Launch Slideshow

Image

Norman, Okla.

Norman, Okla.

  • Armed Forces Reserve Center Architect: LWPB Architecture, Norman. Completion: 2010. Brief: $50 million, 204,000-s.f. facility features tilt-up concrete construction and is expected to achieve LEED Gold.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpE821%2Etmp_tcm20-604666.jpg

    true

    Armed Forces Reserve Center Architect: LWPB Architecture, Norman. Completion: 2010. Brief: $50 million, 204,000-s.f. facility features tilt-up concrete construction and is expected to achieve LEED Gold.

    600

    Korte Co.

    Armed Forces Reserve Center
    Architect: LWPB Architecture, Norman.
    Completion: 2010.
    Brief: $50 million, 204,000-s.f. facility features tilt-up concrete construction and is expected to achieve LEED Gold.

  • Cleveland County Family YMCA Architect: Boynton Williams & Associates, Norman. Completion: 2009. Brief: $598,000 renovation of, and 20,000-s.f. addition to, the community center.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpE823%2Etmp_tcm20-604668.jpg

    true

    Cleveland County Family YMCA Architect: Boynton Williams & Associates, Norman. Completion: 2009. Brief: $598,000 renovation of, and 20,000-s.f. addition to, the community center.

    600

    Boynton Williams & Associates

    Cleveland County Family YMCA
    Architect: Boynton Williams & Associates, Norman.
    Completion: 2009.
    Brief: $598,000 renovation of, and 20,000-s.f. addition to, the community center.

  • Hitachi Manufacturing Plant Expansion Architect: LWPB. Completion: 2010. Brief: $20 million, 200,000-s.f. addition includes an interior storm shelter for 150 employees; first project in state to use Oklahoma Community Economic Development Pooled Finance program funding.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpE824%2Etmp_tcm20-604669.jpg

    true

    Hitachi Manufacturing Plant Expansion Architect: LWPB. Completion: 2010. Brief: $20 million, 200,000-s.f. addition includes an interior storm shelter for 150 employees; first project in state to use Oklahoma Community Economic Development Pooled Finance program funding.

    600

    LWPB Architecture

    Hitachi Manufacturing Plant Expansion
    Architect: LWPB.
    Completion: 2010.
    Brief: $20 million, 200,000-s.f. addition includes an interior storm shelter for 150 employees; first project in state to use Oklahoma Community Economic Development Pooled Finance program funding.

  • Norman Regional Hospital Healthplex Campus Architect: PageSoutherlandPage, Dallas. Completion: 2009. Brief: $101 million, 400,000-s.f. structure houses a vascular center, a pavilion for women and children, and a center for orthopedic services.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpE825%2Etmp_tcm20-604670.jpg

    true

    Norman Regional Hospital Healthplex Campus Architect: PageSoutherlandPage, Dallas. Completion: 2009. Brief: $101 million, 400,000-s.f. structure houses a vascular center, a pavilion for women and children, and a center for orthopedic services.

    600

    Keith O. Rinearson

    Norman Regional Hospital Healthplex Campus
    Architect: PageSoutherlandPage, Dallas.
    Completion: 2009.
    Brief: $101 million, 400,000-s.f. structure houses a vascular center, a pavilion for women and children, and a center for orthopedic services.

Norman, Okla., founded in 1889 about 20 miles to the south of Oklahoma City, may be best known for the Sooners, the legendary college football team that calls it home. And the University of Oklahoma is certainly a major development driver for the city. But there’s more here than just a large college campus.

“Norman is a midsized community that … has big-town amenities and small-town charm and accessibility,” says Don Wood, executive director of the Norman Economic Development Coalition. The city also boasts a vibrant downtown, historic neighborhoods, and so many special events that it’s known as the City of Festivals.

Norman is also known for its weather, sitting as it does in Tornado Alley. And architects working here have to know a thing or two about structures that can withstand 250-mph-plus winds and flying debris. “Few buildings are designed to be self-contained tornado shelters, but I think most architects consider the effects of such storms,” says Larry Stubblefield, principal at local firm LWPB Architecture. He adds that clients are requesting spaces that can be used as shelters and serve other functions. LWPB included just such a room in a Hitachi plant addition it designed.

More notably, the Hitachi project was partly funded through the Oklahoma Community Economic Development Pooled Finance program, which provides taxable bond proceeds for investments in local projects. The funding kept Hitachi in Norman, enabling the company to more than double its capacity, retain jobs, and add new positions. It’s the first project in the state to use the program.

With incentives like this and an educated labor pool (51 percent of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree), Norman’s more than OK with business. “Norman is definitely a significant power in the region that both retains and attracts creativity and intellect,” says Boynton Williams & Associates project architect Christian Ballard.


POPULATION/EMPLOYMENT
Current population: 112,551; annual growth over several years: a steady 2%.

OFFICE MARKET
Vacancy rates across the city are less than 5%.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET
Median home sale price, midyear 2010: $166,977.

MARKET STRENGTHS
• Major research university
• Well-educated workforce
• Proximity to Oklahoma City

MARKET CONCERNS
• Inadequate infrastructure
• Dwindling water supply
• Rising home prices

FORECAST
“Norman will continue to revitalize its downtown and … fill in its boundaries,” says Christian Ballard, project architect at local firm Boynton Williams & Associates. “This growth will continue to be deliberate and steady. An economic boom is not anticipated, but the desirability of living in this town will continue.”