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Historical landmark ‘Stage Center’ nears demolition

OKLAHOMA CITY – The end of the Stage Center could be near.

Tuesday, crews began installing a fence which will surround the property during demolition.

The fencing permit was pulled more than a week ago.

While there is no wrecking ball or bulldozer on the property yet, the fence posts are the first signs the building is about to go away.

Jeff Heinze, with the City of Oklahoma City, said, “They’ve been through all the downtown review process it takes before tearing it down.”

While many people love the building and the history behind it, others aren’t so sad to see it go.

Arthur Vannoy, a metro resident, said, “I think it needs to be torn down. It’s an eye sore.”

Heinze said, “I think it will be soon just because of the way they are mobilizing over there.”

However, city officials say a demolition permit has not yet been issued.

The company behind the project, Kestrel Investments, sent us a statement saying, “Perimeter fencing is going up around Stage Center, and we are nearing a timeline for starting demolition. We do not have final dates in place for demolition, but we will keep the public informed. We are currently working to hire an architect who will develop the site and building plans. We have a unique opportunity to transform this important site into an exciting, active part of downtown, and we look forward to getting started.”

Heinze said, “Basically, they are just waiting on a demolition contractor to come and pull the permit to demolish.”

City officials say that process is pretty simple. As long as the contractor has worked with the utility companies and the city the approval for demolition can be done within a matter of minutes.

Heinze said, “It’s pretty quick if they have all their ducks in a row.”

A sign of progress which some believe will keep this city moving forward.

Vannoy said, “It’ll just be another tower, which isn’t the most beautiful thing in the world, but it will bring work.”

The city says as far as they know the demolition will not impact traffic in the area.

The Stage Center has been a part of the downtown landscape since 1970.