Tulsa bank helping fill up downtown office space

Monday, February 9th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If you start counting the "space available" signs and the "for lease" sign in downtown Tulsa, you're liable to lose count after the first dozen.

It's an area that's been hard-hit by vacancies. But as News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg tells us, a bank is bringing a fresh new spirit to downtown.

Spirit Bank is in the midst of renovating the old Mapco Building at 18th and Baltimore. And President "Kell" Kelly thinks it's a great spot on the map. "It's very easy to get to virtually any place in Tulsa quickly from that spot from our standpoint; we're a bank that operates both in the Tulsa area and in the rural areas."

Though downtown, it overlooks what is probably the largest green space, Veterans Park, which is a nice attraction for tenants. Besides Spirit Bank, a number of different law firms and professional service companies will take up space in the building. The remarkable thing is that the building is nearly 100% leased, even though it's not even finished yet, at a time when downtown has struggled mightily to fill office space.

On some floors, renovations are extensive, while on others, it's mostly aesthetic. Kelly says structurally, the building is very solid and thanks to previous high-tech tenants like Williams, there weren't many upgrades needed in that area either. As for the whole area, he thinks downtown will bounce back. "I hope that that's something that in a few years we will be validated in the fact that what we've done the vacancy signs that you've referred to will go away in the rest of Tulsa and we'll see vibrancy and recovery that we think will be there."

And hopefully the downtown downturn is over.