Price Family Properties | Tulsa developer Stuart Price acquires downtown Kanbar properties
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Tulsa developer Stuart Price acquires downtown Kanbar properties

Tulsa developer Stuart Price acquires downtown Kanbar properties

Daniel Regan, 2016 chair of Tulsa’s Young Professionals, likes the energy that local developer Stuart Price injected into the city’s downtown area. Price, who recently acquired a 13-plus building portfolio from San Francisco inventor and philanthropist Maurice Kanbar, has a vision of a vibrant area in the future.

Regan is property manager of Price Family Properties and Price’s daughter, Jackie, is general counsel.

“I’m excited for Stuart’s vision and confidence in Tulsa as a market and what we have as an opportunity in the downtown area, what that means for us, as the next generation of leaders in the community, Jackie and myself,” Regan said. “… From my experience, there absolutely has been a reverse migration into the urban markets and not just Tulsa. You look at Omaha. You look at Austin. You look at Nashville. That’s clearly where the trend is and where the millennials want to be.

“It’s a quality-of-life issue. Tulsa is really on the cusp over the next decade to do some really beautiful things in our downtown and Central Business District.”

The deal includes 2.1 million square feet of downtown commercial real estate moving into the hands of local ownership.

“The real message that I’d like to send to everybody in the city is ‘Come on downtown to work, live and play,’” Price said during an interview at his office in the First Place towers, which were part of the sale. “There is a lot of movement in the country to move to the vibrancy of the urban centers. We think it’s a really fun time to work down here and bring your employees down here.

“If you want to hire young people, they want to be in the urban core … We hope we are adding to that effort.”

Price declined to disclose details of the sale. Kanbar, founder of Skyy Vodka and inventor of the D-Fuzz-It comb, and then-business adviser Henry Kaufman (they have since severed ties), paid close to $110 million in 2005-06 for what was then 18 buildings. The 13-plus buildings Price purchased have a fair market value — which doesn’t equate to sale price — of about $62 million, Tulsa County Assessor’s Office records show.

“I thought, and I still think, that the central part of Tulsa is undergoing a reformation, a new beginning,” Kanbar said in a statement. “Just look at the Deco District. There are shops, lofts and restaurants that weren’t here a decade ago, yet they’ve maintained the integrity of these magnificent buildings.

“We worked very hard to get establishments of that kind here, and I’m confident that Stuart’s fortitude is only going to accelerate the groundwork we laid together.”

The Price family became stakeholders in Kanbar’s Tulsa holdings in 2012, adding a local presence in the management of the buildings, which represent about 50 percent of the commercial real estate in the Central Business District, Price said. Since then, the group — now known as Price Family Properties — has invested millions in building improvements.

“Priority No. 1 is that we are going to attract new companies to move their employees downtown again to participate in this urban vibrancy,” Price said. “That is so important to acquiring happy, young and talented employees. We have plenty of office space, plenty of parking to accommodate those needs. With the new restaurants and entertainment opportunities, we will continue to press that.”

Among Price’s most recent works is the transformation of the historic Transok Building, 2 W. Sixth St., into the Art Deco Lofts and Apartments, 95 percent of which are occupied, he said. His group also filed a permit with the city late last year to build a 519-space parking garage at 415 S. Main St. The facility, three stories with two basement levels, carries an estimate construction cost of $12.8 million, according to the building permit.

Kathy Taylor, mayor when Kanbar was gaining a foothold in Tulsa real estate, is the city’s chief of economic development under freshly christened Mayor G.T. Bynum.

“We’re excited that Stuart Price and his group has full ownership of the Kanbar Properties. He is a long-term, successful real estate developer who has been dedicated to Tulsa and Oklahoma through his family’s community service. I’m excited that he will be helping us bring new housing to downtown Tulsa, which drives retail, and parking. He is a great asset to our downtown development group.”

An undergraduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Stuart Price arrived in Oklahoma in 1979 to enroll at the University of Tulsa College of Law. A courtroom at the law school is jointly named after him.

“It’s just neat to be part of a great community that is very inclusive and open for people who try to come and shoot for their dream,” Price said. “It’s kind of emotional. This is a big bet we’re making and big project.

“It couldn’t be a better, more wonderful community that accepted us and educated us and helped us find our way. We’re just honored to try to make it work and make it better.”

Original article was published in the Tulsa World and can be found here: http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/realestate/tulsa-developer-stuart-price-acquires-downtown-kanbar-properties/article_101a4a1f-5ba8-591b-99e6-fa85ad3e96ba.html

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