The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 27, 2012

Sale of Enid’s iconic Art Deco high-rise is most welcome news


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The third time’s the charm for the historic Broadway Tower, which will be rehabilitated by an investment group.

The downtown Enid high-rise was purchased last week for $250,000 by B.H. Tower LLC, which is managed by Dana and Johnny Peart of Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The iconic building was under contract with them twice before, and for one reason or another, it didn’t finalize, local property manager Eli Berry said.

“This time, it got closed,” said Berry, who will assist in the ownership transition.

We asked readers to share their thoughts in an unscientific poll at http://enidnews.com. Most, 56 percent, were surprised by the sale price. Twenty-four percent had no opinion, and 20 percent of readers were just glad it happened.

The building was scheduled to be sold at auction in March.

However, it was removed about 20 minutes before bidding began. Immediately after the canceled auction, the price of the building was $395,000.

Broadway Tower has been owned by Lew Ward and Bob Berry since 1981, when they purchased it for $100,000.

Although it’s a structurally fantastic building, the inside will need work.

“(The new owners) are putting scenarios together to bring it back up with fire safety issues and bring it up the way many other buildings have been done downtown,” said Brad Waken, who is being retained as property manager.

Some leases extend through 2014, and Eli Berry said all leases will be honored.

We hope the tenants remain happy while the transition plan is implemented. Most of all, we’re excited about the revitalization happening in downtown Enid.

Broadway Tower, which was built in 1931, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 “It is the best remaining example of Art Deco architecture in the city of Enid,” according to an NRHP nomination form prepared by Bob Berry in the mid-1980s.

At the Lights Up the Plains event, the cross shining on Broadway Tower provided a perfect backdrop for the year’s firework event.

It’s good to know the building will remain a part of Enid’s skyline for years to come.