Architects and real estate developers are drawing up the plans to build the tallest skyscraper in the US; not in New York City nor Chicago, but Oklahoma City. The building plan features three towers, each rising to 105 meters (345 feet), and a fourth supertall tower called Legends Tower that will measure 581 meters (1,907 feet) tall.
If approved, the Legends Tower will beat the current record-holder for the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere: the One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, NYC. Additionally, it will sweep the title of the fifth tallest building in the world.
It would be a giant leap for Oklahoma. Currently, the tallest building in the state is the Devon Energy Center, which stretches for a comparatively piddly 257 meters (844 feet)
The colossal skyscraper is set to span 464,515 square meters (5 million square feet) and will contain an array of hotels, serviced condominiums, residential apartments, and commercial units. The top floors of the Legends Tower will also contain a public observatory, restaurant, and bar where visitors can enjoy the city views.
It's been designed by AO, a leading full-service architecture firm that has recently teamed up with Matteson Capital, a real estate investment and development company.
They are already working on a project called “Boardwalk at Bricktown” in Oklahoma City, which features a tower that spans 533 meters (1,750 feet) in height.
Last month, the pair announced they would “request a variance” from city authorities that would allow them to increase the height of one of the towers to 581 meters (1,907 feet). Since Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in the year 1907, that precise height may have some significance for the state’s history.
“Oklahoma City is experiencing a significant period of growth and transformation, making it well-positioned to support large-scale projects like the one envisioned for Bricktown,” Scot Matteson, CEO of Matteson Capital, said in a statement.
“We believe that this development will be an iconic destination for the city, further driving the expansion and diversification of the growing economy, drawing in investment, new businesses, and jobs. It’s a dynamic environment and we hope to see The Boardwalk at Bricktown stand as the pride of Oklahoma City,” said Matteson.
Fulfilling this dream might be easier said than done, however. The Oklahoma City Free Press has highlighted that the change of plan would require a change of zoning, not just a “request for variance,” which could prove much harder to obtain.
“To clarify, they would need to rezone, not seek a variance. Their existing SPUD was specifically negotiated, including the building height ('Maximum height of any building shall be 300 feet [91 meters] with the exception that height will be limited to 80 feet [24.4 meters] within 20 feet [6.1 meters] of the northern SPUD boundary.'),” Kristy Yager, Public Information officer of the City of Oklahoma, a staff member of zoning told the local news outlet.
“We understand the applicant’s representative is preparing a new SPUD application, which would go to Planning Commission for a recommendation and City Council for a final decision,” continued Yager.