Committee approves demolition of one of OKC’s most unique buildings

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OKLAHOMA CITY - One of downtown Oklahoma City’s most unique buildings is about to meet the wrecking ball.

The Downtown Design Review Committee voted Thursday to approve demolition of the Stage Center building.

"The building had an interesting place in history, but for many years it has been abandoned since 2010," said the building's owner Rainey Williams.

Williams points out several studies tried to find ways to reuse the building with its unique pod style layout, but few options emerged.

That led Downtown Design board member Gigi Faulkner to cast the deciding vote to tear the building down."Efforts have been made to find viable occupants," said Faulkner.  "They have not come forward." "We'd be better off as a city if we distinguished ourselves with unique buildings like the Stage Center," said critic Leslie Batchelor.

Batchelor unsuccessfully opposed the demolition, which now paves the way to build a new corporate office tower for OG&E as well as a possible new hotel.

"What was proposed is great development, but we'd be better off as a city if we steered it to one of the empty spaces we have," said Batchelor.

"We look forward to getting started with what we promised to build, which is a world-class headquarters for OG&E," said Williams.

That would pave the way for construction on the new buildings to begin in 2015.

The work would then take approximately a year and a half to complete.

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