• Kenton Tsoodle

Exciting expansion in downtown OKC


New development and investment in and around the central business district hasn’t slowed down. This year has seen a record number of new projects and unique developments in the urban core. JRB Citizen LLC, a group of investors led by managing partner Bond Payne, will be breaking ground in late 2022 on an exciting project called the Citizen just across the street from the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

The new, 12-story building will be constructed on the undeveloped northeast corner of Robinson Avenue and Fifth Street and will include 160,000 square feet of multi-use office space.

The project received support from the Downtown TIF and the Industrial and Cultural Facilities Trust and is in process of securing a $750,000 Murrah Economic Development Revolving Loan with the city. The amounts are relatively small in comparison to the $70 million total cost of the project.

The design is noteworthy. The clean, contemporary façade was carefully designed to be deferential to the site of the memorial. The design by architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris complements the symbolism and architecture of the Oklahoma City Memorial. The architects worked closely with memorial leadership to gain buy-in and support, giving attention to many important details, including siting the building footprint to avoid casting a shadow and blocking sunlight to the Survivor Tree as well as incorporating square windows on the exterior that echo the squares of the former Journal Record Building.

The building is already 75% leased, as many of the development partners have interest in downtown office space. The developers are contemplating a variety of non-office uses, including retail, restaurant and hospitality.

It’s especially gratifying when Oklahoma City businesses expand here. Every year, Oklahoma City rakes in awards and recognition for being business-friendly. We have no unnecessary hurdles and have become known for city departments that collaborate, a supportive business climate and economic development policies and tools that incentivize the types of development we need for sustained growth. Our commitment to accountability and responsiveness in development is reflected in the continued growth and development across the city and I’m pleased with the thoughtful approach and vetting of a new development that will create more momentum in this area of downtown while honoring the design, purpose and symbolism of our sacred national memorial.

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