View Full Version : Bricktown buildings up for sale



betts
09-07-2007, 04:20 AM
Business Writer
For more than a decade, French Hickman has reigned over Bricktown as one of its major property owners shaping and guiding much of the entertainment district's development in the post-MAPS era. But today both he and fellow veteran property owner Jim Brewer are among major property owners selling some of their most prominent holdings if the price is right.

Hickman is selling the Oklahoma Hardware Building, 29 E California, the largest of his four properties along the Bricktown Canal. "I'm just wanting to downsize a little, Hickman said. "I'm not certain this is the ideal time, but it's certainly not a bad time to do it.

Hickman adds this sale doesn't mean he's selling out completely. He still lives in the loft he and wife Theresa share with their two children atop the Kingman Building, 100 E California. And as "Doc Blues, he still plays with his band at his club, the Biting Sow, 1 E California Ave. Hickman thinks the Oklahoma Hardware Building may be the most attractive prospect for development. He said the building was renovated several years ago, so a new owner won't have to install elevators or make major changes to meet code requirements. "The easiest development would be in the basement on the canal level, where you could finish out the space and build on a deck, Hickman said. "That would increase the worth of the building and give a prospective buyer something to do with it ... the difficult part of the renovations is complete. What's left is the fun part. That fun part, Hickman said, could involve converting the top floor into condominiums.
"Seeing how The Centennial (in Lower Bricktown) sold out, this could be turned into one magnificent or two or three great lofts, he said.

Like Hickman, Brewer has no intention of leaving Bricktown but is looking to sell to the right buyer, said Jason Little, a broker with Sperry Van Ness. And both men have seen their property values skyrocket since the city's Metropolitan Area Projects program added a ballpark, canal and arena to the entertainment district.
Brewer, who bought his first properties in Bricktown more than 20 years ago, is selling nine buildings.

"Jim has a large inventory in Bricktown and is looking to take it to the next level, Little said. "He is looking to find the right partners. All options are on the table. Even beyond the buildings listed, he has a lot of property. Brewer, Little added, isn't desperate to sell either. "He doesn't plan on going anywhere, Little said. "He has a lot of passion for Bricktown, wants to see it succeed, and this is another step in his legacy.

Elsewhere, shoppers looking to possibly start from scratch may want to consider parting with $13 million for what has been dubbed "the Steelyard, the former Stewart Metal complex in east Bricktown. Brett Price, also a broker with Sperry Van Ness, said owner Bob Meinders has had talks with potential buyers for the 6.8 acres. "We've had some action, Price said. "But when it involves a developer, that takes time. This will take someone with a deep pocket. Unlike the properties being sold by Hickman and Brewer, the Steelyard does not involve buildings that must be preserved under the Bricktown urban design ordinance. Little suggested the properties on both sides on Sheridan Avenue could be cleared and parking could be incorporated into any potential development.

Hickman said he's interested to see the trend of increased Bricktown sale prices continue. Sales the past couple years included $4.2 million for the Bricktown Mercantile and $10.9 million for Bricktown Square. "People around the country are taking notice of what is happening in Bricktown, Price said. "There is quite a bit of buzz out there.

But is the buzz getting out of hand? Brett Hamm, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., isn't worried about the number of properties up for sale, but is concerned about the price escalation. "We're looking at just a few owners here, and it's not like there is a run of owners wanting to do something else, Hamm said. "But we are concerned about the costs of the buildings and renovations. We want to encourage development, especially where many of the second and third floors of these buildings have yet to be completed. High prices have hindered that. Of course, the market is going to do what the market is going to do.

Midtowner
09-07-2007, 10:01 AM
Interesting stuff. With people willing to invest that kind of money into these buildings, it certainly appears as if Bricktown over the next decade will grow at least as fast as it did over the previous decade. If I had a few million burning a hole in my pocket, I'd be buying Bricktown property right now.

CuatrodeMayo
09-07-2007, 10:18 AM
The Centennial will certainly help, but we HAVE to get more residents in Bricktown if the district is to survive.

Midtowner
09-07-2007, 11:18 AM
Or hotels.

Hotels, in fact, would be better I think.

HOT ROD
09-07-2007, 12:22 PM
there seems to be PLENTY of space available for apartments, lofts, and condos in the upper floors of MOST of the buildings in Bricktown proper. Why don't the developers DEVELOPE those into residential units???

It appears that with the existing undeveloped stock ALONE could translate into 5,000 new RESIDENTS to Bricktown; which as Mayo said - would ensure the continued success of the district (and Downtown)!!!

Midtowner
09-07-2007, 12:31 PM
there seems to be PLENTY of space available for apartments, lofts, and condos in the upper floors of MOST of the buildings in Bricktown proper. Why don't the developers DEVELOPE those into residential units???

It appears that with the existing undeveloped stock ALONE could translate into 5,000 new RESIDENTS to Bricktown; which as Mayo said - would ensure the continued success of the district (and Downtown)!!!

Parking, I think, would be a huge problem.

CuatrodeMayo
09-07-2007, 12:32 PM
I doubt it.

BDP
09-07-2007, 04:10 PM
I think the real concern is that it seems the owners are willing to sit on up to half of their properties and wait for them to appreciate based on unrealized potential. So by the time you get someone who really wants to develop the properties, their basis is so high no one can pay the rent they have to charge to get a positive return. I'm not sure if these soft turns are really that good for the area. It kind of stunts it a bit. Then you have to wait for a bust, then wait for them to get desperate enough to take a loss, which will bring prices down to where someone can actually afford to develop them into working locations. Just think how slow it has been for new working square footage in the area, yet prices keep going up. Hogan won't even build until he has tenants, yet these places keep appreciating. Something doesn't gel.

Maybe it makes sense for them, but I'd rather see the places developed rather than turned over.

dalelakin
09-07-2007, 08:25 PM
How many businesses have failed in Bricktown?