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Developers tease new downtown OKC skyscraper to rule them all…

1:14 PM EST on December 18, 2023

It looks like it’s time to update our Overly Ambitious Oklahoma Business Projects Trivia Quiz!

Earlier today, Steve Lackmeyer puffed out a report with The Oklahoman claiming that the people behind the Bricktown Boardwalk development have amended their original plans to now include a 134-story residential tower that would become the second-largest building in the United States.

Sounds totally believable, right?

The proposed skyscraper would be double the height of the Devon Tower and make our skyline even more absurdly out of proportion and impossible to frame in a 4:3 ratio photograph. 

Here is a rendering:

Okay, I'm joking around. That's what happened when I asked Chat GPT to make an image of a “Super tall futuristic apartment tower on the OKC skyline.”

Here's the real rendering:

That may seem comically excessive, over-the-top, and a bit too much like a Sim City arcology, but you have to remember – For the last 12 years, the OKC skyline has looked like a giant cock protruding out of a field of tiny pubes, so I guess we might as well add a huge dildo to it. 

Speaking of dildos, here's what the developer Scot Matteson said about the project:

California developer Scot Matteson is dreaming big – very big – and is revising long-range plans for towers he wants to build in Lower Bricktown. 

His full vision, if realized, would include a 134-story apartment tower that would be twice the size of the 50-story Devon Energy Center. Matteson said he is serious about his vision but knows the new plans might leave some people incredulous. 

You can go ahead and put me in the “incredulous” camp.

I’ll believe this project is real when I see a nutjob anti-abortion activist climbing the building and waving to residents before tragically falling 1,500 feet into the Bricktown Canal...

According to Lackmeyer’s article, Matteson’s primary motivation for the project is to prove people wrong, which sounds like a great business plan:

"I'm used to being told you can't do things," Matteson told The Oklahoman. "But I'm used to getting it done." 

At 1,750 feet high, the tower, if fully built, would be a close second to the country’s tallest building, the 1,776-foot-high One World Trade Center in New York City. The timing of the expansion decision, less than a week after Tuesday’s vote to build a new arena, is no coincidence...

“We started thinking about the OKC Thunder and spending a billion dollars, and we are going to have a billion dollars going into our design. We are going to have two big projects going on within two blocks of each other. Option A is we build what we’re already approved for. But Option B is with all these things going on with a downtown entertainment district, let’s see what we can do.” 

Uhm, what does building a new basketball arena have to do with this? He is aware the Thunder players don’t actually live in OKC, right? And even if they did, I really doubt SGA is going to lease out the Top 10 floors for his own downtown super penthouse mansion, which is what this project will likely need to achieve 25% occupancy. 

Although I give Matteson props for being enthusiastically unrealistic, I bet if you gave him some of Regular Jim Traber’s truth serum, even he’d admit there’s no way in hell this will happen. 

First of all, do you really think Larry Nichols and the OKC Chamber of Commerce are going to let some fast-talking out-of-state developer waltz in here and usurp Devon Energy’s architectural dominance? 

Also, who the hell wants to live in a 134-story apartment tower? 

I guess it would be cool to wake up in the morning and see the Red River, but if I were an apartment dweller, I’d like to live somewhere that doesn’t give me nosebleeds, or require a 15-minute elevator ride to get to my room. 

But then again, what do I know? 

I’m just some guy who isn’t a problematic red flag who’s “used to being told I can’t do things.” Maybe this project will happen, and Oklahoma City will be home to the second-largest skyscraper in the US that pigs crash into when they fly.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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