Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wiggin Takes Wraps off $30M Mayo 420 Building in Tulsa

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wiggin Takes Wraps off $30M Mayo 420 Building in Tulsa

Article excerpt

Within the next week, Wiggin Properties hopes to start signing leases on its 67-unit Mayo 420 Building, finishing its $30 million renovation of the downtown Tulsa office building by early April.

"We've started doing some tours," said Wiggin Vice President Emily Rohleder. "We've got some people interested."

Those units across floors three through 10 provide a near-even mix of one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 650 to 2,000 square feet. Rohleder expects lease rates to range from $1.19 to $1.30 per square foot, or about $773 to $2,600 a month.

Wiggin's progress marks another advance in the chicken-and-egg problem of downtown Tulsa residential options. Rohleder remains optimistic about their leasing options, pointing to the early success the Mayo Hotel and Residences enjoyed last fall with its 76 apartments, leasing 60 almost immediately.

That was achieved even as Tulsa apartment vacancy rates rose to 9.5 percent last year from 8 percent in 2008, according to the latest report by David Forrest with CB Richard Ellis of Oklahoma. That report showed Tulsa apartment rental rates dropping 2.5 percent last year, averaging from $462 for a one-bedroom unit to $631 for two bedrooms/two baths.

Some analysts attributed the Mayo Hotel's early apartment success to its small inventory and unique hotel services, providing hedges against the recession. Analyst Darla Knight said the Mayo 420's similar size and niche appeal could help it find a similar audience.

"I think they really need to focus their advertising dollars on identifying who those people are and where that market it is," said Knight, the Tulsa representative for the Norman-based multifamily brokerage Commercial Realty Resources Co. " I think they should lease up OK, given the size of it."

Wiggin boasts a couple of strong attractions in Billy's Restaurant, which remained open through the restoration effort, and the YMCA of Greater Tulsa, which started 2010 by moving its downtown Tulsa branch into the Mayo 420 Building.

"It's really nice being in the center of everything," said Susan Plank, chief executive of the 100-year-old YMCA arm. "Our major goal was to be open Jan. …

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