A group of local investors lead by Bob Funk Jr. announced today its decision not to move forward with the purchase of the 40-acre Producers Cooperative Oil Mill property located south of Bricktown and west of the Boathouse District.
The investor group planned a mixed-use development including residential, commercial retail, hotel, parks, fountains and parking, anchored by a state-of-the-art Major League Soccer stadium.
“Our purchase of the property depended on a viable economic model to support the development of a full-scale, urban lifestyle development, the purchase of additional contiguous properties and negotiation of a public-private partnership within a reasonable time frame,” Bob Funk Jr. said. “After extensive review and analysis, we decided the timing was not right for us to move forward with the sweeping project we proposed for this prime site southeast of downtown.”
While working with the Cooperative’s leadership, the investor group secured approval from the Cooperative’s members in May 2016 to approve the sale of the nearly 40-acre site, which formerly housed the Cooperative’s cottonseed processing operations dating back to the early 1900s before the Cooperative’s operations were relocated to Altus in 2015.
The investor group began an eight-month analysis of the property and purchase. Research was conducted to understand additional factors related to the site including land value appreciation and infrastructure needs, as well as market analysis, public partnership opportunities and potential operating revenue.
“For our particular project to be successful as currently envisioned, it would require a considerable public investment to complement our substantial private investment,” Funk Jr. said. “At this time, we believe it is imprudent for us to proceed given the economic realities. From the beginning, we recognized it was a complex real estate deal and would be a heavy lift. The timeline and cost to secure the additional property we needed to proceed with confidence became a hurdle too high to clear.”
Austin Rose, the Chief Executive Officer of Producers, indicated that Producers is currently evaluating its options. “We have been working with Mr. Funk’s group for some time on this purchase,” Rose said. “Producers is now exploring opportunities and reviewing its options for the property. The property is obviously one of the best properties in the inner core of Oklahoma City, and we continue to think it is a prime candidate for development.”
Funk Jr. commended Producers Cooperative Oil Mill and the City of Oklahoma City for their responsiveness and cooperation throughout the process.
“I respect the careful due diligence this group of investors put forth as they pursued the property for development as well as the responsiveness of Producers,” Cathy O’Connor, president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, said. “It’s important to remember that the economic outlook may change, but as the climate stands right now, the level of investment, both public and private, proved insurmountable. We believe their plan presented the incredible potential for this site, and we remain hopeful it will be a blueprint for future development.”
Funk Jr. reiterated the investor group remains committed to bringing Major League Soccer to the greater Oklahoma City metro in the coming years. “The ongoing success of the OKC Energy FC validates the opportunity for Major League Soccer in this market in the future. To that end, our group has already re-opened ideas for developing a top-notch, multi-purpose venue for sports and entertainment capable of housing a Major League Soccer team.”
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