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Proactive Volunteer
11-03-2004, 07:24 AM
http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/skirvinwiki1.jpg
Information & Latest News
1 Park Ave. (http://g.co/maps/82q4k)
status=complete
owner= Marcus Hotels, Milwaukee
finish=renovation complete in 2006
Links
County Assessors Record (http://www.oklahomacounty.org/assessor/Searches/AN-R.asp?ACCOUNTNO=R010010772)
Skirvin Hilton website (http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/OKCSKHF-The-Skirvin-Hilton-Oklahoma-City-Oklahoma/index.do)
Skirvin Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/skirvin.hilton)
Marcus Hotels (http://www.marcushotels.com/hotel-management-portfolio/hotel-management-skirvin-hilton.asp)
Doug Lounenback on the reopening (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2007/02/skirvin-hilton-grand-reopening.html)
Doug Loudenback historical article (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2009/12/skirvin.html)
Abandoned Oklahoma (http://www.abandonedok.com/skirvin/)
Tenants

Park Avenue Grill (http://www.parkavegrill.com/)
The Painted Door (http://www.painteddoor.com/)

Gallery

Midtowner
11-03-2004, 12:24 PM
Excellent. I can't wait until that hotel is back up to its past glory. I think it has the potential to become a real destination hotel like the Hyatt Regency Union Central in St. Louis.

Patrick
11-03-2004, 01:27 PM
This is great news. The sooner renovations can begin, the sooner the Skirvin can be opened. I can't wait until the day this hotel re-opens. I want to be one of the first to spend the night there after it re-opens.

Proactive Volunteer
11-03-2004, 01:54 PM
My husband and I would like to spend the night there the first day of re-opening too!!

We were fortunate to walk through the Skirvin three years ago as potential buyers and were very impressed with how well she has withstood her previous owners abuse and lack of taking care of her. I would have loved to have bought her....but my credit line does not extend into the multiple millions. Maybe next life!

Patrick
11-03-2004, 01:59 PM
lol! She definitely is a beauty and I'm glad a solid buyer came through for her. I'll be married when she re-opens, so I, like you, definitely plan on being one of the first ones to book a weekend room there.

Just out of curiousity, I had heard that a lot of the old fixtures were sold off. Also, previous owners started pulling up the floor in the old coffee room. Proactive, were you able to see those areas?

Proactive Volunteer
11-03-2004, 02:18 PM
The fixtures that we saw lying on the floors, begging people to take, were from the 1970's renovation. So yes, many of the fixtures earlier than the 1970's renovation are gone. However, the chandeliers are still there, the gargoyles of Mr. Skirvin and a couple of others on the beautiful pillars in the lobby are still there, the beautiful carved grape design doors are intact and the marble is in great condition.

The coffee room....if I am remembering correctly, I think there was carpet on the floors. And remember, the colors of the 1970's...harvest gold, avacado green...get the picture?!? These colors are the carpets and curtains! Rough the first time around and so glad they are going to be replaced.

I hope the new owners look outside of the box when they look at the roof, and design the poshest 5 star garden restaurant on the roof!! This would be an awesome attraction for this georgous building!!

Patrick
11-03-2004, 02:32 PM
Wow Proactive...you have an excellent idea with the garden restaurant.

Anyways, I'm so glad to hear that the Skirvin is in such good shape.

Did you get a chance to view some of the guest rooms? How were they? Will all of the fixtures need replacing? How large were the rooms?

Anyways, if all of the chandeliers are still there, we're in good shape. The other fixtures can be replaced and updated. Hopefully the new owners will preserve as much as they can...it sounds like they will. Previous owners had considered pulling up the carpet in the coffee room and restoring the old tile floor. I hope that's still in the works. Did you have a chance to see what was under the carpet in the Coffee Room?

Luke
11-03-2004, 04:48 PM
I'm really curious to see some renderings of what they imagine for this place. I hope it's 5 star, but from what I understand they're shooting for 4 star.

mranderson
11-03-2004, 05:38 PM
I think five star is pushing it. I know of no city this size with a five star hotel and/or eating establishment.

We will be lucky to get three star.

Proactive Volunteer
11-03-2004, 06:03 PM
OK....so I sometimes think big!! As long as it will be a destination point....I will be happy!

It does sound from the plans, that it will be a good place to hold an event. I hope we will be able to hold an Empowerment Zone Honor Awards dinner during the first year she is re-opened. For that matter, I hope to be able to recommend the Skirvin for many events with groups I am active with!

I did not take a look at the flooring beneath the carpet in the coffee shop area. I did notice some awesome tile in the kitchen area that is original.

I looked into guest rooms on every floor. Most were actually in pretty good shape, other than needing an update. Some plumbing issues, fixture updates and of course it needs all new electrical. But overall...not in as bad of shape as one would think.

Most of the graffiti was from Capitol Hill High School and Casady students! Looked like at one time may have been a party place.

Overall...not as bad of shape as it could have been.

I can hardly wait!!

Patrick
11-07-2004, 01:33 AM
Thanks for the update Proactive. I'm glad to hear that the Skirvin is in such good shape. This should make the job easier on the new developers. Obviously, isnce it is a historic building, replacing HVAC units, electrical wiring, plumbing, etc. will be expensive, but the project won't be as difficult as I once thought. Once the asbstos is removed, everything should flow smoothly after that.

swake
11-07-2004, 08:39 AM
Call me crazy, but isnít the current condition irrelevant if there is an asbestos problem? I think that generally requires stripping the building the superstructure, thatís what happened to the Mayo, and why it happened too.

Proactive Volunteer
11-07-2004, 11:57 AM
I believe the City Council approved EPA Brownfield Grant money at the November 2nd City Council meeting to clean up the asbestos.

swake
11-07-2004, 01:18 PM
My point was more that the current conditions of the rooms and fixtures of a building that is about to be gutted is irrelevant.

Proactive Volunteer
11-07-2004, 01:40 PM
For the most part, I agree with you that the current conditions on the inside don't matter and that it will be gutted.

Except for the historical and cool architectural elements. The chandeliers, great tile and marble and the awesome woodwork.

For the developer to comply to Federal and State Historical Preservation tax credits, they will have to preserve the historical architectural elements in the renovation and have to be very careful with renovation guide lines or they will not be able to take the tax credits.

Carpet, paint, wallpaper, plumbing and the like....I agree with you. All of this will be gutted and replaced. Thank goodness. Could you imagine 1970's colors in the beautiful 1912 hotel renovation?

Luke
11-07-2004, 02:00 PM
For what it's worth, the Renaissance Hotel and the Waterford by Marriott are both four star hotels. They're the only four star hotels in Oklahoma City. From what I remember Hilton's goal will be to make the Skirvin a four star. That will be 3 four star hotels in OKC. Compared to just one in Tulsa, their Renaissance Hotel.

A little braggin' :)

Patrick
11-08-2004, 11:55 PM
Mmmmmm....but I have to admit, that Renaissance in Tulsa beats any we have here. I took a look inside this past summer when I was in Tulsa.....that's a mighty fine hotel Hammons put together. It reminds me of th eone he built in Branson.

But, anyways, yeah, you're right.....the Skirvin will become a 4 star hotel......what a great addition to our list of hotels in OKC.

We're planning on staying at either the Renaissance or Waterford for our first honeymoon night.....I'll have to give everyone a report.

Luke
11-09-2004, 05:33 AM
I've never been in the Tulsa Renaissance. Patrick, have you been to the downtown OKC one? It is very nice.

Patrick
11-09-2004, 10:30 AM
Yup, I've been to both...in fact, I was at the OKC Renaissance in OKC. And you're right....the OKC one is nice, in fact in my opinion, it's the nicest hotel in OKC. But, I will give Hammons one thing...he really went the extra mile on the Tulsa Renaissance.....I'm not downplaying ours in any way, but I'd give it an edge over ours. So with ours being as nice as it is, you can only imagine what Tulsa's is like. Of course Tulsa doesn't have the surrounding downtown area and convention center to complement it, but the hotel makes up for what it's missing around it.

Anyways, I will be staying in our Renaissance in May 2005. For a honeymoon first night, I wouldn't pick anywhere else.

mranderson
11-09-2004, 10:39 AM
"Anyways, I will be staying in our Renaissance in May 2005. For a honeymoon first night, I wouldn't pick anywhere else."

Film at eleven. :Smiley103 (just could not resist. LOL)

Patrick
11-09-2004, 05:18 PM
Eleven....you think I'm going to wait that long? lol!

mranderson
11-09-2004, 05:46 PM
"Eleven....you think I'm going to wait that long? lol!"

I guess I could call Cherokee and have her tell the guys at KOCO to get the live truck ready for a live remote.

You said May? That is sweeps week. Perfect timing. :tongue:

Patrick
11-09-2004, 09:27 PM
Hmmmm. Well, we won't be too far from the News 9 Bricktown Studio......mranderson how about getting Amy Mcree out there instead?

mranderson
11-09-2004, 09:29 PM
Only if she will go out with me. :sheep:

Luke
12-14-2004, 05:46 AM
What's the latest with the Skirvin? I drove by the hotel a couple days ago and saw no signs of any kind of progress from the outside. I suppose they're still working with paperwork and stuff? When are they supposed to get in and start this thing? This is one of those projects that I'm very excited about seeing complete.

Patrick
12-14-2004, 11:24 AM
Originally work was supposed to begin Oct. 1st, 2004, but the start date was pushed back some because one of the investors was replaced by another. Also, paperwork is still being completed. The deal should close in January, with work beginning this Spring...I'm not sure if an exact date has been set yet.

Here's the article I posted earlier that spell all of this out:

""Key Skirvin investor out, new money in
by Ted Streuli
The Journal Record
10/20/2004

FaulknerUSA wants out of the Skirvin Hotel redevelopment project, but a new investor plans to step in.
John Weeman, who heads Texas-based Partners in Development and assembled the members of Skirvin Partners, said an investor his company has done business with in the past has signed a letter of intent to take assignment of FaulknerUSA's interest in the project.

The assignment must be approved by the partners and the city, which Weeman said would consider the investor switch at a November meeting.

FaulknerUSA, a contracting company, had agreed to a $1.5 million investment in the Skirvin's redevelopment but was not the company hired to do the work. Weeman said the new investor had committed to invest more than had FaulknerUSA.

Weeman said the new money would come from a Dallas-based investment company that has backed Partners in Development hotel projects in the past. The company asked to remain unidentified until its participation is approved by the city, Weeman said.

"They're pretty sensitive about those things," said Weeman. "It shouldn't be a problem. It's solid, on track and the deal's in good shape. We're taking money out of a different pocket, but frankly, this pocket's a better fit for the project."

Oklahoma City elected officials voted to fund $18.4 million of a $46 million renovation, with Skirvin Partners buying the 93-year-old building for $430,000 and the city retaining ownership of the land. Marcus Hotels, which is a member of Skirvin Partners, agreed to manage the hotel.

"We really have a win/win situation in that we've had the benefit of Faulkner's experience in developing an innovative structure for the Skirvin redevelopment," said Weeman. "And we will have a new partner with substantial equity resources that will be a great fit for the project."

City Manager James Couch and Urban Renewal Authority Executive Director JoeVan Bullard said last week that the projected Oct. 1 closing date on the property was delayed because the project's financing was not yet in place and because the city wanted to pursue a low-interest federal loan to remove asbestos from the building. Bullard and Weeman said that an early January closing was now more realistic, but that the Skirvin would still open under the Hilton brand in the spring of 2006."

BG918
12-19-2004, 01:34 AM
Who is rating these "four star" hotels? The OKC travel guide? :wink:

There isn't a standard hotel rating and every hotel can have different ratings. I'd definitely say the Waterford Marriott is four star, the Renaissance maybe. I hope the Skirvin is four star and I hope it has a four star restaurant, OKC needs another really upscale restaurant. If they put it on the top floor with views of the skyline it would be my new favorite place.

Tulsa has the new Renaissance, which is about as nice as OKC's Renaissance, maybe a little better but in a much worse location. The Ambassador in Uptown should definitely be considered four star, it's small but it's extremely nice and has a great restaurant, The Chalkboard. The Doubletree's (downtown and Warren Place) are both really nice, solid three star though, Warren Place is much nicer IMO. If they ever remodel the Mayo I would hope they would return it to its glory days and have it be a four or five star hotel.

Luke
12-19-2004, 08:49 AM
AAA and Mobil both have world recognized hotel ratings systems. Mobil uses "stars" and AAA uses "diamonds."

According to Mobil's web site (http://www.mobiltravelguide.com/mtg/) there are no 4 or 5 star hotels in OKC. But, there are four 3 star hotels: Hilton (now, Crowne Plaza), Renaissance, Westin (now, Sheraton) and Marriott Waterford.

According to AAA's web site (http://www.ouraaa.com/news/news/diamond/lodging4.html) they give the Renaissance and the Marriott Waterford both 4 diamonds. So, earlier in this thread when I said OKC has two 4 star hotels, I should have said 4 diamond hotels.

Patrick
12-20-2004, 11:56 PM
I think I'd have to agree with AAA over Mobil on their ratings of our hotels. The Crowne Plaza is okay, but I don't even begin to put it in the same league as the Renaissance and Waterford. I even question whether the Sheraton falls in the same league as the Renaissance. The Renaissance is a lot nicer hotel, and definitely more pricey.

Luke
12-21-2004, 06:14 PM
http://www.zaxonusa.com/Projects.html

I assume this is the company that did the cost analysis for the Skirvin Hotel. Check out the picture on the bottom left of the page. Looks fancy.

I really hope they do this hotel up right and make it the jewel it once was.

Luke
12-21-2004, 06:17 PM
PS: There's another picture about 3/4 of the way down of a restaurant in the Skirvin. I know they're probably concepts, but still... looks like the point was made that this is gonna be a nice place.

downtownguy
12-21-2004, 08:06 PM
The web site you are referring to is very outdated, and is linked to work ordered by Oesman Sapta, a mysterious Indonesian who owned the hotel in the mid-1990s. The drawings also have no connection to the current project.
- The Downtown Guy
www.downtownguy.blogspot.com

Patrick
12-21-2004, 10:56 PM
I guess it was all wishful thinking on Sapta's part!

Luke
12-22-2004, 02:29 AM
Hahaha... Wishful thinking on my part as well? We'll see, I suppose...

Patrick
01-11-2005, 12:25 AM
Okay, well sort of....the city is just finishing up removing asbestos before the sale is completed.

---------
"Skirvin renewal reaches asbestos removal stage
by Brian Brus
The Journal Record
1/11/2005



Bids are due today for about $1 million in asbestos abatement work at the Skirvin Hotel, one of the biggest steps leading up to finalizing the sale of the downtown property in mid-2005, city officials said.
A contract will be awarded Jan. 18, with work to begin by February, said Brent Bryant, business manager for the Oklahoma City finance department.

The Skirvin was built in 1910 and closed in 1988. In mid-2002, the city of Oklahoma City bought the vacant building for $2.8 million, and in 2004 the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority granted the opportunity to develop the property to a group led by Irving, Texas-based Partners in Development, now working under the name Skirvin Partners LLC.

Developers plan to remake the building into a full-service Hilton Hotel while maintaining some sense of its historic charm. To get to that point, however, the building must first meet certain environmental standards, Bryant said. So in November, the Oklahoma City Council agreed to let Skirvin Partners begin asbestos abatement ahead of the sale.

"This is a unique project that requires - I guess I'd call it several 'baby steps' - because it's complicated," Bryant said.

The sale involves a loan by the city for up to $18.4 million that draws from federal funds for inner-city revival and a tax increment financing district. Skirvin Partners would pay back the loan over 15 years.

"You just have to take it one step at a time, and this is a major one," Bryant said. "Ö This will make the bank part of the deal move along a lot smoother.

"In the interim, though, we're still doing due diligence on working toward attaining the guaranteed maximum price we need," he said.

Joe Van Bullard, executive director of the Urban Renewal Authority, said, "A minute after the sale closes, they can definitely get in there and start rehabbing the structure."

Bullard said the hospitality industry seems to have finally recovered from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which also hurt the travel industry and sent ripples throughout the economy.

"And there are definitely more investors looking at hospitality-type projects, i.e. hotels, because the office market in most metropolitan cities and the multifamily housing markets are not very attractive right now," said Bullard. "So from an overall perspective, I think there is definitely an increase in interest in hotels, which can only help us."

Luke
01-11-2005, 04:27 AM
According to Mr. Lopez, the target opening date is still in '06. I am really excited about this hotel

metro
01-11-2005, 11:29 AM
indeed, Luke is right, supposively Jan or Feb. 06, Luke did you make it to our AEP meeting last night?

Luke
01-11-2005, 03:55 PM
I sure did, metro.

Looks like a great organization. I am definitely going to consider joining up.

Patrick
01-11-2005, 04:19 PM
I think we will all be a little more settled once the hotel is finally re-opened. Unfortunately, people are still a little bit skeptical because of all of the failures over the years. I'm not really skeptical, but of course I'm not 100% certain either. I just hope we finally found the right developer this time. The Skirvin is too pretty of a building to lose. Historic hotels seem to be a draw in other cities. Everytime I go to a different city, I try to stay in an older hotel. I often stay at Drury Inns because the Drury family has restored many historic buildings across the country. Awhile back we stayed at the Drury Inn San Antonio Riverwalk.....the building was gorgious.....was built originally as the Petroleum Commerce Building, and office building.......it ws built back in the 1920's. The Drury Family recently opened it as a hotel in the late 1990's after a few serious renovations.

Here are some pics:

http://media.expedia.com/hotels/1000000/420000/415700/415664/415664_10_b.jpg

http://media.expedia.com/hotels/1000000/420000/415700/415664/415664_4_b.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/73/c/dis_riv_riverbridge_web.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/73/c/dis_riv_lobby3_web.jpg
The lobby is just gorgious!

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/73/c/dis_riv_lobby_web.jpg


http://media.expedia.com/hotels/1000000/420000/415700/415664/415664_12_b.jpg
Because it'sa historic structure, all of the ceilings in the rooms are very high, making it feel like a much larger room.

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/73/c/dis_riv_riverboat_web.jpg


http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/73/c/dis_riv_quik_web.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/73/c/dis_riv_restaurant1_web.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/73/c/dis_riv_pool_web.jpg
They even added a pool on the roof.

Luke
01-11-2005, 04:48 PM
Beautiful hotel!

metro
01-11-2005, 09:08 PM
I'm pretty confident the Skirvin deal is good

Midtowner
01-11-2005, 11:29 PM
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0001UZZOU.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Patrick
01-12-2005, 12:13 AM
In St. Louis I've stayed at 2 different Drury's, both historic buildings. One is at Union Station the other at the arch. I'll post on them separately below! Too bad we couldn't get Drury to locate here. First National maybe?? They do such a ncie job converting old historic structures to hotel use. Maybe a nice Bricktown warehouse would be a good use? Drury Inn Bricktown!

Patrick
01-12-2005, 12:25 AM
This is the Drury Plaza Hotel at the arch. The building was built in 1919 and was a warehouse/office building.

Drury recently renovated the historic structure in the 1990's.

Here are some pics:

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/39/c/dph_stl_exterior_0801.JPG

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/39/c/dph_stl_hall_web.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/39/c/dph_stl_lobby_web.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/39/c/dph_stl_lobby2_web.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/39/c/dph_stl_mtg_web.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/39/c/dph_stl_archview_web.jpg

Patrick
01-12-2005, 12:29 AM
This was my absolute favorite....the Drury Inn Union Station, an old railroad warehouse re-invented into a hotel by the Drury family. The building was built in 1907. Hmmm....around the same time the Skirvin was built.

-----------
http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/41/c/UnionStation-DI.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/41/c/di_us_ext3_0404.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/41/c/di_us_ext4_0404.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/41/c/unionstation_photo1.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/41/c/di_us_lobby2_0404.jpg

http://www.druryhotels.com/i/p/41/c/di_us_quik_0404.jpg

Patrick
01-12-2005, 12:32 AM
I must admit, the historic Mayfair Hotel in St. Louis is not too shabby either. It was originally built as a hotel, unlike the others....it's been around since 1925.

I won't post the pics, but you can check out more at: http://www.wyndham.com/hotels/STLMF/main.wnt?aff=wyn02

Midtowner
01-12-2005, 06:48 AM
I'd rather see a Hyatt Regency locate downtown. Those hotels are always HUGE. I've stayed at the Dallas Regency when going to the OU-TX game, very nice. I also stayed in the St. Louis one last year for my fraternity's national convention. In both cases, the buildings were quite massive. The conference facilities were really second to none.

metro
01-12-2005, 08:42 AM
Asbestos fears ease for Skirvin

By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

The cost of removing asbestos from Oklahoma City's Skirvin Hotel -- once considered a potential deal breaker for its chance at reopening -- will be half the expected cost.
Also, city officials and the developer estimate that a closing on the property and start of construction will be delayed through April.

Three contractors on Tuesday submitted bids for the hotel's asbestos removal ranging between $365,996 and $421,410.

Oklahoma City officials budgeted $800,000 for the job, while the engineer, GMR & Associates, estimated the project would cost $1,195,840. That later estimate matched warnings by a contractor that worked on the building in the mid-1990s that asbestos removal would cost more than $1 million.

The hotel, on the National Register of Historic Places, closed in 1988 and has been empty since. The city bought the property three years ago for $2.875 million, and Skirvin Partners was chosen as redeveloper in 2003.

The $46.4 million redevelopment would include restoration of the original exterior finish, installation of historically accurate windows, reconfigured guest rooms and new guest elevators.

Assistant City Manager Cathy O'Connor, who is overseeing negotiations with Skirvin Partners, expects the hotel sale will be completed in April. The closing, originally scheduled for September, and then for this month, has been delayed twice.

"We are re-examining some of our options on financing of the project," O'Connor said. "We expect to present more information on this to the city council next week."

O'Connor said the changes include an opportunity to take advantage of new market federal tax credits made available through legislation authored last fall by Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Warr Acres.

John Weeman, the redevelopment team's lead partner, said Tuesday he expects design work to be 80 percent complete within the next two months. Flintco Construction, a partner in the project, built fencing around the property Friday.

"We're not dealing with anything that would be a deal breaker," Weeman said. "We expect to start construction immediately after closing."

HOT ROD
01-12-2005, 01:44 PM
Its about time I-Stook did something constructive for his constituents in Oklahoma City!

HOT ROD
01-12-2005, 01:46 PM
Its about time I-Stook did something constructive for his constituents in Oklahoma City!

Must be an election year!!!!!

Sooner&RiceGrad
01-12-2005, 05:36 PM
Craphead. All he does is tell the media what can and can't be financially done. Wasn't he the guy that said there was no money for the rerouting of the Crosstown Expressway?

Patrick
01-12-2005, 11:24 PM
He's actually raised half of the money for the Crosstown Expressway, but now he's telling the state they're responsible for the rest. Last time I checked, this is a FEDERAL highway.

Sooner&RiceGrad
01-12-2005, 11:26 PM
Well... 60 percent of it's traffic is OUT OF STATE.

I checked, no Engrish this time, lol.

Patrick
01-13-2005, 01:12 AM
I sure hope the closing date isn't delayed again. The longer the delays, the greater the chance of the developer pulling out! I guess if that happened though, we'd just go through the bidding process again. I'd rather get a solid developer than one that won't be able to stick with the project. So I suppose this is a good test for the developer. If Weeman stick with us through April, he'll probably see the project to completion.

Sooner&RiceGrad
01-13-2005, 08:32 PM
I have a question: What is the closing date expected to be? When will it open? My guess... 2008.

Patrick
01-13-2005, 09:01 PM
Closing date will be in April of 2005. The hotel should be complete and ready to open around Jan or Feb of 2006....that's the target date, but something is telling me it will take a little longer!

The deal was originally supposed to close in Sept. 2004, but it's been delayed because Weeman and Co. (Marcus Resorts) had to come up with a new primary investor. Also, asbestos removal is going to take longer than originally planned.

metro
01-19-2005, 12:04 PM
Tax credits help save on Skirvin

By Bryan Dean
The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City expects to save $5 million to $6 million on the redevelopment of the Skirvin Hotel thanks to federal tax credits, city officials said Tuesday.
The city council also learned Tuesday that a real estate management company has agreed to fill a hole in the team that is redeveloping the hotel after a previous partner in the $46.4 million plan dropped out of the deal.

The council agreed to pay $800,000 for consultants to help structure a deal that will take advantage of federal new markets tax credits.

City Manager Jim Couch said the savings from the tax credits will be $5 million to $6 million. City officials credited U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Warr Acres, for authoring legislation that will allow the city to use the tax credits.

"We hope that the financial benefit to the project will be significant," Assistant City Manager Cathy O'Connor said. "We hope to increase the amount of private equity that is in the deal and hopefully decrease the amount of public assistance financing that is necessary."

O'Connor, who is overseeing negotiations with the redevelopment team, said using the tax credits could delay closing on the property until late spring or early summer.

"We are trying to make every effort we can to make sure the hotel is reopened in the fall of 2006," O'Connor said. O'Connor also told the council that the new partner in the deal would help with the private financing of the deal.

Macfarlan Real Estate Investment Management, based in Dallas, replaces FaulknerUSA as an equity partner in the deal. Austin-based FaulknerUSA dropped out of the project in October.

John Weeman, a former Hilton executive who assembled the Skirvin development team, said Macfarlan's involvement bodes well for the success of the project.

"We think it's a great match," Weeman said. "We're happy to see them accept this assignment."

The development team also includes Weeman's Partners in Development and Marcus Hotels and Resorts.

A spokesman for Macfarlan declined to comment on the project.

The city has agreed to pay up to $18 million for its portion in the deal and will recoup that money if the hotel is successful.

The council also awarded a $378,354 contract Tuesday to Envirnonmental Action Inc. for removing asbestos from the Skirvin. The cost of the contract was well below the $1 million engineer's estimate.

"It's all good news for the Skirvin today," Weeman said.

Patrick
01-19-2005, 03:28 PM
Every little savigs helps this project reach completion. I'm just happy that Weeman was able to find a replacement for the main investor.

floater
01-19-2005, 03:52 PM
There is so much working going on to save the Skirvin, it will be no small victory to see it restored to its former glory. This is one of the most romantic things I have ever seen a city do.

Luke
01-19-2005, 07:44 PM
No kidding, floater. While some taxpayers, I'm sure, are miffed. I'm very pleased that a jewel like that is being saved from the wrecking ball.