The Wright Condo, Sort of

While in Oklahoma City for the holidays, I spied this strange, empty tower looming over the old strip malls just outside the downtown area.

The building was built in 1966 as Citizen's Tower and was apparently inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's only office skyscraper, Price Tower. ("Inspired" being a nicer word than "plagarized".)

The adjoining streets make up Heritage Hills, a beautiful and historic residential area dating from the boom years of the early 1900s.

Since it is all the rage to sell condos by famous architects, you can see where this story is going. Some OKC genius finally figured out that there was enough cachet in the semi-Wright credentials and the funky hexagonal floorplans that he could make a go of converting it. He bought the tower at auction for $845,000 (about the price of a bad 2-bedroom apartment in New York). He then managed to get the zoning changes through the planning department and is now converting the building.

A visit to TheClassen.com shows some truly great floorplans and some truly terrible marketing. Note to broker - you may want to drop the watercolors of antique furniture in favor of computer renderings of mid-century modern. You are supposed to be selling a contemporary loft lifestyle, not a retirement home.

Um, that's supposed to be mid 20th century, not 19th.

The price list will make any Blue Stater gag, but a 2 bedroom, 2 bath for under $180k will actually be a tough sell in OKC, where cul-de-sac suburbs across from a Wal-Mart strip center are the norm and housing prices are stagnant.

Still, there may be just enough new-in-town semi-temporary professionals looking for a condo lifestyle to drive the sales. I hope so, because this is a great project and a great building. It would go a long way to completing the renewal of downtown Oklahoma City into not only a place to work and entertain, but to also live.


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Anonymous condo Philippines said...

This Wright condo looks so cool! I like the style and the design. Anyway, I just wonder if the price is still negotiable. Thanks for sharing.


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