By Betty Jane Harvey
Journal Record Staff Reporter
The Internal Revenue Service has started consolidating more than 655 employees into its new office downtown.
An open house has been scheduled Thursday for the new 10-story, 200,000-square-foot Internal Revenue Service Office Building at 55 N. Robinson Ave. with a dedication ceremony planned at 4:30 p.m.
It is the largest downtown office construction project since Leadership Square was completed with 713,699 square feet at 211 N. Robinson Ave. in 1984.
The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Now, Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, Rees Associates Inc. and Ultra One Inc. both of Oklahoma City and Second Century Inc. are involved in the dedication of the $14 million structure. The open house is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
Construction began on the building in October 1991, and finished one week behind schedule, said Mark Harris, president of Harris Developments Inc. and Ultra One Inc. Ultra One, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris Developments, is the owner and developer of the project.
Yordi, Smith and Pickel Construction Inc. of Oklahoma City was the general contractor.
"We are very pleased with the building, the location and the quality of the space," said David Stell, IRS public affairs officer.
IRS has occupied two floors of the building so far in a phased occupancy project set to be complete in March 1993, Stell said. IRS is expected to consolidate all five of its Oklahoma City operations into a single location. More than 655 IRS employees are to move into the new building, he said.
The IRS is expected to occupy about 160,000 square feet in the new building, and the rest is public space. Some of the public space has been reserved for a snack bar that is to be operated by the League for the Blind.
In its five locations the agency occupied a total of about 150,000 square feet.
There are about 350 employees at Lakepointe Towers, 4005 and 4013 Northwest Expressway; 225 employees at IRS' Oklahoma City headquarters in the United States Federal Courthouse building, 200 NW 4th St.; 70 employees at the 500 W. …