Echo Energy, a northwest Oklahoma City company, is set to move its 100 employees downtown once it builds out the Parkside Building originally built for SandRidge Energy.
Echo Energy bought the 10-story building in May with a limited liability company paying $10.75 million.
Christian Kanady, CEO, founded Echo Energy in 2010. The company website reports Kanady has invested more than $600 million in oil and gas properties, including the acquisition and divestiture of more than 150,000 mineral acres and the resulting ownership in more than 2,000 wells across Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Kanady’s employees toured the building and the adjoining Kerr Park this week, and a move is set for next year.
“Community is an important concept to Echo, and with relocating to downtown, we plan to invest and work alongside our downtown friends, partners and neighbors. We are excited to work and come together in a building adjacent to one of downtown’s beautiful green spaces,” Kanady said. “With this proximity, it only makes sense that we would seek to be as involved as we can. We are confident those plans will come into greater focus as we begin to settle into our new home.”
Construction started on the 84,000-square-foot building in 2012 when plans called for it to be a five-story amenities building for SandRidge Energy. The company at the time was led by Tom Ward, who had plans for aggressive corporate growth. The building was to include a fitness center, restaurant, rock climbing walls, a day care and auditorium.
Construction halted as Ward was ousted as CEO and the company experienced financial turmoil that resulted in bankruptcy. The building at 120 Robert S. Kerr Ave. was completed as office space in 2015, was briefly offered for sale before the bankruptcy. It has never been occupied.
The design of the building is unlike any other downtown, consisting of glass-sided boxes overlapping each other.
“The former Parkside Building is currently known as the Ziggurat or Zig for short,” Kanady said. “We draw influence from history.”
Echo will initially office in the 20,000 square feet, occupying the sixth and seventh floors. Amenities supporting Echo employees will fill much of the remaining space, Kanady said.
“As we will be the first occupants of this building, it will take some time to finish out the building,” Kanady said. “We intend to occupy the building as soon as we are able.”
While the company sought to keep its purchase quiet during the past several weeks, executives have worked with Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership as it has started to add improvements to Kerr Park.
Kanady said additional square footage will be leased to smaller tenants and the company remains interested in Ward’s original vision of leasing the ground floor to a restaurant that would open up to Kerr Park.
“The Park Level was designed and constructed with an eye toward a restaurant,” Kanady said. “The views, layout and proximity to green space cause us to believe that continuation of that idea makes a lot of sense. Oklahoma City has seen a renaissance in food and beverage concepts. To be a part of this new era, a restaurant would need to compete top of market in food, service and atmosphere.”