Arvest Bank to join downtown skyline
Arvest Bank is set to become the anchor tenant of the 16-story tower at 201 Robert S. Kerr Ave. that previously was home to Bank of Oklahoma and Fidelity Bank.
The tower will be renamed Arvest Tower and will house an expanded Arvest downtown operation that will occupy 40,000 square feet on the first floor and mezzanine level.
“This downtown Oklahoma City location and statewide expansion for Arvest Bank signals several key directions for us,” said Brad Krieger, chairman of Arvest Bank of Oklahoma City and regional executive vice president of Arvest Bank Group Inc. “It’s a vote of confidence in Oklahoma City and the downtown area, as well as the entire state.”
Arvest Bank currently has just a small 2,500-square-foot branch at 115 Park Place. The bank operates more than 260 branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.
The renamed 16-story Arvest Tower was built in 1972 as the headquarters for Fidelity Bank, which was taken over by Bank of Oklahoma during the 1980s oil bust.
Bank of Oklahoma moved last year to the new BOK Park Plaza Tower at 499 W Sheridan.
“Historically we’ve not had a headquarters style office downtown,” Krieger said. “But we’ve been looking downtown for a long time. The opportunity hasn’t been there.”
Arvest’s new location will include “ample” parking for customers and employees. The lobby, which has a 27-foot ceiling and tiled marble floors, will be renovated and walls will be removed creating a more open, contemporary workspace.
Renovations are expected to be complete by fall 2020.
Ron Witherspoon, president of Arvest in Oklahoma City, said the expanded operation will be home to about 70 employees that will include some moving from existing operations in Del City and elsewhere in the metro area.
Witherspoon said no decision has been made on the future of the current bank branch on Park Avenue. The new location, while designed for banking, will also allow the bank to host community events for customers and non-profits.
“It’s an advantage that the building has housed banking services in the past and we want to preserve some of the original features, but we will also be making renovations based on how customers use space today,” Witherspoon said. “We are blending the need for privacy and noise reduction with visually open spaces to allow natural light and comfortable, informal meeting spots throughout the space.”