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February 22, 2019, 12:46:10 pm
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Author Topic: Encouraging news for Skelly Building, 8/6/04  (Read 4951 times)
« on: August 06, 2004, 03:23:33 pm »

As has been suggested, I wanted to fill everyone in on some recent developments concerning the Skelly Building. They are encouraging.

I'm going to be intentionally vague here to protect the parties involved, so please bear with me on that point.

A private group here in Tulsa is currently putting together a proposal to purchase the Skelly Building from the Tulsa World. This group firmly believes the Skelly can be a viable, profitable residential project and has the real-world experience to back up that belief.

More importantly, this group has identified funding sources to make this project a reality. These are not "wishful thinking" sources - these sources are a reality and the Skelly qualifies for this funding.

So as not to tip the hand of this group, I won't outline all the funding sources, but one verified source is the 10% Federal Investment historic tax credit available for the rehabilation of buildings constructed prior to 1936 that are not certified historic structures (which the Skelly is not, thanks to extensive alterations over the years). This is just one of 4-5 tax credit funding sources available for the project.

The goal of this group is to gain an audience with the powers that be at the World to pitch their proposal. Should the World accept this group's offer, they would:

1) Be able to remove the Skelly from their books. It has been costing the World as much as $100k a year in taxes and maintenance on the property.

2) Save the approximately $250k they would have spent to tear down the Skelly and pave the lot.

3) Put a nice sum of money in their pocket.

4) Most likely still end up with parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of their offices.

Not a bad deal to get your parking, earn some revenue, eliminate long-term annual fixed costs, and preserve a piece of Tulsa history all at the same time.

The plan would be to rehab the Skelly as a mixed-use property with both retail and housing. The housing would be specifically targeted to young professionals right out of college -- exactly the type of tenent the city wants to bring downtown.

Here's all the World needs to be willing to do:

1) Delay the demolition of the Skelly Building and...

2) Give this group an audience to hear their proposal. Should the World find the proposal favorable...

3) Sell the building for a fair level of  compensation. We know the exact county assessment of the property and this group wants the World to be fairly compensated. (Remember, they would have to SPEND money to tear down the Skelly.)

So what can we do to help? Stay tuned, and I'll pass that along as the process unfolds. One thing you can do is come out to the Wednesday lunchtime protests. My contact assures me that the protests have raised awareness in town and gotten the right people talking.

In summary, a plan has been developed, one that would be financially advantageous to the Tulsa World. We simply need for the World to listen to the proposal.
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