Oklahoma City (OKC) has been flying under the radar for quite some time. While the big boys may look at OKC as a secondary market, the city has made a name for itself. With record low unemployment and strong industries such as energy, military, education, and entertainment, OKC has created a diversified economy that was barely affected by the Great Recession. In fact, OKC was practically the only city in the US during the recession to deliver a major skyscraper, and this one was 52 stories!
Metropolitan Capital Advisors (MCA) has been doing business in Oklahoma since the early 90’s. MCA has recently completed assignments for one of the most prolific office/industrial developers in Oklahoma City along with one of the largest apartment owners in Tulsa. Our firm has raised capital to fund the acquisitions, rehabilitation projects, ground up construction, permanent debt, and joint ventures across the state.
Last week, MCA attended the American Heart Association Ball fundraiser partly to celebrate our recent success. We stayed at the Hilton Skirvin, a newly-renovated hotel that was originally constructed in 1912. To our surprise, the entire block surrounding the hotel was full of entertainment and businesses that could match any major city. From bars and restaurants to museums and sport venues, downtown OKC has it all. OKC has spent millions in redeveloping downtown, which has led to the revival of Bricktown along with the expansion of the arts, including Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which featured a permanently-installed Dale Chihuly Glass Exhibit.
The introduction of the OKC Thunder Basketball Team marked the beginning of a rebirth and renaissance of OKC. One cannot list all the new developments in OKC, but the 52-story Devon Energy Center sums it up. The 1.8 MM SF tower was completed in October 2012 at an estimated cost of $750 mm. This has been the epicenter of the “core to the shore” project promoted by the City, which involves the redevelopment of 750 acres of underutilized land between the downtown core and the shoreline of the Oklahoma River. Efforts are now underway to build and connect a series of neighborhoods, parks, and economic opportunities that will lead to new jobs and a higher quality of life. The City plans to build a 40-acre park that will mimic the Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, along with a new Convention Center/Hotel complex.
MCA does not view the Red River as a border; we view our neighbors to the north as an opportunity. MCA has worked on a myriad of projects in OKC and throughout the state by raising funds across the entire capital stack. In 2012 alone, MCA closed four transactions totaling $117,235,000 including the following:
DSB Portfolio – a 16-property industrial portfolio totaling 500,000 SF. MCA refinanced the portfolio through a Wall Street Conduit for $17.6 mm.
Boeing Regional Office Campus – a 3-building office complex totaling 530,000 SF. MCA refinanced the property through a Wall Street Conduit for $63 mm.
Hilton Garden Inn (Lawton, OK) – Funded a 200-room hotel development for $15.68 mm.. This included working with the city to fund New Market Tax Credits to help facilitate the completion of the project.
MCA was successful in attracting national and international lenders to these transactions primarily because OKC has a terrific economic engine combined with strong real estate fundamentals. Our firm expects the story in OKC to get even better, and we are actively pursuing a number of new financing transactions throughout the State of Oklahoma.
Although Texas is our back yard (and Oklahoma is our closest neighbor), our firm is adept at following our Clients to other markets, and we are always interested in learning more about commercial real estate opportunities in other states. During 2012, for example, MCA closed transactions in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, and North Carolina.
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