SandRidge OK to demolish three downtown buildings

At Thursday’s Oklahoma City Board of Adjustment meeting to consider Preservation Oklahoma’s appeal to deny SandRidge Energy Corp.’s plans to raze five downtown buildings, the energy company’s lawyer told board members the plan proposed should be upheld.  

SandRidge attorney Frank Hill said that the company’s future home could be in committee members hands if all the buildings were not approved for demolition so SandRidge could begin work on its downtown campus.

“SandRidge will have to consider whether, frankly, downtown Oklahoma City is the right place for its corporate headquarters,” Hill told board members.

The original plan ” previously approved by the Downtown Design Review Committee ” called for the demolition of five buildings; the construction of at least one new building; and the restoration of the former Braniff Building, which is listed on the National Historic Register, and restoration of the former Kerr-McGee tower, now occupied by SandRidge.

The three board members present for the hearing decided to vote on the buildings individually after lengthy comments and testimony from preservation officials, SandRidge’s attorney and its architect, Rob Rogers.

SandRidge officials questioned the board’s ability to vote on the buildings individually. David Wanzer, a member of the board, said they did have the right.

“For the record, I do think we have the right to take these individually, based on the way our ordinance is written,” Wanzer said.

Rogers pointed out that board members were not in agreement which buildings were the most important. When it came time to vote, two items were continued.

Board members agreed to uphold the DDRC’s decision to demolish 120 Robert S. Kerr, as well as 125 Robert S. Kerr and 135 Robert S. Kerr. The former India Temple building, 107 Robert S. Kerr, was continued on a 2-1 vote, and for lack of a second, 300 N. Robinson  also was continued.

At the conclusion of the meeting, SandRidge Vice President of Administration Marsha N. Wooden declined to comment. “Kelley Chambers

picture Rendering of the proposed Sandridge Commons at night.

Gazette Staff

This article was written by the Oklahoma Gazette staff. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story headline in your subject line.

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