Pythian Building in downtown Tulsa up for sale

The Pythian Building at 423 S. Boulder Ave. will soon go up for auction. Tulsa World file

The Pythian Building, one of the first downtown structures purchased by California inventor and philanthropist Maurice Kanbar, will soon go up for auction.

Kanbar Properties, the firm created to manage Kanbar's extensive downtown portfolio, is soliciting sealed bids for the three-story, 43,000-square-foot building at 423 S. Boulder Ave., according to a letter sent to potential investors.

The bids have a minimum of $1.4 million and are due at the offices of Jones Gotcher & Bognan at First Place Tower, 15 E. Fifth St., by July 10.

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Connie Guinn, leasing and sale analyst for Kanbar Properties in Tulsa, confirmed the auction but said she would need to confer with other officials working for Maurice Kanbar before providing more information.

The Pythian Building was erected by Tulsa oilmen J.M. Gillette and H.C. Tyrell. It originally was to be a 13-story building topped by a hotel on the upper 10 stories. Construction began in 1929, but the onset of the Great Depression halted work at the third floor.

The building is perhaps best known for its two-story lobby with colorful, ornate tile patterns and metal work, as well as chandeliers and a fluted glass skylight.

The letter announcing the auction noted that the building is 69 percent occupied and presents the possibility for developers to finally add additional floors.

The Pythian Building isn't the only property Kanbar Properties is looking to shed. Websites posted by CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma indicate the Petroleum Club building at 601 S. Boulder Ave., the Transok Building at 2 W. Sixth St. and the Avanti Building at 810 S. Cincinnati Ave. are being offered for sale.

The Petroleum Club Building lost its namesake tenant last June when the Petroleum Club of Tulsa ceased operations and dissolved. The club had occupied the building's 15th and 16th floors.

Kanbar Properties made the decision last year to close the Avanti Building, which is separated from the rest of its holdings by several blocks, with the remaining tenants moving to other locations.

The company also shuttered the Oil Capitol Building at 507 S. Main St. at the same time, though there is no online indication that the building is for sale.

Kanbar began purchasing downtown buildings in 2005, and his portfolio at one time included 20 properties. He currently owns 13 properties, which make up approximately 30 percent of all available office space downtown.

Robert Evatt 918-581-8447 SUBHEAD: Other Kanbar buildings downtown also appear to be up for sale.

Original Print Headline: Pythian Building offered for auction

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