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Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Interior Department Approve Landmark Leasing Deal

29 Nov 2013, 11:47 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

In a landmark step for Native American self-determination, the U.S. Department of the Interior and Citizen Potawatomi Nation formally approved tribal leasing regulations in a signing ceremony Nov. 25. The regulations aim to help spur investment and commercial development on the nation’s trust lands in central Oklahoma.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn and Potawatomi Nation Chairman John Barrett participated in the ceremony at the Potawatomi National Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee. The ordinance is the sixth approved by the Interior Department under the HEARTH Act (Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership), which was signed into law by President Obama in July 2012. The legislation restores the authority of federally recognized tribes to develop and implement their own laws governing the long-term leasing of Indian lands for residential, business and other purposes.

Secretary Jewell, who also chairs the White House Council on Native American Affairs, said in a statement: “The Citizen Potawatomi Nation now has the authority to decide how it wants to do business on its lands, making it easier for families to do things like buy and build houses or open businesses in the communities where they have lived for generations. Today’s action encourages economic development on Indian lands, generating investment, new jobs and revenues.”

“The very essence of self-determination is that it should be the tribe that decides how its lands may be used for the good of its members, and that is what the HEARTH Act and Interior’s comprehensive reform of Indian land leasing regulations does,” said Washburn. “These parallel efforts have a real impact for individuals and families who want to own a home or build a business. These initiatives help strengthen self-reliance and secure the well-being of future generations.”

Seal Courtesy of: www.potawatomi.org



Enel Green Power Kicks Off $250M Wind Project in Murray, Carter Counties

24 Nov 2013, 12:44 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Enel Green Power North America Inc. has started construction of a %250 million wind power project in Murray and Carter counties.

The Origin Wind Power Project will have 150 megawatts of installed capacity and will be able to generate approximately 650 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. The plant will eliminate an estimated 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the air.

Owned by Origin Wind Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power North America, the wind farm is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2014.

Origin Wind Power will have the necessary elements to qualify for production tax credits, Enel Green Power said in a statement. The new project will join two other wind farms in Oklahoma, Chisholm View (235 megawatts) and Rocky Ridge (150 megawatts), operating in Oklahoma. Enel Green Power operates more than 1,265 megawatts of installed capacity in North America.

Photo Courtesy of: www.enelgreenpower.com



Miller-Valentine Details Plan for $8M Affordable Housing Project in El Reno

18 Nov 2013, 10:12 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Miller-Valentine Group and Frontier Community Services are developing Fairway Breeze Apartments, a 48-unit affordable multi-family project in El Reno.Scheduled to open next year at 600 South Country Club Road, the development’s price tag is $8 million, the El Reno Tribune reported.

Although Fairway Breeze is classified as affordable, Miller-Valentine said in a statement that prospective residents must be able to demonstrate verifiable income, have no outstanding balance from previous rental residences and must not have a criminal record. Section 8 applicants are not eligible.

Two-bedroom units will rent for about $800 per month and three-bedroom apartments will be priced at around $900, Mark Sandidge, director of El Reno Community Services, told the Tribune.  The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency and the city of El Reno are providing additional support.

Billed as pet-friendly, the fairway Breeze will feature fully-equipped gourmet kitchens, energy-efficient appliances, patio or balcony with extra storage and central air conditioning. The community will feature a clubhouse which includes a computer room and a fitness center. The community grounds will include a playground and outdoor picnic areas.

Miller-Valentine’s president of residential property management, Jim Fenwick said in a statement: “It is our privilege to touch and enhance the quality of living and give our residents piece of mind while living at Fairway Breeze Apartments.”

Founded in 1963, Miller-Valentine Group develops real estate in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the U.S. Miller-Valentine Group manages more than 13,000 residential housing units and over 50 million square feet of commercial space.



Parkes Development Wins Key Approval for $33M Tulsa Retail Project

11 Nov 2013, 4:16 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission has approved Parkes Development Group L.L.C.’s proposal for a $32.5 million retail development in the South 81st Street / Highway 75 corridor. Dubbed The Walk at Tulsa Hills, the project will create more than 1,000 permanent and temporary jobs, estimates the Nashville, Tenn.-based developer.

Parkes is working to identify tenants, expected to include a grocery store, restaurants, shops, a movie theater and an outdoor living store. The Walk at Tulsa Hills, located to the south of Tulsa Hills on the east side of Highway 75, would generate an estimated $50 million in sales and nearly $1.2 million in sales tax revenue annually.

Robert Martin, Parkes’ director of development, predicted that “The Walk at Tulsa Hills will be a place for families to gather for food and entertainment, and try out stores that are brand-new to this market. We are encouraged by the TMAPC’s approval and will work with the city to complete the plans, while engaging the surrounding community in the process.”

“The Walk at Tulsa Hills development is expected to generate a payroll of $18 million between construction and permanent jobs,” said Mayor Dewey Bartlett in a statement. “This is exactly the type of development we are working daily to attract to Tulsa, and I am very pleased we have reached the point in the timetable that we can discuss this accomplishment publicly.”

Parkes Development Group LLC. logo: www.parkescompanies.com



Agency Approves $29M Plan to Replace Moore Facility Destroyed by Tornado

3 Nov 2013, 7:10 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Norman Regional Health System has reached a major milestone in its plan for a new facility in Moore. The Norman Regional Hospital Authority voted to approve a plan for a new $29 million healthcare facility in Moore and expanded services at the HealthPlex hospital in Norman. The plan allows for future expansion.

The new building will be constructed on the former site of Moore Medical Center at Telephone Road and 4th Street. Norman Regional had owned and operated Moore Medical Center for six years when it was destroyed by a tornado on May 20. Groundbreaking is scheduled for next fall, and opening is targeted for fall 2016.

“Our commitment to the Moore community is strong,” avid Whitaker, Norman Regional’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We have been in Moore since 2007, and our health system was able to operate a hospital in Moore since that time. An unfortunate tragedy took that facility, but we will be back soon and stronger than ever.”

Services offered at the new facility will include 24-hour emergency service; diagnostic imagining; physical medicine services; laboratory services; physician offices; community education and meeting space; and a wellness/lifestyle center.

“While we are not rebuilding exactly what was destroyed, our plans allow for additional services and amenities to be added later so that the building can grow along with its community,” Whitaker said.

Rendering courtesy of www.normanregional.com



Monmouth Buys Dr Pepper Snapple Distribution Facility

26 Oct 2013, 7:40 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. has acquired a 46,260-square-foot industrial building in Tulsa for $3.7 million.

Located at 2800 North Garnett Road on a 7.3-acres site, the property is net-leased for 15 years to The American Bottling Co., an affiliate of Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. Ten and a half years remain on the lease.

Michael Landy, Monmouth’s president and CEO, said in a statement: “We are very pleased to welcome Dr Pepper Snapple Group to our roster of high quality tenants. Dr Pepper Snapple Group is a leading manufacturer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. In addition to Dr Pepper and Snapple, their brands include Mott’s, Canada Dry, A&W, Schweppes, Sunkist, RC Cola, Hawaiian Punch, Seven Up, Yoo-Hoo, and others. This Class A, built-to-suit distribution center is located at the Tulsa International Airport and has expansion capabilities.”

Founded in 1968, Monmouth specializes in industrial properties that are net leased to investment-grade tenants. The company’s owns a 9.6 million-square-foot portfolio of 76 industrial properties and one retail center in 26 states.

Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. logo: www.mreic.com



Lights, Camera, Action: Warren Launches $45M Movie Theater in Broken Arrow

27 Sep 2013, 9:46 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Warren Theatres L.L.C. has broken ground on a $45 million project in Broken Arrow that the developer says will be the largest 18-screen move theater in the United States.

Located on Tucson Street between Aspen Avenue and Elm Place, the 150,000-square-foot cinema complex will feature director’s suites, balcony auditoriums, multiple dining options and a variety of innovations.

Similar to the Warren Theatre in Moore, the Broken Arrow project will also include its own distinctive design features created by its architect, Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture of Wichita, Kan. The general contractor, Crossland Construction Company Inc., is scheduled to complete construction by November 2014.

In a statement, Warren Theatres founder Bill Warren commented: “This will be the largest and most expensive motion picture theater in the country, but our prices will be competitive in the market. We’re going to raise the bar when it comes to going to the movies.”

Warren Theatres currently operates multi-screen movie theaters at seven locations, four of them operated under the Warren  name, in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. In addition, the company operates several Palace Theatres and the Movie Machine in Wichita’s Towne West Mall.

Photo Courtesy of: www.brokenarrowok.gov



Clean Coal Technologies Starts Building Pilot Plant in LeFlore County

20 Sep 2013, 9:47 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Clean Coal Technologies Inc. has entered into the construction phase of its pilot plant project in LeFlore County. The energy company uses patented technology to convert raw coal into cleaner-burning, more efficient fuel.

After executing a site agreement with a major coal-fired power plant, Clean Coal Technologies has purchased ancillary equipment, including a coal screening device and a propane generator to feed and power the pilot plant.

Robin Eves, president and CEO of Clean Coal Technologies, said in a statement: “The execution of this agreement is a major milestone in the commercialization of our unique processes. We have found an ideal site to commission and test the pilot plant scheduled to be delivered to the Oklahoma facility within the next six weeks.”

Science Applications International Corp. will carry out the plant’s construction, commissioning and testing. After adding certain front-end test equipment, which will be designed by Louisville, Kent.-based Carrier Vibrating Equipment, Clean Coal Technologies believes it will have a strong platform to rigorously test coal types from all over the world and generate informative data.

“The pilot plant represents an important step forward in the development of a viable coal upgrade process that enhances the sustainability of coal as a staple fuel for power generation anywhere in the world,” Eves commented. “The bottom line is that the technologies that will be introduced on the back of the Oklahoma test plant could have positive implications for boiler efficiencies and the cost of power generation, and will benefit the coal industry in general.”

Logo Courtesy of: www.cleancoaltechnologiesinc.com



HUD Allocates $37M for Disaster Recovery Aid; Corner Bakery Café Makes Debut

8 Sep 2013, 8:10 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated nearly $37 million in disaster recovery aid to the city of Moore and to the state of Oklahoma. The funds aim to help local communities recover from a wave of devastating storms, including the tornado that struck Moore on May 20th.

The grants are provided through HUD’s community development program, which supports long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with acute unmet needs.

“The May storms cost the lives of dozens of Oklahomans and over $1 billion in property damage,” Gov. Mary Fallin commented in a statement. “We are steadily rebuilding, but many families are still struggling to get back on their feet. The disaster relief grants provided by HUD–along with continued work from state and local governments and non-profits–will make a big difference in the lives of those affected by this year’s tornadoes.”

In retail news, Corner Bakery Café announced plans to open up to seven new restaurants across Oklahoma as part of a new multi-unit franchise agreement with CBCOK L.L.C. The state’s first Corner Bakery Cafes are expected to open next year.

CBCOK also owns and operates over 30 hotels nationwide, including Marriott and IHG Hotels, as well as Subway restaurants. “Some of the things that we found exceptional about Corner Bakery Cafe are the breadth of the menu, operational excellence, best-in-class catering program, locally inspired neighborhood locations and their great unit level economics,”  CBCOK’s president & managing partner Kavit Patel commented in a statement.



Whirlpool Plans $19M Investment in Tulsa Plant

30 Aug 2013, 8:12 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Whirlpool Corp. plans an $18.8 million capital investment in its Tulsa facility starting in 2014.

Part of the appliance manufacturer’s plan to invest more than $1 billion in its U.S. operations, the project is tied to a new cooking product that will be manufactured in Tulsa.

Whirlpool employs about 850 people at north Tulsa’s Cherokee Industrial Park, where Whirlpool opened its Tulsa Division in 1996. Since then the facility has become a leading producer of freestanding ranges.

“Whirlpool’s investment in Oklahoma is a great vote of confidence in the state’s pro-business climate and its long term economic outlook,” said Gov. Mary Fallin.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett added: “This announcement further highlights the business-friendly environment in Tulsa and shows that companies are growing and achieving great success here.”

“Whirlpool’s decision to grow its Tulsa operations will boost the economy of northeast Oklahoma on many levels,” commented Mike Neal, president & CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Whirlpool continues to be an integral partner in our region’s economic development, and we are proud of the company’s continued commitment to the Tulsa area.”

Photo courtesy of: www.tulsachamber.com



Winthrop Realty Agrees to Acquire S. OK City M-F Property

24 Aug 2013, 8:07 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Winthrop Realty Trust has agreed to acquire Summit Pointe Apartments, a 184-unit multi-family community in South Oklahoma City, through a joint venture. In an Aug. 22 statement, the Boston-based REIT estimated its capital contribution to the venture at $4.8 million. The transaction is expected to close next month.

Located at 1002 South West 89th St., Summit Pointe offers easy access to I-35 and I-240. Tinker Air Force Base, Bricktown and downtown Oklahoma City are within a short driving distance.

According to the Web site of Commercial Realty Resources Co., the property was completed in 2010. Units feature air conditioning, hardwood flooring, dishwashers, stainless steel appliances, new or renovated interiors and oversized closets. Its amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, pet park, garage, laundry facility, playground and swimming pool.

Photo Courtesy of: Summit Pointe Apartments via Facebook



Conservative Group Challenges ACLU Over City’s Plan to Use Church for Senior Center

8 Aug 2013, 4:27 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

A conservative legal group has jumped into the First Amendment fray over Oklahoma City’s plans to lease or acquire part of a church for a senior wellness center.

The Liberty Institute offered a letter of support to the city’s plans to set up the facility at Putnam City Baptist Church. The letter came in response to the American Civil Liberty Union’s contention that the proposal would violate constitutional barriers to separation of church and state.

“After reviewing relevant facts of the case, we concluded that the ACLU’s concerns are either moot or unfounded. The mere fact that the City endeavors to lease or purchase a portion of the Church’s property does not create an Establishment Clause violation under the First Amendment to the United State Constitution,” wrote Michael Berry, an attorney for the Liberty Institute.

Ryan Kiesel, executive director of ACLU’s Oklahoma City office, told the city council last month that using church property for the senior center could create an overlap between public and religious purposes in violation of First Amendment prohibitions against the establishment of religion in public facilities, according to the Oklahoman.

Kiesel raised concerns about plans to offer Bible study classes at the center, hire staff according to the church’s own practices and operate the center by church hours.

At that time, the church’s pastor, the Rev. Bill Hulse, acknowledged that the original plan had been drawn up in haste, leading to the impression that the proposal violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the Oklahoman reported.

However, Hulse said, the church had taken steps to avoid a conflict by starting a non-profit group to operate the center.



RES Americas, Arkansas Electric Strike Deal for Murray and Carter Counties Wind Project

28 Jul 2013, 6:26 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

RES America Developments Inc., a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc., has reached a long-term agreement to sell 150 megawatts of wind energy to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.

“This purchase demonstrates AECC’s forward-looking approach to diversifying their portfolio, as well as their understanding of the economic benefits that long-term, low-priced wind energy contracts offer to their members,” said Tom Hiester, RES Americas’ senior vice president of development.

Little Rock, Ark.-based AECC will be the sole customer for RES America’s Origin Wind Energy project, which will comprise 75 turbines in Murray and Carter counties. Commercial operation is scheduled to start by December 31, 2014.

“The latest addition of 150 megawatts of low-cost wind energy provides AECC with a hedge against fluctuating natural gas energy prices,” said Duane Highley, president & CEO of the wholesale electricity supplier. “AECC will have 201 megawatts of wind energy in its generation assets with this addition. We will continue to pursue energy options that allow AECC’s member cooperatives to provide reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost.”

Announced on July 22, the agreement was made possible by the National Renewables Cooperative Organization, which enables electricity cooperatives across the country to pool ownership and benefits of renewable resources.

Photo Courtesy of: www.res-americas.com



Promise Hotels Acquires Hyatt Place Tulsa Southern Hills

20 Jul 2013, 10:04 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Promise Hotels has acquired the Hyatt Place Tulsa Southern Hills, a 126-key property located at 7037 South Zurich Ave. in the South Tulsa Medical District.

County records report the hotel’s sale price as $8.4 million, according to the Tulsa World.

“The Hyatt Place, which has been renamed to the Tulsa South/Medical District . . . fits nicely into our growth strategy, in terms of geography, brand, and quality,” Promise Hotels president & CEO Paresh Patel explained in a statement. “With our hotel management track record of success, we are confident this hotel will have a solid performance and positive return on investment for owners and first-class hospitality experience for guests.”

Situated near St. Francis Hospital and the intersection of 71st St. and Yale Ave., the six-story, 75,792-square-foot property is located in the heart of Tulsa’s business and shopping district. The Hyatt Place offers high-definition TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the property and 1,100 square feet of meeting space able to accommodate 75 guests.

In multi-family transaction news, a Tulsa asset is one of three sold by Continental Properties Company, Inc., the company announced on July 9. Springs at East Fifty-First, a 168-unit complex, is located north of Broken Arrow Expressway. It opened in November 2011. According to the Tulsa World, the property commanded $17 million from a buyer with a Los Angeles address identified in public records as East Fifty First Property Owners L.L.C.

Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Continental also sold Springs at Chatham Parkway, comprising 352 units in Savannah, Ga., and Springs at Heritage Lakes, a 184-unit property in Lincoln, Neb.

Photo Courtesy of: www.tulsa.place.hyatt.com



2 Tulsa Sites Totaling 310 Acres Slated for Aug. 20 Auction

14 Jul 2013, 7:31 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co. will auction two sites totaling 310 acres northwest of Tulsa’s central business district on Aug. 20, the Columbia City-based company said.

Slightly more than half the property–160 acres–is located at Osage Drive / 43rd Street and North 25th West Avenue and will be sold in eight tracts varying in approximate size from 11 to 48 acres. The other 150 acres are about 3.5 miles to the south, bordered by 33rd West Avenue, West Edison Street and 41st West Avenue. The latter plot will be sold in 12 tracts ranging from 3 to 37 acres.

Brett Wellings, manager of Schrader’s Southwest operations, said: “These properties have a great deal of frontage and are all located within a few minutes of Tulsa’s central business district. Most is currently open pasture and woodland, but we expect considerable interest in much of it as development land. The tracts in the group to the north are less than a mile from Osage Casino, with frontage on the recently expanded 43rd Street. The southern group of tracts is right across the street from Central High School.”

The southern parcels include a 22-acre tract with a pond and an adjacent 37-acre tract with a creek running through it. The auction is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at Post Oak Lodge, located at 5323 West 31st Street North in Tulsa.

In local investment sales news, Imation Corp. has tapped Binswanger to market a 179,270-square-foot industrial building in Weatherford. Located on a 50-acre site at 2700 East Frontage Road, the fully air-conditioned structure was built in 1975 and expanded in 1995. The property features a 162,370-square-foot industrial plant and three ancillary buildings totaling 16,900 square feet.

Image Courtesy of: www.schraderauction.com



Glimcher Sells Tulsa Promenade Mall

8 Jul 2013, 1:32 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Tulsa Promenade Realty Management L.L.C., a private investor, has acquired Tulsa Promenade in a $12.3 million deal from a joint venture of Glimcher Realty Trust and an affiliate of Oxford Properties Group. The proceeds were used to retire the mortgage on the property.

Mike Kohen, Tulsa Promenade Realty Management’s CEO, told Fox23.com that he plans to improve the mall and diversify its tenant mix by attracting national and local retailers.

“Today’s transaction further illustrates our focus on enhancing the quality of the portfolio and managing our balance sheet leverage,” stated Michael P. Glimcher, chairman & CEO of the Ohio-based REIT, which was the property’s majority owner.  “The completed sales of Tulsa Promenade and Lloyd Center along with our recent acquisitions are accelerating our transformation.”

The venture continues to operate another mall in the Glimcher portfolio.

Located at 4107 South Yale Ave., in Midtown Tulsa, the 926,426-square-foot mall was built in 1965 as an open-air center and was originally named Southland.  The center was enclosed and given its current name in 1987. Its anchor tenants include JCPenney, Dillard’s and Macy’s.

Photo Courtesy of: www.facebook.com/TulsaPromenade



City Weighs Urban Renewal Plan for Midtown

25 Jun 2013, 3:44 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

In an early step toward encouraging redevelopment in Midtown Oklahoma City, urban renewal officials are considering changes to the 15-year-old blueprint that governs redevelopment in North Downtown.

On June 19, the executive director of the city Urban Renewal Authority, Catherine O’Connor, formally presented a staff report on the plan to the agency’s commissioners.

Dubbed the Midtown Urban Renewal Plan, the proposal would permit the agency to enter into participation agreements with Midtown property owners to encourage them to redevelop their properties. Redevelopment has revitalized Midtown since 1998, when the city adopted the blueprint, known as the North Downtown Redevelopment Plan.

However, the Urban Renewal Authority contends that the changes are necessary in order to alleviate what it regards as blighted conditions.

Highlights of the proposal include:

• Adding structured parking to expand parking options
• Identifying key sites for development
• Identifying benefits the proposed streetcar will create through examining its potential routes
• Supporting rights-of-way, parks and other public spaces
• Enhancing the area as a vibrant, urban neighborhood
• Supporting the Oklahoma City University School of Law, the St. Anthony Hospital and its campus

In the next stage of the process the plan will then be presented to the Planning Commission and City Council for review and approval. The Urban Renewal Authority has hired Butzer Gardner Architects to provide urban planning consulting services. Authority staff members and Butzer Gardner held multiple meetings with the city planning department, stakeholder groups and the public to elicit feedback on redevelopment issues.

The current redevelopment policy originated in October 1997, when the city declared the area bounded by N.W. 13th Street on the north, the railroad on the east, N.W. 4th Street on the south and Classen Boulevard on the west to be blighted. In June 1998, the city adopted the North Downtown Redevelopment Plan in order to boost the area in the wake of the A.P. Murrah Federal Building bombing and to encourage St. Anthony’s Hospital to remain in the area.

Logo Courtesy of: www.ocura-ok.org



Tanenbaum’s Plan for M-F Project on John Marshall High School Site Wins Key Approval

14 Jun 2013, 8:20 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Oklahoma City Planning Commission has approved Richard Tanenbaum’s plans to build an apartment complex on the former site of John Marshall High School. The plan now goes to the city council for a final vote.

NewsOK.com reports that Tanenbaum is planning to bring the “Big House” multi-family design of Dallas-based Humphreys & Partners Architects to Oklahoma City. He said the gated development, dubbed Marshall Square, will resemble large single-family homes more closely than conventional apartment buildings.

After visiting two Big House projects in Dallas and another in Tulsa, Tanenbaum decided that the gated Marshall Square would be a perfect fit for the former high school site situated southwest of Britton Road and Western Ave. Earlier this year, Tanenbaum’s Premier Assets acquired the property, which includes three buildings totaling 220,000 square feet, in a $400,000 deal with Oklahoma City Public Schools. The property had been listed in 2011 for $650,000, and although there had been several buyers under contract, each of the previous deals fell through.

Located at 9017 North University Ave., the 20-acre property is surrounded by single-family homes. The commission approved the plan over objections from some residents, who submitted petitions with more than 250 signatures detailing concerns about the project’s impact on density and traffic. The current plan, a revision of Tanenbaum’s original proposal,  would result in 30 percent less traffic, which would amount to less traffic than when the high school was operating.

Constructed in the late 1940s,the school buildings have been unused for several years and have issues such as mold and stripped wiring. At least one fire has been intentionally set. Tanenbaum said the land was a good investment but that he plans to demolish the buildings.

Rendering of Mueller Big House in Austin Texas Courtesy of: Humphreys & Partners Architects



ClubCorp Buys Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond

3 Jun 2013, 2:20 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

ClubCorp has acquired Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, about 15 miles north of Oklahoma City.

The new owners are planning a multimillion-dollar capital improvement project, which will include renovations and upgrades to the clubhouse, including the expansion of casual dining and the addition of an outdoor dining area.

Other improvements target the tennis, golf, pool and fitness areas. Oak Tree was designed by golf course architect Pete Dye and its two 18-hole golf courses have earned spots on the Golf Digest Top 10 “Best in State” rankings. Oak Tree is the only private country club in the metro area to feature 36 holes of golf.

“We are very excited about the addition of Oak Tree Country Club, nationally recognized as one of the preeminent clubs in Oklahoma, which gives us a presence in the state and increases our brand awareness nationwide,” said Mark Burnett, ClubCorp executive vice president, golf and country club division.

The property features a 65,000-square-foot clubhouse with three levels of dining, a men’s locker room and grill, ladies’ locker room and grill, and a golf pro shop. The club offers a 75,000-square-foot sports facility which features six indoor tennis courts, six outdoor tennis courts, a fitness center, indoor jogging track, aerobics studio, racquetball court, basketball court and additional locker rooms with whirlpools and saunas. An Olympic-size swimming pool and children’s wading pool are also included.

Ownership and development rights to 200-plus acres of land within the Oak Tree community are retained by Oak Tree Partners L.L.C., a local real estate partnership led by Tom Blanton and Jeff Bolding, which acquired the property in 2004.

Photo Courtesy of ClubCorp



Funding for 2 Museums Gains in Legislature

30 May 2013, 1:36 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Giving a major boost to two Oklahoma museums, the state senate committee on appropriations and budget has approved measures that would direct tax receipts toward a pair of Oklahoma museum projects, NewsOK.com reports. Next, the committee’s counterpart in the house will consider the proposal.

The beneficiaries of the funding would be the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa. Lawmakers voted 16-10 to use sales tax revenue from Internet and out-of-state purchases to provide $40 million toward completion of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City.

Also approved was $40 million in state sales tax collection to provide initial funding for the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, also known as OK Pop, which is planned for the Brady District in Tulsa.

Senator Clark Jolley, the committee chairman, said that the money will start flowing to the projects during the 2015 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2014. OK Pop will receive tax money for four years and the funding of the Oklahoma City museum will be for construction.

Blake Wade, executive director of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority, said that $40 million in private pledges has been raised for the Oklahona City museum. State bond issues have provided $63 million to go with $14.5 million in federal funding and a city grant of $4.9 million and 250 acres of land.

For the OK Pop museum Tulsa has pledged $3 million and Bank of America has offered a parcel in the Brady Arts District valued at $2.5 million.

Image Courtesy of: The American Indian Cultural Center Museum via Facebook