Oklahoma City to Help Fund Retrofit of Landmark Building
Oklahoma City, United States 15 April 2019
With demolition set to wrap up and construction to start at First National Center, the Oklahoma City Council approved a tentative agreement to loan $26 million to secure private financing for the remainder of the $287 million project.
First National represents the largest private historic building rehabilitation in city history. The skyscraper, built in 1931, is being converted into a 146-room hotel to be operated as an Autograph by Marriott, and 193 high-end apartments. The Great Banking Hall is being transformed into a lobby with restaurants and bars.
The city council created a tax increment district to assist redevelopment in February 2016 as the landmark building’s utilities were being shut down. The property was in receivership and a sale contract was pending due diligence by local developer Gary Brooks and partner Charlie Nicholas, a Texas investor and builder. The loan represents the remaining balance of a $40 million tax increment fund the city created in 2016 to help finance the redevelopment.
The city council in 2017 approved a $17 million loan to assist in financing the garage, including demolition of the 1971 annex and conversion of the 1957 annex for the 600-space parking garage.
Councilwoman Meg Salyer said First National is one of the city’s most important historic landmarks. “We cannot minimize the community benefit of renovating this building…I can’t think of another project where every involved partner needs to go as far as they can go. It wouldn’t happen without our support.”