- Cathy O'Connor
first national closer to renovation
It has been a long, circuitous path to get the First National Center in the hands of owners who will properly restore the grand building, but it is finally going to happen.
The sale of the art deco building is expected to close this week. For $23 million, local developers Gary Brooks and his partner Charlie Nicholas will be the owners of a part of Oklahoma City history, and begin to realize and implement their vision to honor the past and put the spaces back to use.
The First National Center will be a mix of a 149-room hotel, 210 apartments, two restaurants and 35,000 square feet of retail, commercial and event space. Residents will enjoy spectacular amenities such as a concierge, rooftop pool and dog-park, outdoor kitchens and a theater. The Great Hall on the second floor will be restored to its former elegance and open for public use, serving as a hotel lobby and a museum.
This project is more than a development – it is a labor of love. Brooks’ development team has looked at more than 100 case studies of similar projects around the country and gone on dozens of site visits to research the best process for preserving historical significance, while integrating new and updated infrastructure and living space. Once purchased, he expects it will take nearly a year to complete the design drawings and specifications before he can start actual renovations, estimated at $200 million.
Read full article in The Journal Record.