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  1. #1

    Far North Pioneer Building

    [category=]Office Buildings[/category]
    [category=]Historical[/category]
    [category=]Central Business District[/category]


    [toc]no[/toc]
    Address: 111 Dean McGee
    Built: 1905
    Demolished: no
    Floors: 7
    Sq. Feet: 40,656
    Acreage:
    Architect: William Wells

    Information & Latest News

    The expansion of Oklahoma City during the 1920s was reflected in the growth of the telephone company. As more people arrived in the booming city, more telephones were installed, new equipment was purchased, and new employees were hired. To house the expanded operations, Southwestern Bell constructed the sixteen story Telephone Building just north of the Pioneer Building. Designed by Solomon Layton, the buff-brick structure included set-backs, a tower, and ornate terra cotta. (Blackburn, Henderson and Thurman 72)

    The telephone came to Oklahoma City in 1893 with the arrival of the Missouri-Kansas Telephone Company. For about ten years this firm held a monopoly, but then came competition: Pioneer Telephone Company, a new and energetic organization which in a few short years had swallowed up a number of the small town exchanges, and now was challenging Missouri-Kansas for the city's telephone business. For a time it was necessary for citizens to subscribe to the services of both companies if they wanted to insure communication links with all other residents and businesses in town, but in 1905 this inconvenience was eliminated when Pioneer bought out Missouri-Kansas. Three years later the surviving company moved into this new headquarters building at Northwest Third and Broadway.(Edwards and Ottaway, Vanished Splendor 85)
    Links

    County Assessor Record
    Doug Loudenback Article
    Tenants

    Gallery

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    This building is getting a good exterior cleaning.

    Photo courtesy of Sid:




  3. Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Guess this is old news for me then. I took some photos today.

  4. Default Re: Pioneer Building


  5. #5

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Bob Blackburn made this a stop on our Spokies History tour on Tuesday. I have always just taken this building for granted but it is really quite striking. He did point out that SWB closed in the windows on the bottom floor I think in the 70's out of fear of the SLA. Imagine the bottom floor with glass windows now instead of the marble that is there now. I believe he also said it is older than the Colcord.

  6. Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Yeah the Colcord was built in 1910. Considered the "first skyscraper" in Oklahoma City, but the Pioneer was built three years earlier.







    Notice the Braniff Building in the background.






  7. #7

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Quote Originally Posted by CCOKC View Post
    Bob Blackburn made this a stop on our Spokies History tour on Tuesday. I have always just taken this building for granted but it is really quite striking. He did point out that SWB closed in the windows on the bottom floor I think in the 70's out of fear of the SLA. Imagine the bottom floor with glass windows now instead of the marble that is there now. I believe he also said it is older than the Colcord.
    That was a fun tour. Really looking forward to the architecture tour. Bob repeatedly pointed out that the pioneer building was the first skyscraper, and I love the point he made about how much taller it would have looked at the time it was built being at the top of a hill. So who do we nag via social media outlets to have the ground floor windows restored?

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    What an amazing development. My urbanist dreams for that corner may yet come true....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    One of our intrepid OKCTalk posters tipped me off to this but I couldn't figure out the buyers.

    The building has been vacant for some time is on a key and highly visible corner.

    And, it's beautiful. Very excited about this.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Steve's update.

    http://m.newsok.com/article/5543021

    Local investors Roy Oliver, Mark Beffort and Andy Burnett closed on their purchase of the historic Pioneer Building downtown and are set to start renovations next week that will include restoring the landmark's first-floor windows.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    I talked to Andy Burnett about this some time ago and never posted the plans.

    The building is 7 stories; basement will be storage, first floor retail/commercial, 2-7 office space.

    Built in 1907 and exterior was completely cleaned in 2012.

    They've already filed a building permit to renovate.

    I've also heard Tom Ward's new energy company may be the primary tenant.






















  13. Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Really love this building and so glad to hear they'll be adding retail/commercial on the first floor!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Same

  15. #15

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    My OKC dream is finally coming true with the destruction of the marble windows.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    At $40 psf, this transaction was quite a steal. Good to see it get new life

  17. #17

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Pioneer renovation plan rings true for architect

    By: Molly M. Fleming The Journal Record April 3, 2017

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Architect Jeremy Gardner has a lot to do at The Pioneer Building, and not much room to get it done.

    “The building is built on its property line, so there’s no additional square footage in terms of property to offer for things like transformers,” he said. “The basement juts out into the sidewalk.

    There is a lot of property or enclosed space in the right of way.”

    He said the floors aren’t big enough to house the heating and air conditioning units because that equipment would take up leasable space. The units will likely go on the roof, but only if their presence will not ruin the building’s look from the street.

    Gardner is outlining what changes will be made at the historic building. That information will be sent to the National Park Service, which oversees the federal historic tax credit program.

    “It’s sort of an interesting balance of trying to bring it up to code, but trying to see what the existing building has to offer dimensionally,” he said.

    Gardner is designing the update for The Pioneer Building’s new owners, Mark Beffort, Andy Burnett, and Roy Oliver. The developers bought the building for $1.6 million and will spend about $9 million on the renovation. Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort broker Brad Rice handled the off-market transaction. He said he approached former owner AT&T when he knew he had some interested buyers.

    The first floor will be retail with the blue granite being removed. Gardner said he is outfitting the floor with a gas line so a restaurant could be a tenant.

    The second-through-seventh floors at 103 Dean A. McGee Ave. will be Class A office. Each floor measures about 5,000 square feet, and the building will be leased one floor at a time, Beffort said.

    This is Beffort’s first venture in restoration involving historic tax credits.

    “It’s definitely going to be a very expensive venture,” he said. “What we bought was a shell. We’re completely gutting the inside and putting in all new infrastructure.”

    The update includes adding an elevator to the building.

    “For as tall as it is, it’s been the most challenging in terms of finding ways to bring infrastructure to it,” Gardner said.

    The building was constructed in 1907, according to the documents to get it on the national register.

    It was constructed as the headquarters of Pioneer Telephone Co. Architect William A. Wells designed the building. His only other remaining building is the Colcord Hotel.

    Gardner said he expects tenants will be able to move into the offices in spring 2018. Beffort said the developers have three different companies eyeing space right now, but no leases have been signed. He said the prospects are existing companies that want to upgrade their image.

    Class A office space in the Central Business District is holding strong with only a 5-percent vacancy rate, according to the 2016 fourth-quarter Xceligent report. The CBD is one of the tighter areas in the city.

    Beffort said he doesn’t think it will be difficult to lease the building.

    “As I get older and I talk to a lot of office prospects, people have a love for history,” he said. “We’re going to maintain the lobby as it has been and was. When you take a piece of history and combine it with where we are today, architecturally it just feels really, really cool. I think we’ll be able to do that here.”

  18. #18

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Excited about this one.

    To touch on a previous post, Tom Ward's new company, Mach Resources, recently moved into the Dobson building off of Wireless Way.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Has Tom Ward already left the company that he moved into Bricktown? The name is escaping me.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Has Tom Ward already left the company that he moved into Bricktown? The name is escaping me.
    Tapstone.

    Ward stepped down on Jan. 1st to start a new O&G venture.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Tapstone.

    Ward stepped down on Jan. 1st to start a new O&G venture.
    That's it, thanks Pete!

    Interesting. How is Tapstone doing?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    While it is my dream for the marble to be removed from the ground level, I hope they do something interesting re-purposing of that marble instead of just trashing it.

  23. Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    That's it, thanks Pete!

    Interesting. How is Tapstone doing?
    Tom Ward left Tapstone to start something else a few months ago, so the company Pete is referencing is the new venture he's starting. I think Tapstone is doing fine. I imagine that they may end up flipping the company to a larger E&P in the next few years.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    I tweeted this yesterday and thought i had posted here as well, but I guess not.





  25. #25

    Default Re: Pioneer Building

    Fantastic!

    Would be cool if you could find a pre-marble street level pic to have a "way before" pic as well...

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