Archive for September, 2005

Cataloging downtown Tulsa tenants – the Lerner building

Just to the north of the McFarlin building is a cute little art deco boutique building I will refer to as the Lerner Building.
I caught the name of this buidling from a picture of the McFarlin building and noticed something seemed familiar about the name "Lerner Shops" on the front.  Also noticing that it was a clothing store of some sort made me think this tenant was still around.
Lerner Stores is a very old brand with a pretty rich history, for a clothing store anyways.  Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Limited Too, etc)  bought out Lerner Shops.  At this juncture they were renamed Lerner New York, to reflect Lerner’s new York Heritage.
The unfortunate thing is that Limited Brands eventually spun Lerner New York off.  But before they did they renamed the entity, New York and Company.  Thereby officially killing the Lerner Shops legacy.
This is the company as it stands today.  I think they have maintained the same standards in apparel they did back when it was Lerner Shops.  You can even still visit a New York and Company store in Woodland Hills mall.
The lerner Building today remains vacant, and the owner of the building is unknown.
It would certainly be cute to see a New York and Company store reopen its doors in the location of the original Lerner Shops, though at this point, the amount of foot traffic in downtown Tulsa couldn’t keep the store open.  This isn’t to day that with some proper retail mix you couldn’t make such an endeavor possible.  "Open air malls" are becoming the hip thing to do these days.

Cataloging downtown Tulsa tenants- McFarlin Building

I’m going to start recapping the history of downtown Tulsa Tenants.  I think many of you will be pretty surprised who have been here and who they are now.
I’m going to start at 5th and Main, down by Barlett Square, which seems to be the new de facto center of downtown with it’s little cutesy roundabout.
So for starters we have the McFarlin building.  It is the building at the NE corner of 5th and Boston.  You might have recognized it by the ornate crowned roofline.
The original "anchor" tenant in this building was none other than HALLIBURTON!  Yes back then the Halliburton drug of choice was general stores….not multinational energy contracts and dubious activities in Iraq.
Anyhow, Halliburton got out of the grocery business when it sold off the stores to Skaggs.  Now I’m sure a lot of you have heard of Skaggs.  They were sort of the Walgreens of the early 20th century.  Skaggs eventually was merged into a conglomerate called American Stores Inc, which included a handful of drugstore brands.
Well, in the late 1990s, Albertson’s bought out ASI, and we all know who Albertson’s is today.  We have quite a few stores here in Tulsa as a matter of fact.
However, in the meantime the Mcfarlin building underwent many changes, one of those being the subdivision of the ground floor space that Skaggs once occupied.  While it would be quaint to see a small downtown Albertson’s in the historical location of so many great grocery stores….this is unlikely to happen.
The McFarlin building currently sports a number of law offices and small lunch time eateries.

Man, I should NOT have to send in my laptop for repair

I’ve had this laptop since April, and it has been a great computer.  However on two occasions it has simply overheated.  This is NOT what I signed up for.  And of course, HPs solution is to have it sent in for repair.  I can’t believe how ridiculous this is.  For the first time, I get a computer that is new, as opposed to building my own…and the darn thing breaks.

Should we really rebuild New Orleans?

I think it’s time to sober up and realize the party is over.
Let’s look at the logic in this.  We have a plot of land that is 9 feet below sea level.  Before we start talking about the fact that the Netherlands do this, lets look at the practicality.
New Orleans not only fights the Gulf of Mexico to the south, it has to worry about lake Ponchitrain to the north.  In fact it was the lake levees that broke, not the Gulf of Mexico.  Exactly what do we gain by draining out a hole in the earth and rebuilding there?  So we can have a few drinks?  The fact is this area has been VERY lucky for over 200 years.
I think it would be in this federal government’s interest to not rebuild New Orleans.  When hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, the government essentially wrote off large areas and declared them inhospitable because there was too much liability.  Insurers should do the same.
I sit here in the city of Tulsa, tucked safely away in the midwest where only a few random tornados come through occasionally.  Both Tulsa, and other interior cities across the nation should offer HEAVY HEAVY incentives for displaced New Orelans corporations to relocate and in turn bring their workers with them.  What do you think Houston is doing?  You think they are loaning the Superdome for good publicity?  no, they know what they are doing by bringing people there, they are more likely to stay.  However, Houston is no more safe from hurricanes than New Orleans, so they are just postponing another disaster.  Move people inland, away from liability and towards safety.
Furthermore, about the oil situation.  Does anyone else now see how STUPID it is to put your refinieries right on the gulf coast?  What idiots allowed this to happen?  The only thing that should have been allowed on the coast are pumping stations to get the oil off the ships and transport it to interior refineries.  This is why we have the ness we do now.  Everyone jumped into the GOM craze and now look where it has led us.  Those prudent companies that decided to hedge their assets on the gulf coast are now reaping the investment of added infrastructure to bring the product inland.  Maybe the hundreds of energy company lemmings in Houston will decide maybe they too should move back inland.