View Full Version : Downtown Housing article

08-18-2007, 08:35 PM
Most of this is old news, but I am interested (and want more info) on the part I bolded below.

Bricktown condo sales lead way for others

By Steve Lackmeyer
Business Writer

Gary Gregory and Andy Burnett spent their morning on a closing at The Centennial in Lower Bricktown, celebrated selling the property's last condominium with developer Randy Hogan, and then drove to the showroom for Block 42 to commence yet another closing.

It's just another Friday in downtown Oklahoma City, and Gregory, a broker with Sperry Van Ness, isn't bothering to contain his glee.

"Things are going very, very well,” Gregory says, before driving back to his offices on the 24th floor of Chase Tower.

It's there that Gregory and Burnett begin their pitch to potential downtown residents. Hogan credits their ability to provide visitors with the "big picture” of a resurgent downtown with selling out all of the 30 units at The Centennial before it's even finished.

"You get to look down on all this,” Hogan said. "You can see everything that is going on.”

Gregory and Burnett admit they are primarily commercial brokers; their entry into downtown housing followed several successful downtown retail leases and commercial sales. Both Hogan and Humphreys handed their condominium sales to Sperry Van Ness after initially handling them in-house.

"We went on word of mouth, friends of friends,” Hogan said. "We were about eight units into it. ... It was a trick — nobody had really done it.”

With sales complete at The Centennial, Gregory, Burnett and his brother David are focusing on achieving a similar sell-out at Block 42 at NW 4 and Central. The Block 42 towers are seen daily by travelers along Interstate 235, and standing at NE 4 and Central they are at the crossroads of Deep Deuce, Bricktown, the Flat Iron District and the Oklahoma Health Center.

Downtown living
A contract signing Friday with David Shimp, associate administrator at OU Medical Center, marked the 28th sale, leaving 14 left to sell with completion scheduled for December.
Shimp is a newcomer to Oklahoma City, having transferred from Denver in June. He was already accustomed to downtown living with his previous residence in Denver's Cherry Creek district. Having visited Bricktown for a meeting two years ago, he immediately sought a residence near the entertainment district and signed a short-term lease in the Deep Deuce Apartments.

"The thought of doing Block 42 was for people like David so that we could attract and retain young professionals, up and comers, who want to live close to where they work,” Humphreys said. "We've got a dozen units sold to people like David who stuck around and want to live and work downtown.”

Humphreys said he's ready to proceed in January on The Flatiron, a mixed-use renovation of an old flat iron building at NE 5 and Harrison that will include new low-rise towers facing Walnut Avenue. The project will include 33 apartments and 50,000 square feet of office and retail.

"We are also pursuing more opportunities downtown, with plans to bring many more units,” Humphreys said. "This isn't the Downtown Airpark, where we are looking at development five years from now. ... I'm talking about stuff next year. "

More immediate plans include a residential mixer next week for future Block 42 residents. It's that very sort of interaction sought out by shoppers Aaron and Meagan Prock. Meagan Prock said she and her husband are looking to ditch their northwest suburban digs and establish residence in a more urban setting.

"People are moving into the area and making it more of a community,” Megan Prock said after viewing Block 42 plans with her friend Julie Pauls. "We like the community feel of downtown — it's become a neighborhood.”