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.