View Full Version : Citizen's Tower to be rezoned

07-21-2004, 01:21 AM
Council backs Citizens Tower rezoning
by Darren Currin
The Journal Record

Plans to redevelop the Citizens Tower office building into an upscale condo development took another step forward Tuesday with approval by the Oklahoma City Council.
During its biweekly meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to approve rezoning the 117,220-square-foot building from C-4 general business to PUD planned unit development, which will pave the way for work to commence on retrofitting the property.

Developer Richard Tanenbaum plans to start work on redeveloping the office space into upscale residential condos within the next two months. The project will be similar to his renovation of the 500 W. Main building in downtown into The Montgomery luxury apartments.

In addition to the condos, documents filed by Tanenbaum with the Oklahoma City Planning Department show that he also intends to maintain the attached arcade for retail space as well as preserving the lower level jazz bar.

Located at 2200 Classen Blvd., Citizens Tower was acquired by Tanenbaum at auction in April for $825,000, far below the Oklahoma County assessor's $1.8 million assessment.

Constructed in 1966, the building was designed by Bozalis and Roloff in the style of noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

At the time of sale, the building was only 25 percent occupied.

07-21-2004, 11:16 AM
Well, it's about time something happened with that building. It was beginning to become an eyesore. Just imagine the splendor of that structure once it is entirely restored and reopened as an upscale condo tower.

07-21-2004, 11:38 AM
Even in its current state, Citizen's Tower is still a gem! It goes very well with the Gold Dome below!

I think it will make a great apartment/condo complex! Man, can you imagine the views you'd have of downtown from the balconies of that building? They'd be great!
My fiancee and I went to look at an apartment at Lakeview Towers the other day, and even from there we were impressed with the view of downtown that you had off the southeast side of the building. I can't even begin to imagine the view you'd have from Citizen's Tower.

Hmmmm. You know...they won't even have to change the name of the structure. Originall,y the building was named for it's owner, Citizens Bank. "Citizen's" Tower goes great with the building's future use though....after all, "citizens" will be living there.

07-21-2004, 12:06 PM
The article I posted was from the Journal Record. Here's the one Steve Lackmeyer wrote in the Oklahoman. It basically states the same thing but in a little different light.

Not quite sure if I like them changing the name from Citizens Tower to The Classen, but oh well! It's still a good use of the property!

One thing I'm glad to hear, is that this will not be a for lease apartment complex. These residences will be for sale. So many people are seeking decent housing for purchase near the downtown area. This is great news!

From the sizes that Steve mentions in this article, it sounds like these condos will be perfect for young professionals! I'm guessing those are the type of people the complex will probably be trying to court.

With the complexes close proximity to downtown, the OU Health Sciences Center, and the capitol complex, I'm willing to be the condos will sell quickly. I wish I was ready to buy a new home!!!

Council rezones tower for conversion to condos
By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City Council members unanimously approved rezoning Tuesday for the former Citizens Tower, clearing the way for developer Richard Tanenbaum to convert the 20-story office building into condominiums.
The planned unit development zoning allows Tanenbaum to renovate the six-sided tower and open about 100 residences, with a jazz club and other retail operating in an attached arcade. He said Tuesday the property will be rechristened "The Classen."

Tanenbaum bought the property with the attached garage, 2200 N Classen Blvd., for $825,000 when it was put up for auction earlier this year. He said designs should be complete by next month, with construction starting in October. The residences will range between 1,100 and 1,400 square feet and sell for between $120,000 and $140,000.

"We'll have the condos ready for occupancy by April," Tanenbaum said. "The views from The Classen are spectacular, and the floor plates lend themselves to being wonderful apartments. You'll have the retail area, a spa and pool area on the third floor of the garage, and of course, people like to park where they live. And of course, it's close to downtown."

Citizens Tower, which mimics the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Price Tower in Bartlesville, was built in 1966 but fell into decline following the failure of Citizens Bank. The matching Gold Dome next door was slated for demolition by Bank One, but is now being renovated into a retail and community center.

Citizens Tower will be the second downtown area office building being converted by Tanenbaum into residences. Work has been under way for the past few months to convert the former 500 W Main building into "The Montgomery," an upscale residential development featuring up to 70 apartments, a restaurant and gallery.

"We're extremely excited," Tanenbaum said. "We've visited with several institutions in the area educational, medical, residential and we think we'll be selling out and it will be a wonderful project."

07-21-2004, 03:47 PM
The sentimental side of my would rather have the tower converted into a hotel, so everybody can enjoy the wonderful views and unique architecture of this Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired beaut. But I agree that inner city OKC has longed for higher end housing to complement all the activity.

What I hope happens is that the kids of all those who grew up in the surrounding neighborhoods and are now working will forego relocating to the suburbs and enjoy the highlife in this condo tower. But I think what will happen is that wealthier part-time residents will use it as their home base in OKC.

07-22-2004, 05:41 PM
I wonder if the area of NW 23 and Classen if really right for high rise condo project. They should be riverside instead of in an area such as where the tower is.

I say find some way to redevelop it other than housing. Maybe a medical center for people who, although employed, have no medical insurance. Not a free ride, but very low cost medical care centers.

Patrick. As a soon to be medical practisiner, what do you think? :cool:

07-22-2004, 06:52 PM
"We're extremely excited," Tanenbaum said. "We've visited with several institutions in the area educational, medical, residential and we think we'll be selling out and it will be a wonderful project."

I share in Tanenbaum's enthusiasm. He bought the building for a good price, and will sell his units for good prices. I'm with Patrick - I wish I was in a position to buy! He'll have no problem filling The Classen.

07-22-2004, 09:46 PM
I think with the demand from the young professional Asian and non-Asian population, he won't have a hard time selling the condos. I'd buy one just for the view, and for the fact that it would be in such a unique building!

I don't think the building would make a very good medical facility, for the same reasons it didn't make a very good office complex. The square footage per floor is just too small! Most ordinary doctor's offices (whether for low income or not) would require more square footage than what one floor at Citizen's Tower offered. Having to lease two (or more) floors for one clinic would've been disorganized and confusing for the patient!
I suppose the building might've made a nice psych facility or smaller hospital!!! :) But not quite sure that's what we're lookin for in the Asian District!

Floater had mentioned the idea of a hotel. Not quite sure that would fit well either. Seems to me that most successful hotels are locate close to major attractions. Although the Asian District is growing, it's not really an attraction for least not yet! Maybe one day!

For now, I feel apartments seem like the right it for the area! you're very close to Mesta Park there, and downtown and the Health Sciences Center aren't far away. You won't have any problem attracting young professionals. More and more peole are looking to buy, so these condos will make great starter properties for young professionals! Then, once they make they're money, they can sell, and move to Heritage Hills, Mesta Park, Crown Heights, or hopefully a revived Paseo area......boy I'm sure hoping that are comes appears to be starting to improve!!!

11-20-2004, 08:34 PM
According to some of the articles I read about this, renovations were to begin in the third quarter of 2004 and renting could be ready by summer 2005. Anybody know anything new on this? Updates?

11-20-2004, 09:23 PM
I believe work has been underway for the past couple months.