Renovation plans unveiled for Oklahoma City tower
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — BancFirst is proceeding with plans for an extensive renovation of Cotter Ranch Tower in anticipation of its $23 million purchase of the bankrupt landmark in downtown Oklahoma City.
The tower languished under the ownership of the late James Cotter of Texas. The property ended up in receivership and then bankruptcy after Cotter’s death, the Oklahoman reported .
The redevelopment also would allow the bank to consolidate operations and increase its downtown workforce from 300 to more than 450, BancFirst Executive Chairman David Rainbolt said this week.
“This would be good for us, good for the city and it will be one of the last pieces to address downtown,” Rainbolt said. “There are huge problems with the building. ... We need to get cost estimates for what we would want that building to be if we’re to buy it.”
Improvements will start with The Underground concourse level with new skylight openings, floors, ceilings and lighting, and renovating and reopening the vacated retail lending and banking counters, according to an application submitted to the city’s Downtown Design Review Committee.
The crumbling plaza will be redone with pavers, new skylights, new site lighting, landscaping, irrigation and new planters. Cotter’s sculpture will be removed and returned to his family.
Rainbolt said the plans are being filed and will be presented to the committee for approval. The deadline for completing the purchase agreement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Texas is later this month.
“We’re still negotiating with the bank court. This is still a tough deal,” Rainbolt said. “We’ve had tenants move out, the expense of renovating this building is huge, and the cost of fixing the mechanical, heating and air conditioning, the elevators and along with the exterior improvements will likely be twice of what we pay for the building itself.”
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com