Oklahoma City Aims for the Sky: Ambitious Plans Unveiled for Tallest Skyscraper in the United States

Oklahoma City is aiming to outshine New York with plans for the United States’ new tallest skyscraper. While the current record-holder is New York’s One World Trade Center, a California developer named Scot Matteson has recently revealed ambitious intentions for the Legends Tower in Oklahoma City, part of the expanded Boardwalk At Bricktown development. Initially proposed at 1,750 feet, the tower’s height has been revised to an impressive 1,907 feet, a symbolic reference to Oklahoma achieving statehood in 1907.

If successful, the Legends Tower would surpass the height of One World Trade Center and rank as the fifth tallest globally, trailing behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa at 2,716 feet. Matteson envisions this monumental structure as an iconic destination, poised to catalyze economic growth and attract investment, businesses, and jobs to Oklahoma City.

The Legends Tower is set to transform the Lower Bricktown area, near the Oklahoma River, into a thriving hub spanning over 3 acres. The development aims to encompass more than 2 million square feet of residential, retail, and entertainment spaces, featuring two Hyatt hotels, condos, apartments, stores, and restaurants, along with a lagoon and boardwalk. Additionally, plans include a new NBA franchise arena for the Oklahoma Thunder, projected to cost at least $900 million.

Despite these grand plans, skepticism looms over the feasibility of such a colossal tower in Oklahoma City. Critics question the rationale behind erecting a supertall skyscraper in a city without the typical urban density associated with such structures. Concerns about tornadoes in the region add another layer of doubt. The project faces zoning challenges, as the current maximum allowed height in the designated area is 300 feet. Developers are working on securing a zoning variance or rezoning through a planned unit development application.

Local support for the project exists, evident in the Oklahoma City Council’s approval of a record $200 million in tax increment financing. However, the road ahead is long, and the project’s realization hinges on overcoming zoning obstacles and other uncertainties. Despite the hurdles, optimism prevails, with proponents viewing the development as a transformative addition to Oklahoma City’s urban landscape. Renee Hoover-Payton, President of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors, acknowledges the potential for urban housing growth but acknowledges the project’s substantial journey ahead.