklahoma Tower, Corporate Tower and CityPlace Tower. He is, to quote Ron Burgandy, “kind of a big deal.” This also means we’re tracking a new building for SandRidge that will likely be 10 to 20 stories high, a convention center hotel that will be at least 15 stories high, and this mystery corporate headquarters, which could be higher than anything we’ve seen – well, before Devon Tower that is.