On the heels of Oklahoma City's City Council's decision to create a new Downtown tax increment financing district to fund approximately $175 million in public improvements and economic development efforts, which was spurred by Devon Energy's planned development of a new world headquarters building, Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority committee members today approved a proposed redevelopment agreement with Devon World Headquarters LLC to build its $750 million high-rise next to the historic Colcord Hotel.
The project's schematic design studies and evidence of financing also were approved.
"It's a great pleasure for all of us to be involved in such a spectacular project," said Dan Batchelor, OCURA's legal counsel. "The location for the proposed Devon World headquarters has long been envisioned as a center piece location for a Downtown redevelopment."
Devon Realty Advisors Inc. President Klaholt Kimker and Hines Vice President John Wood attended the meeting to update committee members on minimal project design changes.
Wood said the 54-story office tower and podium structures will remain at 1.9 million square feet of space, but because of site constraints, the project's auditorium structure has been shifted from the east side of the site to the west side.
"It sets off kind of its own structure now, and provides a nice framework to the Devon park that will front on Sheridan Avenue," Wood said. "It'll be very elegant and open and accessible to the public."
The podium structure will now become a five-story structure instead of its proposed six.
"A key architectural object in all this is the rotunda, which will serve as a unified element in the overall project," Wood said. "As we brought the podium structure down, the rotunda has remained at six stories, so it really kind of enhances that as an architectural object and makes it more of a beacon, if you will, in the overall competition of the site."
Site preparation and demolition work is scheduled for fall 2009.