23rd Street Armory building gets new ownership from Oklahoma brewery

OKLAHOMA CITY - The 23rd Street Armory building in northeast Oklahoma City has a new owner.

The Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced on Tuesday Coop Ale Works as the new owner after the building went up for sale in late 2017. The 87,000 total square feet of space will have a 22-room boutique hotel, restaurant and brewery.

It's been a months-long process that will transform the old building into a craft brewery.

The old 23rd Street Armory building used to be home to the Oklahoma National Guard for decades.

The folks who built the armory building in the late 30s probably couldn't have imagined what it would become 90 years later.

The state put out a request for a proposal late last year. Coop Ale Works jumped at the opportunity becoming two of the three bids presented.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time that we've sold a state building in the Capitol complex that will be used for retail and restaurant and hotel,” Shelley Zumwalt, Director of Public Affairs for Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said.

A committee chose Coop Ale Works to take over the facility based on several factors.

"What were they going to do with the building? Were they going to tear it down? Were they going to revitalize it?" Zumwalt said.

While they bought it from the state for $600,000, they plan to invest $20 million to restore the facility.

"Generations of soldiers have been on this floor here, I think, is important to remember as we redevelop this into a brewery and a restaurant and a hotel, we have to honor the legacy of the building," Sean Mossman, Director of Sales and Marketing, said.

Coop Ale Works started their craft brewery business in 2009.

Since then, they've outgrown two previous facilities. Something they credit to recent brewery laws that have passed. One, allowing them to have a taproom at their brewery.

"Now that we have that ability, we've grown significantly in the last couple of years and we're really busting at the seams at our current facility, so this opportunity couldn't come fast enough for us," Mossman said.

They say it will bring jobs to the city, money to the area and cater to visitors looking for a unique place to stay.

This is the third facility for Coop Ale Works and the co-owner says they plan to expand their products. They currently distribute to six states, including Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.

Coop Ale Works will take ownership from the state in September.

It will be two years before it's complete.

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