Key Project

Key Construction LLC has struck gold in those Tulsa Hills.
That is if you consider “gold” in the commercial construction business as negotiated contracts and a growing presence in the Oklahoma market.
Wichita-based Key Construction started work last year on the Tulsa Hills shopping center being built at 71st Street and U.S. 75 with about 187,000 SF under contract, said Kyle Rudolph, project manager. That has grown to a current 278,900 SF under contract, with a project value of about $25 million and the potential for additional work.
Developers Collett & Associates of Charlotte, N.C., and Sooner Investment Realty in Oklahoma City started work on the $130 million West Tulsa center with anchors Target, Lowe’s and Belk.
Keys’ role was overall site coordination and construction of junior anchors and smaller shops including tenants like Best Buy, Petsmart, Ross Dress for Less, Marshall’s, Famous Footwear and Rack Room Shoes, said Phil Wells, vice president and general manager of the Oklahoma division of Key Construction.
Key’s work has expanded to include an additional 90,000 SF including Books-A-Million, Bed Bath and Beyond, Michaels, Shops E and DollarTree, Wells said..
“We were originally hired a year ago to do Tulsa Hills Phase One, which took us through basically everything you see out there, Best Buy through Marshall’s, the shops out in the middle and across the street,” Rudolph said. “We have since picked up Phase Two and some tenant improvement work.”
Except for the tenant upgrades, he said the Phase One work is nearly complete.
“We just got the final punch list issued last Friday for the whole Phase One side,” he said.
As the project nears the holiday shopping blackout period, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Books-A-Million are close to opening.
“Bed, Bath and Beyond moved in Sept. 1. They are in there ‘fixturing’ right now” with a mid-September grand opening, Rudolph said.
Books-A-Million would also be moving into its store during September.
David N. Hale, business development manager, credited Key’s work on the project with opening the doors to more work on a negotiated basis.
“By virtue of the fact that they decided to negotiate Phase Two with us in lieu of going back out for competitive bids on the open market would suggest that we have done a good job with our delivery completions as well as quality of work,” he said.
Wells said the project has also introduced opportunities for additional work in the area.
“Tulsa Hills has been a really good project for us as far as visibility and getting our name out here locally,” he said. “I was contacted last week by a guy who has a project coming up and wants to talk to us.”
There is also the potential for more work at the site for Key beyond Phase Two.
“There is the potential for some additional buildings down at the end. There is some lot space available but we have not seen any drawings,” Rudolph said, noting Key would be bidding this month on an Ulta store planned adjacent to Target.
“It seems about the time we get through structures on one part, another section pops up to bid, and it keeps staggering on down the line,” he said.
Part of that upcoming work includes a fourth anchor tenant to replace the JC Penneys store originally slated for the development. Penneys opted out of the project when the chain pulled back on retail construction nationally, Hale said.
“There are deals in process for the balance of the out parcel sites here with large name brand retailers as well as a hotel,” he said.
Wells said, “Between Ulta and this replacement for Penneys, We know that we have 80,000 SF that will be under our scope.”
Key, which has said worked in Oklahoma for 12-14 years, and wrote up $40 million in projects in the state last year, Wells said.
With Tulsa offices at 5415 S. 125th East Ave., Ste. 201, Key’s current projects include a $42 million Claremore Schools bond issue, Bixby Public Schools, two branches for the Bank of Oklahoma, two assisted living projects in Oklahoma City and a 100,000-SF FedEx Distribution Center.

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