View Full Version : Ideas For A New Signature Office Tower Downtown

07-15-2004, 09:40 AM
Although OKlahoma City's tallest building, Bank One Tower, has undergone interior renovations to bring the building into the 21st Century, I feel that Oklahoma City needs a new signature skyscraper. While Bank One Tower, soon to be called Chase Tower, is considered Class A office space, and is very effecient for its tennants, its architectural style is not that attractive.

Bank One Tower's simple, square International style of architecture doesn't contribute to Oklahoma City's skyline the way it once did. As other cities develop new highrise office towers with many beautiful and appealing exteriors, Bank One is become less significant.

I would like to see a 50 or 60 story tower added to Oklahoma City's skyline, perhaps office and residential mixed, sporting an art deco or Italian renaissance exterior, with such beauty that everyone passing through Oklahoma City has to take at least one or two pictures before leaving. The new tower would add inspiration to our skyline. I hope to see that happen soon one day.

On another note, the First National Tower is losing its splendor as well. I don't think that its owners will ever be able to attract new tennants without a major overhaul of the building. If they think they can fill the vacancies, they are dreaming. From what I remember, most of the offices are very small and enclosed. It would do the building's owners a lot of good to create a lot of open space on the 32 story tower. But at this point, it looks like they are not willing to invest in the property. If the owners can't do that, I suggest they sell it to someone who will.

I would like to hear other comments or ideas to expand Oklahoma City's skyline.

07-15-2004, 11:58 AM
Hmmmm. I didn't realize Bank One Tower's name was changing again. Is it being named after the mortgage/banking company Chase?

I agree that is' architectural style isn't attractive. Most of the newer skyscrapers downtown have a typical 1980's box look. The only unique newer one down there is Leadership Square.

I also would like to see a new office tower added downtown, but I guess the one thing holding that back are downtown office space vacancies. In 2003 alone, the vacancy rate in the CBD incrased from 27.6% to 30.6%. But one improvement was in Class A space. It's vacany decreased from 34.6% to 23.6%. One thing to point out though, is that the increase in the CBD's vacancy rates came about because of the relocation of the Sonic headquarters, primarily.

First National alone has a vacany rate of 68%, which has increased from 2000 by about 7 points. I agree wholeheartledly that until the owners of First National pour some money into renovations, they're going to continue to have a hard time leasing space. That's a shame, because I think it's probably one of OKC's most attractive's always reminded me of a miniature Empire State Building.

Here's the office market summary for the end of 2003 (latest one released) if you'd like to take a look:

In regards to our skyline....well, I think it's unique the way it is now. Every building is quite different in appearance, and every building seems to have a different color. This can't be said about Tulsa's skyline which is dominated by square box-type skyscrapers and whites and light grays in color.

But, I do think it's time for a new Class A office tower downtown. Something other than the typical square box building. Just look at the office tower designs for the World Trade Center site....they look very modernistic. If only we could move all of our outlying skyscrapers downtown, i.e., The Tower, 50 Penn Place, Citizens Tower, Union Tower (3030 NW Expressway), United Founders Tower, etc.
I think maybe a round skyscraper like United Founders Tower would add a unique shape to our skyline. I know taking a loot at Dallas's skyline, they have several unique looking skyscrapers.