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Tulsa's big downtown real estate deal

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This is huge for Tulsa 15 buildings, 1.7 million sq ft purchased. Over 20% of the space in downtown. Plans are to redo the buildings, some will remain office space, some space will be retail and others residential. The plan is to copy SoHo in New York. Two large office buildings are included, the 41 floor First Place Tower and the 32 floor Bank of America building. Most of the rest are smaller but significant art-deco buildings.

Full Tulsa World Article from http://news.pajamasmedia.com/politi...nians_hav.shtml

Californians have big stake in downtown Tulsa: The investors' recent acquisitions bring their ownership to more than 20 percent of downtown building space

Dec. 17, 2005 (Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News delivered by Newstex) --

Dec. 17--Two California investors who purchased five buildings in downtown Tulsa earlier this year have added or are in the process of adding 10 more to their portfolio.

Maurice Kanbar and Henry Kaufman paid $61.5 million for 1.4 million square feet of space within the 10 buildings in recent months, said Ray Feldman, a Tulsa lawyer who represents the two men.

Last summer, they acquired 293,000 square feet of downtown space for $9.4 million.

The combined purchases total $70.9 million and bump the men's stake in downtown Tulsa to nearly 1.7 million square feet -- more than 20 percent of the total 8.1 million square feet of building space downtown, said Paul Williams of CB Richard Ellis (NYSE:CBG) Oklahoma.

The new acquisitions include the 41-story, 624,000-square-foot First Place Tower at 15 E. Fifth St. and the 32-story, 287,000-square-foot Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Center at 15 W. Sixth St., Feldman said.

They are also under contract to purchase the 14-story, 118,000-square-foot Petroleum Club Building at 601 S. Boulder Ave.

Jim Norton, president of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited, said Kanbar and Kaufman plan to spend an undisclosed amount of money to renovate the buildings in an effort to bring round-the-clock commerce and entertainment to the area.

"It's a very positive sign that we have outside investors coming in and buying all these buildings," Norton said. "It's a good opportunity to have someone with an outside perspective come in and develop a comprehensive strategy for moving forward."

Norton said Kanbar and Kaufman are hoping to purchase even more downtown buildings.

Tulsa Metro Chamber President Jay Clemens said the purchases are part of a trend toward out-of-state investment in Tulsa.

"There continues to be a significant interest in real estate investment in our community," he said in a statement. "This investment and the quantity in properties is a very strong signal that investors recognize the potential of Vision 2025 projects and is really spurring interest.

"This is a great example of people wanting to see Tulsa move forward."

Tax stamps for First Place Tower indicate a sale price of more than $38 million. Tulsa County has assessed the market value of First Place at just $8.14 million.

Tulsa County records show that Kanbar and Kaufman paid about $14.4 million for the Bank of America Center, though the property has a market value of $9.2 million.

The McBirney and Cordell buildings at 417 and 419 S. Main St., respectively, each with three stories and 6,000 square feet, as well as the Enterprise Building, 522 S. Boston Ave, which has nine stories and 130,000 square feet, were jointly purchased for about $1 million.

The six-story, 80,000-square-foot Avanti Building at 810 S. Cincinnati Ave. was sold to the Californians for $2.4 million, said Doug Bauer of Bauer & Associates, the firm that handled the transaction.

One Main Plaza and Two Main Plaza, each three-story, 32,000-square-foot buildings at 610 and 616 S. Main St., respectively, sold for a combined $1.7 million.

201 Building, 201 W. Fifth St., a six-story, 74,300-square foot structure, sold for $4 million, revenue stamps show.

Feldman said all of these buildings were purchased by Kanbar and Kaufman, though the deeds for each building list several ownership entities.

Last summer, the two men spent an estimated $9.4 million to purchase the Adams Building, 403 S. Cheyenne Ave.; the Oil Capital Building, 507 S. Main St.; the Pythian Building, 423 S. Boulder Ave.; the Secure Agent Building, 111 W. Fifth St.; and Two West Sixth Street, which also has been known as the Public Service of Oklahoma Building and the Transok Building.

These five purchases were all made under the name Kanbar Spirits Inc.

Feldman said his clients have developed an attachment to Tulsa that goes beyond property deeds.

"They're of the opinion that Tulsa is a lovely city," he said. "Henry has said he's fallen in love with it."

Much of Kaufman's inspiration for downtown Tulsa comes from New York's SoHo area, which went from being largely shuttered and decrepit to a thriving arts district, Feldman said.

Kaufman believes "the energy came from the move-in of artists, galleries, entertainers and people who followed the opportunities to go to places of interest," Feldman said.

Part of the desire to invest in downtown Tulsa came from the voter passage of the Vision 2025 sales tax package, he said.

Feldman said Kanbar and Kaufman plan to make a financial investment in every building in their portfolio.

Kaufman has met with members of DTU, as well as other downtown building owners, real estate experts and city civic organizations to gather suggestions for possible uses for the buildings that would fit in with an overall downtown revival, Feldman said.

"His idea is to create a synergy between art, housing and retail as well as office space," Williams said.

He said Kaufman feels art should be a major component of downtown and is considering the establishment of an art museum on the ground floor of one of the buildings.

The plans for the downtown buildings have raised the hopes of many in the local real estate industry, Williams said.

"If this all comes off, this would be a major revitalization of downtown," he said.

------------

Investor's personal portfolio is wide-ranging San Francisco resident Maurice Kanbar isn't just a real estate mogul. Over the years, he's become a philanthropist, inventor, writer and Hollywood producer.

According to information from his book, "Secrets from an Investor's Notebook," he holds 36 patents. The first was for the D-Fuzz-It Sweater Comb, which re moves lint from sweaters. Subsequent creations include New York's first multiplex, the Quad Cinema, Tangoes puzzle game and several medical devices.

But Kanbar's most nationally recognizable creation is Skyy Vodka. In his book, he credits an after-dinner hangover for the inspiration to formulate a liquor with as many impurities re moved as possible. It is now the nation's No. 2-selling premium vodka, behind Absolut Vodka.

More recently, Kanbar took his first step into moviemaking by producing the animated film "Hoodwinked," which was co-written and co-directed by former Tulsans Cory and Todd Edwards and Tony Leach. The film premiered in Tulsa this week and will enter wider distribution in January.

Kanbar has donated millions of dollars to the School of Arts at New York University, which hosts the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. He recently gave $6 million to his alma mater, Philadelphia University, for the construction of a new campus center.

Newstex ID: KRTB-0205-6704750

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Interesting, a developer from CA bought up two blocks in the heart of Little Rock's downtown with a similar plan for a mixed-use upscale urban village, converting from 100% office space. The buildings are smaller and two of them are 12 and 15 stories but date to the 1920s. Tulsa's a great town and I'm glad to see downtown there doing well, there are a lot of similarities between LR and Tulsa.

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Maurice Kanbar has bought three more Tulsa buildings, The Atlas Life, Amoco South and Philcade buildings. This bring the total to 18 buildings, all in the core of downtown, with a total space of 2.25 million sq ft of space for a price of over $100 million. Kanbar now owns over 28% of downtown Tulsa. Tulsa

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Maurice Kanbar has bought three more Tulsa buildings, The Atlas Life, Amoco South and Philcade buildings. This bring the total to 18 buildings, all in the core of downtown, with a total space of 2.25 million sq ft of space for a price of over $100 million. Kanbar now owns over 28% of downtown Tulsa. Tulsa

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Maurice Kanbar has bought three more Tulsa buildings, The Atlas Life, Amoco South and Philcade buildings. This bring the total to 18 buildings, all in the core of downtown, with a total space of 2.25 million sq ft of space for a price of over $100 million. Kanbar now owns over 28% of downtown Tulsa. Tulsa

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Tulsa's Skyline is greatly underestimated. I've seen it before, and comparing it to say Wichita, and other cities around it's size, it's amazing.

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chicago based trizec properties just bought williams centers 1 and 2 for 42.5 mill.

overall office vacancy for dt tulsa for '05 was 26.3%

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chicago based trizec properties just bought williams centers 1 and 2 for 42.5 mill.

overall office vacancy for dt tulsa for '05 was 26.3%

Trizec just SOLD the Williams 1 & 2 Buildings to a local based partnership.

And the latest vacancy numbers I could find for downtown show a rate of 18.26% in the CBD at midyear 2005.

http://www.cbreok.com/Portals/423984a1-10b...rketViewREV.pdf

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