Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma City Residential Developer Dives into Core to Shore

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma City Residential Developer Dives into Core to Shore

Article excerpt

The Humphreys Partners' recent acquisition of 70 acres near the Oklahoma River from Chesapeake Energy Corp. has brought the family team to the point that it's ready to reveal development plans for a new residential district to be called Waterfront, Blair Humphreys said.

"We're excited to invite the community to help us develop a vision for the district," he said, referring to a tour scheduled July 9 to 16. "We're starting pretty much with a blank slate."

The Humphreys project is the first major development to leap ahead of a massive downtown central park planned as part of the MAPS 3 sales tax issue. Properties in the area near downtown and the river have been slow to change hands since 2008, county assessor records show.

One of the most recent transactions, a $2 million sale of 70 acres from Chesapeake Energy's land management company to Humphreys Partners in March, reveals that activity is ramping up southwest of the park. That was the largest sale in many months and strengthened the Humphreys family development anchor, which now stands at nearly 150 acres on the other side of the Oklahoma River, according to the Oklahoma County assessor's data.

The second-largest deal was for a dilapidated building closer to the future park, 5 SW Fifth Street, purchased in May for $1.25 million by the Anish Hotels Group LLC and immediately transferred to American Motel Invertors Inc.

The vast majority of properties in the square bounded by Santa Fe Avenue to the east, Blackwelder to the west, Reno Avenue to the north and SW 23rd Street to the south have rarely sold or increased in market value since 2008, records show. That's the region that would be of most interest to developers - the City Council identified a wide strip of land for the park along Robinson and straddling Interstate 40 shortly after voters approved a package of projects under the MAPS 3 sales tax issue in 2010. …

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