- Associated Press - Sunday, November 22, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A development team making headway around the city is going to tear down one of the buildings it purchased this summer.

The former Herman’s Seafood restaurant will be demolished, said Jonathan Dodson, a partner in the firm The Pivot Project. His partner Ben Sellers said the 1.1-acre site is being studied for a mixed-use, multifamily development. He said it will fit in with the neighborhood. David Wanzer is the third member of The Pivot Project team.

Sellers said the demolition has been a point of contention with Dodson and his son, who wanted to save the building that dates back to 1949.

“We’re saving a lot of historic buildings, but that won’t be one of them,” Dodson said.

Dodson and Sellers spoke Thursday at the Commercial Real Estate Council luncheon about other buildings the team is saving and refurbishing.

The Journal Record (https://bit.ly/1jafoau ) reports that Pivot Project is in the middle of renovating the Tower Theatre. In October 2014, the team purchased the theater and some surrounding retail spaces, totaling 30,000 square feet. Dodson said 4,400 square feet of retail space and 3,000 square feet of second floor office are still available.

“All the leases have been at 20 percent higher than what we were underwriting a year ago,” Sellers said.

Levelland Productions has a 15-year lease on the former theater and a two-story spot east of the auditorium for the Savings and Loan cocktail bar. The bar will open in December, Dodson said. The theater is expected to open in early 2016. There is another bar planned for the west side of the development, but few details were given about that project.

Like many historic renovation projects, the developers have come across unexpected challenges. Sellers said the surprise in this development was the cost for restoring the Tower Theatre sign, which had a price tag of $85,000.

Sellers and Dodson also discussed the Sunshine Cleaners building. It will house a restaurant and a brewery with a taproom. Joel Irby, a Colorado brewer that is originally from the area, will run the bar.

“He is preparing the taproom with the anticipation that state (liquor) laws will change,” Sellers said.

The restaurant is a separate business from the brewery and taproom.

“We also bought a boat,” Sellers said, pointing out a projected photo that showed a boat that was included in the sale sitting in the non-roofed building.

The building has windows along one street. The dividing wall between the restaurant and brewery will have similar windows, which will allow people to see into the restaurant and also view the brewery. Work on the Sunshine Cleaners building won’t start until 2016.


Information from: The Journal Record, https://www.journalrecord.com

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