View Full Version : Founder's Plaza getting ready for tenants

08-16-2007, 10:31 PM
Founders Plaza developers are pleased with progressby Kelley Chambers
The Journal Record August 17, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY – Looking around a completed condo unit in the 360° at Founders Plaza on Thursday, developers Jim Meyer and Mark Livingston said they are pleased with the progress in the building since announcing the project late last year.

Now, nearly nine months after the ribbon cutting in December, and months before it is completed, the more than 40-year-old office building is being fitted for high-end condos and getting ready for its first tenants. Founder Tower LLC, led by Meyer, purchased the tower, at 5900 Mosteller Dr., and the surrounding 7.5 acres for $4.6 million in 2005. The total investment for the project is expected to be about $50 million.
Since the announcement in December, a few things have changed. The altered layout on two floors of condos has reduced the number of units from the original 68 planned.
Plans for a hotel have now been scrapped and about 80,000 square feet of Class A office space will be a major focus. Construction is set to begin on the office space within the next 12 months.
Livingston said the plans for the hotel were scratched due to several factors, including the number of existing hotel rooms in the area already and more planned nearby. He said office space would be a better use of the available land on the south side of the tower.
“The need for Class A office space in Oklahoma City right now is a much bigger demand,” he said.
In place of the hotel, originally slated north of the tower, Livingston said plans are on the drawing board for 14 town homes.
The 20-story tower includes a lobby area, a restaurant at the top and the rest of the space in the tower was originally planned for four units per floor. Since the initial concept, Livingston said one buyer has purchased the entire 18th floor to adapt as one unit, and the 19th floor is being fitted for two, rather than four units.
“We feel it adds more value to the whole project to have that 19th floor two units,” he said.
Passersby have also likely noticed the green tinted Low E glass climbing its way up the building.
The building also has retail space being renovated and restaurant space left vacant by former tenants the Queen Anne Cafeteria and Nikz at the Top. Both restaurants left in recent months, citing disputes with the developers.
Livingston said several parties have expressed interest in both the retail and restaurant space, although nothing is official just yet.
“I would imagine the lower space will be a high-end restaurant and the upper will be an events center or private club,” he said.
As renovations continue, the third floor is complete and furnished for private tours, with other floors set for completion soon. The first tenants are scheduled to move in during October.
“By the end of September, we should have floors three, four, five and six completed,” Livingston said.
Meyer said he still strongly believes in the vision of the project to turn an aging office building into condos in one of northwest Oklahoma City’s most recognizable buildings.
Meyer also added that rather than simply updating the building, the project has essentially created a new building stripped from top to bottom and reconfigured with all new infrastructure inside and out.
“What we attempted to do here was take a building that had probably seen its best days as an office building and convert it to a better use,” he said. “What wasn’t working for an office works exceptionally well in a residence.”
Mike Cassidy, with Coldwell Banker Advantage, is handling the sales end.
He said that while the building has not yet been heavily marketed, and won’t be until next month, that people are already calling wanting to know when they can purchase one of the condos and move in.
“We have had some people in the last sixty days that want something immediately,” Cassidy said.

08-16-2007, 11:36 PM
Why do they keep saying 'tenants'? Aren't all the units being sold as condos (except for the restaurant/retail space)?

And they've been replacing windows for months now... I guess they are doing it as they renovate each floor.

08-17-2007, 08:02 AM
I'm just glad they didn't interview Aubrey for this article :bright_id

08-17-2007, 08:25 AM
A view of a living room in one of the model two-bedroom apartments of 360° at Founders Plaza. (Photo by Jennifer Pitts)

betts, just a helpful hint when posting Journal Record articles. The JR takes all the paragraph spacing out when you copy and paste, to make it more user friendly, you have to add the spaces back in there.

I'm sad to see they are scrapping the hotel idea. They would have brought a new product to the OKC market with aloft or W. We don't need more 3 story or less Class A office space on Expressway, build the hotel and let Class A office space come downtown.

08-17-2007, 10:58 AM
Does anyone have an updated exterior shot of the building? Im curious to see what the place looks like now....if they finished the windows and all.

08-17-2007, 11:01 AM
i don't have a shot, but i do believe the installation of the new windows is finished. -M

08-17-2007, 12:04 PM
so no more rooftop restaurant? bummer

08-17-2007, 12:10 PM
mmm, I'm pretty sure you're wrong on the windows. I drove by two nights ago and they had 5 or so floors left on the windows, not including the top level of bigger windows where Nikz used to be. They started off quick on the windows, but the last few months have been moving at a snails pace on the windows.

08-17-2007, 01:24 PM
gotcha... i was in kfc/longjohn's on 63rd & may (yuck) this past week and thought i remembered noticing that they were finished (not including nikz)... though i could be wrong. -M

08-17-2007, 09:14 PM
check this out
YouTube - 360 - Founders Tower (

or go here.The 360 at Founders Plaza (

08-18-2007, 09:21 PM
mmm, yep I can confirm the windows are not all replaced,there are about 6 floors to go PLUS the top floor where Nikz was.. I'll try to post pics soon.

09-07-2007, 05:52 PM
Does anyone know if they are planning on building a parking structure? I've been considering living here when they're ready but there is no way if the parking will just be what they have now. I hope they are because I love the units.

09-08-2007, 10:47 AM
Wow. 50 of 64 units are already sold.

Historic landmark is home to condominiums

By Chris Brawley Morgan
Special Correspondent

When the circular Founders Tower was a place of business, its offices were small, awkward — and shaped like slices of pie.
That is, at least, the assessment of developers and owners Mark Livingston and Jim Meyer, who have transformed the Oklahoma City landmark into The 360 at Founders Plaza.

This fall, it will be a home, a high-rise one with panoramic views. Young professionals, empty nesters and doctors from nearby medical facilities have reserved 50 of the 63 condominiums so far, including the $2 million unit that takes the entire 18th floor, the developers said. "We are bringing it back to life, while maintaining its historic nature,” Meyer said.

Floors 3 through 17 have been divided into four condominiums each. To complement the exterior's 1960s style, the open-plan interiors are modern by today's standards. There are smooth kitchen and bathroom cabinets and sliding pocket doors. Countertops are granite and the floors in the main rooms are hardwood, slate or travertine tile. Carpet is used in the bedrooms. Every room features a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and each condominium is graced with two or three balconies.

"Who wants a balcony in their office? Everyone wants a balcony in their house,” Livingston said.

In a two-bedroom condominium, balconies flank either side of the main living area. In other condominiums, one of the balconies ends up outside the bathroom. Prices range from $275,000 for a one-bedroom condominium to about $1 million for one of the two penthouses on the 19th floor. The higher the condo, the more expansive the view — whether it be Lake Hefner or the downtown skyline — and the higher the price, Livingston said. The condominiums range from 1,168 square feet for a one-bedroom to 6,800 square feet for an entire floor.

The 360 is the contemporary cornerstone of a 7-acre Founders Plaza project that will include two 40,000-square-foot office buildings and 14 townhouses and should cost about $50 million. Construction on Phase Two should begin next spring, Meyer said. Prices will start at $300,000 for the 2,500-square-foot townhouses, Livingston said. Amenities will include a yet-to-be-built exterior swimming pool and a spa, which will feature a pool already in the basement of The 360. Both will be used by the entire development.

Because of a proliferation of hotels in the area, plans for a hotel have been nixed for the time, Meyer said. The new office buildings and townhouses will be designed to echo The 360's modern sensibilities. The 20-story building was built in 1962; United Founders Insurance moved in the next year. It was a time when children and adults alike were fascinated by space travel, Meyer said. "Believe it or not, the Jetsons were the biggest show at the time. The president was talking about going to the moon,” Meyer said.

At the time of construction, the tower's design was considered futuristic. While the 20-story building appears circular, it is actually decagon shaped, with 10 angles and sides, Meyer said. When the Seattle Space Needle was built with a revolving restaurant in the early 1960s, a similar restaurant was quickly added at the top of the United Founders Tower, making Oklahoma City the second city in the nation to boast such an attraction. Many more would follow, Meyer said.

There were other aspects of the building that appealed to the developers. "We felt it was worthwhile, not only because of its architecture, but because of the part it played in the growth of Oklahoma City and the northwest corridor,” Livingston said.

The 360 is located at 5900 Mosteller Drive, northwest of May Avenue and Northwest Expressway. "When Founders Tower was built, it was in the middle of nowhere. It was all dairy and farm land,” Livingston said. Baptist Hospital and a myriad of other office and retail operations soon followed.

About 15 years ago, out-of-state investors began buying and selling Founders Tower, Meyer said. "Basically, they let the buildings go down and down. They put as little into it as possible,” Meyer said. Livingston agreed: "It was neglected.”
When they purchased it two years ago, "it had a 38 percent occupancy. All the infrastructure had been shot,” Meyer said. When the improvements are complete, the developers will have spent more than $2 million to remove 45-year-old glass that would shatter into shards. They have replaced it with tempered, energy-efficient panes. The exterior of the concrete-and-steel frame was solid and has been left as it was in the early 1960s. In all, the developers will spend more than $15 million on the renovations, including the installation of new cooling and heating systems, plumbing and electrical systems.

Meyer said, "Just by replacing the glass, it looks brand new and it looks cool. By replacing everything else, it makes it a great place to live.”

09-11-2007, 12:21 PM
No word on the former Nikz or Queen Ann spaces.