After what seems like years of waiting, rumors, and lurid Steve Lackmeyer wet dreams, details of the new mysterious downtown tower have been released.
The 14 – 16 story building will be the new home of OG&E Energy. You know, that ultra-powerful legal corporate monopoly that can cut off your power in the middle of the day without any sort of notice because your online payment didn't go through, and then not have to worry about the repercussions of that act because you, the consumer, can't chose a different electric company to do business with. Yeah, those assholes. The same ones who have corporation commissioners in their pockets, long hold times, flippant customer services representatives that don't seem to care about your problems, and a goddamn computer that takes six hours to restore power to your home via a "smart meter."
An application being filed this week with the Oklahoma City Planning Department asking to raze downtown's Stage Center reveals the property is to be developed as a 14- to 16-story tower that will become the new headquarters for OGE Energy Corp.
The move will consolidate most of the company's 1,000 employees under one roof and might free up two of its existing properties for redevelopment.
In an interview with The Oklahoman, Rainey Williams Jr., president of Kestrel Investments, said the $100 million project will also likely include a second tower, eight to 12 stories high, that will be separately developed as either housing or a hotel.
A conceptual master plan shows both towers will adjoin a multistory parking structure that will include shops and restaurants facing Hudson and Sheridan avenues. A day care and play area are proposed along the south side of the garage facing the Festival Plaza that each year is home to the Festival of the Arts.
Williams said his current timeline calls for construction to begin in 2015 with completion in 2017.
“This project will continue to build on the revitalization of this exciting area of downtown Oklahoma City,” Williams said. “We want the development to complement its surroundings and provide another opportunity to enjoy our downtown. With OGE Energy as our anchor tenant, we are confident our development will be something that Oklahoma City will be proud to have downtown.”
I love new buildings as much as Jenni Carlson likes bad sports columns, so this is pretty cool. My only complaint is that goddamn OG&E is going to be a tenant. Things must be going well for the legal monopoly that they can afford a nice new shiny building. Screw lowering our rates, or coming up with a better notification system that your goddamn power is about to be cut off over a missed $97 payment. They need a new building with a second tree garden with fountains and sidewalks and probably mermaids to remind them all how good they got it:
By the way, did I mention that I recently signed up on auto-pay.
Anyway, even though the tenant totally blows, I guess it's good that downtown is still growing. I kind of wish the building was taller, but I can live with it. It's kind of like the Helm's Deep to Devon's Orthanc. If Oklahoma City is ever attacked by orcs, I guess we can all hide out in the parking garage while Gary England saves us. Should be fun.