View Full Version : Why no tenants at 150th & N. Western



Rover
05-23-2010, 09:14 PM
There is a great looking new center at 150th & N. Western that has been finished for more than a year and has NO tenants. Traffic count is high at that intersection and the demographics of the area should be great. Why is there nothing there? Anybody know?

oneforone
05-23-2010, 09:17 PM
It maybe the orginal tenants backed out during construction or the owner wants too much money for the leases.

Rover
05-23-2010, 09:24 PM
I don't know what retail rates are all over, but it is being advertised at a reasonable rate, it seems... I think $18/ft.

Pete
05-23-2010, 09:40 PM
Could be in some stage of lender ownership.

Spartan
05-23-2010, 11:25 PM
There is a great looking new center at 150th & N. Western that has been finished for more than a year and has NO tenants. Traffic count is high at that intersection and the demographics of the area should be great. Why is there nothing there? Anybody know?

Maybe..just maybe..prospective tenants have come to understand how unsustainable sprawl is.

shucky
05-24-2010, 12:08 AM
It has something to do with the construction that took place there.

It was built to accommodate a certain traffic flow and then as it got completed they were almost done with the intersection so now new codes have to be meet.

Rover
05-24-2010, 06:40 AM
Tenants don,t care about sprawl. They care about traffic count, demographics, exposure etc. They actually probably like sprawl as suburban space is generally cheaper and they can locate close to their target audience. These are business decisions not philosophy. Sprawl doesn't show up on their balance sheets...just on talk, talk, talk boards.

I am wondering if the owner is difficult to work with or if there are other reasons. The center across the street is full and parking lot is always busy. Traffic count is high. Must be some underlying reason.

And if the implication is that the neighborhoods won't sustain, then you haven't been to the area. It is growing quickly with nice neighborhoods of $300,000 to $2,000,000 homes around and close. It is positioned a mile from Quail Springs and on a main street going to Edmond. 150th is quickly filling in. Traffic is definitely increasing. All roads around it have been upgraded to 4 lane streets. Schools are growing and desirable. Not sure what you are saying about the sprawl issue here.

Steve
05-24-2010, 07:01 AM
The developer was Chris Calhoun, who died after it was completed. I'll let others get into Calhoun's history, but it wouldn't surprise me if there were some complications arising from this.

DirtLaw
05-24-2010, 07:17 AM
The reason is that there are no tenants is because the layout of the building is lacking. It is a beautiful strip center that was extremely well built, but tenants will not touch it because of the way it is sitting on the property.

progressiveboy
05-24-2010, 07:25 AM
Tenants don,t care about sprawl. They care about traffic count, demographics, exposure etc. They actually probably like sprawl as suburban space is generally cheaper and they can locate close to their target audience. These are business decisions not philosophy. Sprawl doesn't show up on their balance sheets...just on talk, talk, talk boards.

I am wondering if the owner is difficult to work with or if there are other reasons. The center across the street is full and parking lot is always busy. Traffic count is high. Must be some underlying reason.

And if the implication is that the neighborhoods won't sustain, then you haven't been to the area. It is growing quickly with nice neighborhoods of $300,000 to $2,000,000 homes around and close. It is positioned a mile from Quail Springs and on a main street going to Edmond. 150th is quickly filling in. Traffic is definitely increasing. All roads around it have been upgraded to 4 lane streets. Schools are growing and desirable. Not sure what you are saying about the sprawl issue here. Agree! The bottom line is demographics, target audience and where the rooftops are locating! This area is full of nice neighborhoods and gorgeous homes.

progressiveboy
05-24-2010, 07:29 AM
The reason is that there are no tenants is because the layout of the building is lacking. It is a beautiful strip center that was extremely well built, but tenants will not touch it because of the way it is sitting on the property. Disagree. It appears a little set back however, I do not think this poses an obstacle. It also appears plenty of parking and the quality looks great. Perhaps it will take a little bit longer to fill with "quality" tenants?

DirtLaw
05-24-2010, 07:31 AM
Disagree. It appears a little set back however, I do not think this poses an obstacle. It also appears plenty of parking and the quality looks great. Perhaps it will take a little bit longer to fill with "quality" tenants?

I agree that the quality is high, but the problem is that the quality is too high with how the building sits. Tenants are not going to pay as much as the development will need to get because of the layout of the footprint. Strip centers are all about exposure and frontage, and this one is lacking in those categories.

metro
05-24-2010, 07:54 AM
The developer was Chris Calhoun, who died after it was completed. I'll let others get into Calhoun's history, but it wouldn't surprise me if there were some complications arising from this.

Steve is at least partially correct. I know it had something to do with the owner and that he was a perfectionist, etc. He died and I'm sure that complicated things. There is actually another thread on this topic that has more info if you want to dig it up. I forget the name of it.

USG '60
05-24-2010, 08:06 AM
The developer was Chris Calhoun, who died after it was completed. I'll let others get into Calhoun's history, but it wouldn't surprise me if there were some complications arising from this.

Is this the same Calhoun family that built the Century Center downtown?

FritterGirl
05-24-2010, 08:12 AM
I don't know anything about Mr. Calhoun, but given what metro noted above about his being a perfectionist, it echoes well what I have heard about his vision for the space.

A friend of mine used to work for the bank that financed the deal. I asked her repeatedly what was happening there as they got closer to completion on the strip.

From what she told me throughout the process, Mr. Calhoun was working to target high-end type of retail and services, including a Starbucks, which he thought would help be a draw for other higher-end retailers and service providers. If what she is saying is true, he had lots of initial bites from potential lessees, but he didn't want your average run-of-the mill retail in there, so turned many away.

As the project neared completion, Starbucks closed a significant number of stores in the OKC market area, so that deal (if there ever was one) went south. Then the economy tanked, plus that intersection was under construction for a long time - all impediments to any retailer wanting to come in.

I hadn't heard he died.

While I don't think his problems at the time were attributable to sprawl, now I can at least say, the place is a victim to its location, not because of ingress / egress, but because in the interim, other strip centers have opened up within 1-2 miles of the place and are quickly filling up. One has to wonder just how many nail salons, yogurt dens, liquor stores and tanning booths one needs within a 3-5 square mile area.

dedndcrusr
05-24-2010, 08:41 AM
One has to wonder just how many nail salons, yogurt dens, liquor stores and tanning booths one needs within a 3-5 square mile area.

Don't forget dry cleaners and China queen/house/king/express.

onthestrip
05-24-2010, 09:32 AM
Steve, I thought I remembered there being an article in the paper about this development, maybe 6 months ago or so.

BDP
05-24-2010, 09:56 AM
Tenants don,t care about sprawl.


They care about traffic count, demographics, exposure etc.

They can't care about traffic count, demographics, exposure, etc. without caring about sprawl. They are directly related. Sprawl obviously lowers the traffic count at any given point in the city, and always lowers the density demographics. There is absolutely no positive effect of sprawl on sales per square foot, and therefore, retailers hate it. It usually means maintaining multiple leases in a market that could serviced by one. This elevates operating costs and hurts net margins.

It also happens mainly in disposable markets like OKC, which means having to move and open new stores, which means always paying current market rates which usually always go up, not to mention the cost of the move.

Steve
05-24-2010, 10:28 AM
Calhoun a perfectionist? Haven't heard that... I wasn't going to saying anything, seeing as he's dead now... but I can repost this one story - just a glimpse at how he did business:
BULLDOZED BATTLE Store owner wants investigation into demolition

By Melissa Davis
Business Writer
Tuesday, August 28, 2001
Edition: CITY, Section: BUSINESS, Page 1-C
Linked Objects: (Click image for details)
AN Oklahoma City computer store owner - who claims his business was improperly bulldozed when it was still in operation - asked the city Monday to investigate the demolition.

Computer Connections owner Kevin Henry says pharmacy. In a letter received by city officials Monday, Henry's attorney, John Dexter, said the city issued a demolition permit - allegedly based on false information supplied by Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Midwest Wrecking Co. - that led to the improper destruction of his client's property.

"That's just what goes on down at the city," Dexter said. "This is a developer's monopoly. Everybody - including the city - does what the developers want."

City officials declined comment. The request for an investigation was passed to the municipal counselor's office.

Henry's letter arrived at city hall the same day that Walgreens and its local developer, 23rd Associates, responded to a lawsuit filed by Henry in June. Both defendants claimed no wrongdoing and asked that Henry's charges be dropped.

Henry is suing the two entities alleging, among other things, breach of lease, trespassing, destruction of property, misrepresentation and fraud. Henry said he refused to vacate the future Walgreens site - and fought against his store's demolition - because 23rd Associates failed to deliver on its promise of $142,000 for the two years left on Computer Connections' lease.

23rd Associates argued that Henry abandoned his lease and then "made false statements to the press, third parties and others, contending that (he) operated a retail business at the subject location, while... deman- ding in excess of $150,000" for the lease. The firm has filed counterclaims against Henry, accusing him of deceptive trade practices and asking for more than $10,000 in damages.

Henry admitted that he began vacating the building months ago, but only because 23rd Associates agreed - in an offer dated Feb. 27 - to buy out his lease. Henry said he returned to the building when it became clear that the developer had no intention of honoring the offer, which he said was never signed.

Dexter said that Walgreens had budgeted too little money to buy out all of the in-force leases in the building - and 23rd Associates knew it.

"They made us an offer. They gave us a contract. And they assured us that contract was going to be executed," Dexter said. "They did all of this so we wouldn't make any waves until they purchased the property. After that, we did make waves, and they rolled right over us - literally."

Dexter said his client has been "lied to by everyone" involved in the project, based on depositions he took last week. He claimed those depositions also revealed a blatant lack of tenant protections.

To begin, he said, 23rd Associates is led by Chris Calhoun, also the developer of another contested Walgreens site that would replace the historic golden dome bank on NW 23 Street. Calhoun's attorney is Steve Solomon, Dexter said.

Calhoun purchased the proposed Walgreens site in a transaction that was handled by a closing company owned by Solomon, Dexter said. Because of that relationship, he said, the closing company was not an impartial outsider interested only in a smooth transaction for everyone - including the building's tenants.

"All of the protections that a tenant normally has in a situation like this were gone," he said.

Neither Calhoun nor Solomon have returned telephone calls from The Oklahoman.

After the real estate transaction, Dexter said things only got worse for his client. On June 7, OG&E issued paperwork to the city - necessary for a demolition permit - stating that the electricity had been shut off and the meters removed at the address occupied by Computer Connections. Because the electricity was still running at Computer Connections on June 14 - a full week later - the city never should have issued the demolition permit, Dexter said.

According to its own rules, the city can issue demolition permits only for vacated buildings with disconnected utilities.

After the demolition, OG&E said it shut off the electricity in response to a demolition order from the city. However, a city official disputed that claim when contacted last week.

"That's not the way it's done," said Mike Wilson, chief plans examiner for the public works department. "Somebody else calls OG&E and asks them to disconnect service. It would be the owner or the tenant.

"It's not the city."

Regardless, Computer Connections was demolished June 16 - by a party that had no demolition permit, Dexter said. Midwest Wrecking Co., which secured the demolition permit, ultimately refused to destroy the building, Dexter said.

In an effort to avoid liability, the company instead leased its wrecking equipment to David Mueller, an associate of Calhoun's - who arranged for the demolition himself, Dexter learned in a deposition taken last week.

"I told them we weren't going to tear it down until we had more information," Midwest Wrecking President Benjamin Kates told Dexter. "And if (Mueller) wanted to tear it down himself, he could, but we wouldn't feel good about it."

Even so, Kates said his company has already billed 23rd Associates for the demolition - and plans to collect payment as if it carried out the demolition.

Dexter said Midwest Wrecking is not now a defendant in Henry's lawsuit, which is seeking approximately $50,000 for breach of lease and considerably more for punitive damages.

He called such lawsuits uncommon.

"It costs a lot of money to fight these guys," he said, "and very few people are willing to take them on."

Spartan
05-24-2010, 12:29 PM
Looks pretty corrupt. I wonder who oversees demolition permits for the city...

Steve
05-24-2010, 01:36 PM
Spartan, it's at this point I'd usually point out you're too quick to use that "corrupt" word. I won't this time....

Soonerinfiniti
05-24-2010, 02:39 PM
They were asking $25/SF at the beginning when the market was $17-$18. Now the retail has marketed and they can't lease it at $18/SF.

Larry OKC
05-24-2010, 11:43 PM
Looks pretty corrupt. I wonder who oversees demolition permits for the city...

Were you being sarcastic here? (Anything to do with SandRidge)

Steve
05-25-2010, 07:57 AM
Is this the same Calhoun family that built the Century Center downtown?

USG.... I know for a fact that the Calhouns did not "build" century center - though Chris Calhoun was definitely involved.
The developer was a New York company - JD Posillico

Spartan
05-25-2010, 09:54 AM
Larry--I was referring to the countless demolitions in general. There have been a lot of demolition projects that developers usurped due process. One example is a building that Jim Brewer demolished without consent of the Bricktown Urban Design Committee or any other downtown oversight board, despite that it was required--somehow he usurped the process and got a demolition permit by someone at city hall who "made an accident."

There have been a lot of these "accidents" in which buildings mysteriously disappear.


Spartan, it's at this point I'd usually point out you're too quick to use that "corrupt" word. I won't this time....

Well, there are a lot of perhaps unfair development deals that go down in this city. You know that more than anyone.

Steve
05-25-2010, 10:13 AM
"There have been a lot of these "accidents" in which buildings mysteriously disappear."



You mean I'm not the only one to notice this?

Spartan
05-25-2010, 12:56 PM
Corrupt! It's all corrupt, I tell ya! Haha, just kidding.


Spartan, it's at this point I'd usually point out you're too quick to use that "corrupt" word. I won't this time....

Somebody's got to agitate, I guess.. :)

OKCTalker
05-25-2010, 01:48 PM
As a former business partner of Chris Calhoun, I can verify that he was the most corrupt individual – among dozens of partners across several decades – that we have ever been in business with. At the time of his death he was the managing partner of Possum Creek (southwest corner of 63 & Western), which was the only property not owned by Chesapeake in the area bordered by 63rd, Grand, Classen and Western. He previously rejected a $10 million offer; from CHK for $10 million; it sold earlier this month for $7 million. Appropriately, it was one final screwing of his partners, this time from the grave.

Good riddance.

Steve
05-25-2010, 03:45 PM
I've been quite aware of Mr. Calhoun as well - ever since I was a boy. And OKCTalker, I'm not disputing anything you say.

USG '60
05-25-2010, 05:32 PM
I just want to say that his brother Tom is one of the nicest guys I ever met. I'll admit that I haven't seen him in 30 years but I can't imagine he has changed. Just for the record.

Steve
05-25-2010, 06:07 PM
Was Tom the brother who operated a coffee shop in Bricktown a few years ago?

bluedogok
05-25-2010, 07:55 PM
I remember that article well, someone sketched a drawing of Mueller driving the bulldozer. Having done a few Walgreen's stores with him and Mueller as the developer I can attest to the majority of that article. There was one quote in there by an attorney that I think was wrong, my understanding was that Walgreen's sets a budget for the developer, and it is the developer who tries to get the project into that budget. If the developer can't then Walgreen's either gives up on the location or increases their budget. I know there were a few site plans that I did that never went past that stage, namely the Gold Dome location that Calhoun/Mueller tried to push Walgreen's into.

We quit doing work for them because they wouldn't pay us, I also knew other architects/engineers who did work for them years before who had never been paid as well. He probably had many hundred shell corporations over the years so he could just go from project to project leaving the damage behind.

Steve
05-25-2010, 08:06 PM
That's quite a legacy he leaves behind if true. Wonder if he got to take any of his spoils with him when he left his death bed.

bluedogok
05-25-2010, 08:16 PM
Unfortunately people like that seem to leave a big mess behind for family members and business associates to clean up.

Steve
05-25-2010, 08:22 PM
So, I guess the question is this: is the empty orate shopping center at NW 150 and Western a monument to a life of corruption, betrayal, lies and greed? Is that the answer here? So far I'm hearing no defenders for Chris Calhoun ... one might wonder if God is involved in real estate after all

Rover
05-25-2010, 08:53 PM
So, who is control of the shopping center now?

USG '60
05-25-2010, 09:10 PM
Was Tom the brother who operated a coffee shop in Bricktown a few years ago?

I don't know but if it was, I wish I had known. As I said, I haven't seen him in at least 30 years. But when I knew him he always had some small business going, and with his gregarious nature I can easily see him having a coffee shop in BT.

Edmond Earl
05-26-2010, 06:15 AM
There must be something going on legally with this property. At this point price wouldn't keep the entire property empty.