The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 August 2006

Braniff grounded

Back in the spring of ought-five, I suggested that someone rework the old Braniff building at 324 N. Robinson, and before the year was out, Kerr-McGee signed on to a deal to turn the place into upscale condos.

But Kerr-McGee is gone — the Anadarko Petroleum takeover was approved by shareholders this week — and now the Braniff project has run into a snag:

"We expected to close today," said Anthony McDermid, one of the project's lead developers. "It didn't happen. It was a surprise to us. We spent a significant amount of time and resources on this."

A lawsuit filed Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court by McDermid and his partners allege they will suffer more than $8 million in damages if Kerr-McGee does not honor its part of the redevelopment.

But, says KMG/Anadarko, it's the fault of McDermid's Corporate Redevelopment Group:

"We have an existing contract with Corporate Redevelopment Group to build a parking garage that would be suitable to Kerr-McGee," [KMG spokesman John] Christiansen said. "After completion of that garage, Kerr-McGee has agreed to deliver to Corporate Redevelopment Group the certain properties identified for redevelopment. We are willing to perform under that contract."

Christiansen said Corporate Redevelopment Group requested changes in the contract conditions — changes he wouldn't disclose — that were not acceptable to Kerr-McGee.

Outgoing KMG chair Luke Corbett seemed enthusiastic about the project, but Corbett's no longer running the show.

Clearly something's happened here that we're not being told — yet.

Posted at 7:27 PM to City Scene