Preservation Oklahoma announced this morning it will not appeal a ruling by the Oklahoma City Board of Adjustment allowing SandRidge Energy to demolish five buildings in downtown Oklahoma City.
The organization had opposed SandRidge's request to tear down the buildings along the 100 block of Robert S. Kerr Avenue. The energy company is entering its first phase of a master plan for a new corporate headquarters.
"After much consideration, our board has determined that the best course of action is not to appeal the decision of the Board of Adjustment and to move forward from this experience," Kay Decker, president of Preservation Oklahoma's board, said in a press release. "While we are disappointed that the India Temple Building and Oklahoma Savings and Loan Building will be demolished, we also recognize the positive economic impact that SandRidge Energy will have on our city. We look forward to working with SandRidge and Oklahoma City on the sensible development of the downtown area."
Katie McLaughlin Friddle, Preservation Oklahoma executive director, said SandRidge made no concession to prevent the organization from pursing an appeal or legal action.
"There's been no donation or incentive of any kind other than agreeing to move ahead and cooperate on things," she said. "By not suing the city, which is what we would technically have been doing if we had filed in district court, we are in a better place to develop a more constructive relationship with them, and address some of the issues raised by the public, the press and committee members themselves, about how reviews of large-scale projects are handled. This is not to say the city has mishandled them, necessarily, but there may be a need to look at really large, significant projects in a different way than has been done in the past."
Officials with SandRidge are happy with the organization's decision.
"We are pleased to be moving forward on our plans to build our corporate home in downtown Oklahoma City," Marsha Wooden, SandRidge vice president of administration, said in a press release. "We look forward to working with the city, Preservation Oklahoma and the State Historic Preservation Office to incorporate appropriate historic design elements in the renovation of the Braniff Building, and Kerr and Couch Park." "Scott Cooper
photo Rendering of the proposed Sandridge Commons.