I’m still reeling from the news that Cathy Rigby is STILL performing as Peter Pan …
So despite that and other stories getting your interest this week, let’s recap, shall we?
We’re getting a good glimpse of what’s to come downtown, and if it all comes true, then we’re looking an office market far more vibrant than its been the past 30 years.
When you read my coverage in the Sunday Oklahoman about Devon, you’ll learn more than 2,000 people will be moving into Devon Energy Center when it opens in 2012. We also know from today’s coverage that SandRidge Energy is looking at an expansion of its downtown workforce that will bring the total to 2,000 in five years, and that it will be building a second tower equal in size to its current 29-story tower.
Contemplate that for a moment. Also add into this equation that Continental Resources is looking at employing about 750 people by 2014 as it completes its move to Devon’s current headquarters at Broadway and Sheridan. And have no doubt, Continental is growing. Don’t be surprised if that 750 figure is low – very low.
Also remember that construction will be starting this winter on an 11-story Hilton Garden Inn in Bricktown. And of course the city is very intent on getting a conference hotel built in conjunction with the new convention center. Doing quick math and considering the foot print, this hotel will definitely go vertical Let’s assume it’s the same sort of footprint as the Renaissance Hotel. Add more amenities into the mix, and double the room count, and it’s easy to see it going up 20 stories or higher.
Still with me?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the skyline isn’t finished yet. And I expect even more yet to be announced. In the meantime, enjoy this latest time lapse video of Devon Energy Center by OKC Central contributor Will Hider.
The news goes on friends. I’ll be watching every property transaction in Core to Shore, and I’ll still be asking questions. And this goes out to one person in particular… I hope you have a very good day today.
Downtown is about to undergo changes that could arguably rival the original MAPS program. Developing ….
Having end of summer blues? Celebrate with deadCENTER Film and XO LOUNGE. The first Wednesday of every month, independent filmmakers showcase their short films during shortsSUITES. The XO Lounge is located on the lower level of the Colcord Hotel; doors open at 8:00pm and films start at 8:15pm. Admission is FREE and you must be 21 to enter.
Art Escape Getaway
For a limited time, The Colcord is offering the ART ESCAPE PACKAGE in celebration with Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the special collection of Roman Art from the Louvre.
Until October 12, the ART ESCAPE PACKAGE is available which includes a night’s stay in an Executive King room, tickets to the Museum, complimentary self-parking and 1:00pm late check-out. Upgraded room types available.
OKLAHOMA CITY is the last North American venue for this special exhibition. So, book your Roman-tic getaway or Rome downtown with the Colcord and OKC Museum of Art. Packages available ONLINE or by calling 405.601.4300.
Well, what do you know, news still happens if I take a couple of vacation days. Jack Money has an article now at www.newsok.com detailing Devon Energy’s purchase of the Colcord Hotel.
And of course, the online community is just buzzing about this purchase and wondering about the implications. I don’t have all the answers, but….
It’s ridiculous to suggest Larry Nichols might want to tear down the hotel and replace it with parking. But if you’re looking for the negative angle on every story, go ahead and keep on talking about it anyway. Truth is, from the moment Devon announced its plans to build a new tower, one had to wonder about how the Colcord might survive the loss of its surface parking lot. The city-owned old Galleria parking deck is part of the site that is expected to be awarded to Devon by the Urban Renewal Authority later this month.
Devon, of course, wouldn’t mind having an upscale hotel next door to its new tower. And imagine the possibilities for both Devon and the Colcord if the tower development were to incorporate the hotel, instead of having architects and planners trying to work around the 98-year-old landmark.
Yes, it really could be that visionary – and that simple. While I’m not on this story, past discussions with Larry Nichols and other leading corporate leaders in this community are revealing. Look at Kerr-McGee in its final days as being the old way of corporate campus development: self contained, no interaction with the surrounding neighborhood, totally self-sufficient. The new way is to look at how to interact with the surrounding community, to not just benefit from the nearby amenities, but maybe even help enhance them.
Larry Nichols has previously indicated he wants to do just that with the Myriad Gardens. Is there any reason to doubt him when he says he has the same intent with the Colcord?
Downtown Fort Worth is getting its first new hotel in 20 years, and I doubt anyone would challenge the value of its contribution to the city’s skyline.
With an opening set for later this year, the Omni Forth Worth Hotel will have 604 guest rooms with 97 condominiums on top of the hotel. In addition to the hotel lobby, the ground floor will include Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Starbucks Coffee, another restaurant, sports bar, a spa, and a gift shop.
The building also will feature 48,000 square feet of meeting space, and is across the street from the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The 34-story building is going up on what was convention center parking (the city is building a garage to replace the lost spots).
According to Fort Worth Architecture Online, the hotel’s design consists of a masonry base with an “L” shaped masonry and glass hotel tower rising out of it. A taller, boat shaped glass section rises out of the base. On the upper floors of this section of the building will be 97 condominiums. The building will have three levels of underground parking. The architect for the Omni Fort Worth Hotel is HOK. At the current time, the exact height of the hotel is unknown, but it estimated to be around 547 feet in height.
Now here is my question: downtown Fort Worth has been booming for years, yet it saw none of the low- to mid-rise hotel projects now popping up in downtown Oklahoma City. Is there any conclusion to be drawn here about OKC’s chances at drawing an Omni-type project in years to come?
Here’s an interesting tidbit: which major downtown – one that many in OKC admire and wish to immulate in many ways – is just now getting its first hotel in two decades?
A decade ago downtown had one hotel. When the Hampton Inn opens in Bricktown later this year, we’ll have seven. Add to that the Holiday Inn Express that will be built at Oklahoma and Main and you have eight. And oh, by the way, for those of you who have seen my mentions of more hotels lining up, yep, the Candlewood Inn announced today is one I’ve been tracking, and yeah, that makes the count nine.
Here’s the betting line on what’s still in the works, based on various players I’ve talked to:
Odds of No. 10: 90 percent.
Odds of No. 11: 75 percent.
Odds of No. 12: 60 percent.
Odds of No. 13: 50 percent.
Odds of No 14: 10 percent.
Tom Corcoran, for anyone who might be interested, happens to be chairman of Irving, Texas-based Felcor Lodging. He is the company’s co-founder and the “Cor” in Felcor.
He’s also one of 150 top hotel executives from around the country meeting this week at the Skirvin as part of the annual summer summit of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
I don’t know how Mr. Corcoran or his peers are spending their free time while in Oklahoma City. But my sources tell me that at least some of these executives are indeed meeting with downtown property owners and real estate brokers and looking at doing deals – especially in Bricktown.