Precision Builders is bringing two new projects to Norman provide both retail and Class A office facilities - Norman Tower and Madison Square. Norman Tower will be among the tallest buildings in Norman, with 14-plus stories at the northwest corner of West Lindsey and Interstate 35, overlooking the South Canadian River. "We wanted it to be taller than the weather center," said Sassan Moghadam, president of Precision Builders. The 350,000-square-foot Norman Tower will cost about $50 million.
The first and second floors will have a restaurant overlooking the water feature just outside the patio. A bridge will lead over the water into the property. The designers have worked to create an attractive place for both business and convenient living.
"We want to preserve as many of the great trees on the land as we can," Moghadam said. "There are some beautiful, tall trees there."
The first and second floors will have some retail as well as the restaurant. The four top floors will be sold as condominiums, or lofts. Those will provide corporate clients with a place for their visiting executives and will serve as a home for some who come for longer periods, which is something not currently offered in Norman. The lofts will be accessible through a separate lobby. Norman Tower will also have an attached four-story parking garage with a helipad on the roof.
"A swimming pool and a private clubhouse with a physical fitness center for the lofts will be on top of the 14th floor," Moghadam said. "So the clubhouse actually makes it 15 stories, doesn't it?"
Class A offices, which are in short supply in Norman, will take up the other eight floors of Norman Tower.
"With the way the university is growing, the weather center, the big casino, the MG plant, and other corporations close to Norman, we feel we could tap into a market for high-end office space that right now is not being presented here," Moghadam said.
Spear and McCaleb of Oklahoma City is the civil engineering firm for Norman Tower, making it responsible for the design. It is currently seeing to the rezoning and platting. The Garret Moore Company of Dallas is doing the architectural work. Garret Moore is also the co-developer with Precision Builders. Eric Fleske with Equity Realty will be in charge of marketing and property management for the building.
"We are hoping to break ground by mid-'07 and anticipate one year construction time," Moghadam said. "And we expect to be moving people into the lofts by mid-year, 2008."
Madison Square Madison Square will sit at the corner of Hemphill Drive and NW 24th Avenue. The two-story, $15 million project will offer 100,000 square feet of office and retail space. It will have valuable exposure on the very busy 24th Avenue. Space will be divided into about 45,000 square feet of offices and 55,000 of retail. The size of the condo-offices will vary, depending on tenant requirements.
"Madison Square will provide an affordable yet unique location for small office users," said Moghadam. "If you have a small business and want to own your own space, there is nowhere to go to in Norman. You would have to make a larger investment to buy an office lot, build a larger building and try to lease out the balance in order to come out OK.
"There is a 3-percent vacancy rate in Norman, and a real need for office ownership of different sizes," Moghadam said.
Retailers to whom visibility and accessibility are important should like the location, between two big retailers: Wal-Mart and Lowe's.
"Even now before all the stores go into University North Park, Main and 24th is the busiest intersection in Cleveland County," said Moghadam. "And 24th and Robinson is the third or fourth busiest. The traffic flow will keep increasing with all the development along Robinson and carry the traffic from Main to 24th and Robinson into University North Park."