OU has reached an agreement with Provident Oklahoma Education Resources, Inc. to transfer ownership of the Cross Village complex to the university, clearing the way for OU freshmen to live in the complex and accelerating replacement of the towers.
According to a Wednesday email from OU President Joseph Harroz, Cross will be considered a university on-campus living property starting in fall 2021, and all outstanding litigation between the university and Provident Oklahoma, the owner of Cross Village and a non-profit subsidiary of Provident Resources that financed Cross’s development, has been resolved.
“Now, with Cross Village available for freshmen this fall, we can start the demolition process of Adams Tower this summer,” Harroz wrote in the email. “(The purchase allows OU) to accelerate the replacement of Adams Tower by four years.”
Harroz first announced plans to replace the towers — constructed in the 1960s — during the March 5 Board of Regents meeting. Cross has the capacity to house 1,200 students, while Adams Tower’s capacity sits at 908.
Provident and OU have been engaged in a legal dispute since 2019, after the university opted not to renew Cross Village’s commercial and parking leases. At the time, Cross bondholders said OU’s withdrawal from the leases could severely impact its standing in the marketplace through high debt interest rates or lock it out of the marketplace altogether.
During construction, the university marketed Cross Village as a premier public-private partnership allowing students to secure a top-tier housing option with built-in amenities like wide restaurant selection, shops and more. The complex failed to live up to expectations, struggling with capacity issues and the late opening of many of its amenities.
The Chickasaw Nation worked closely with the university to secure the agreement, Harroz wrote, particularly in securing permanent financing. OU Housing will begin marketing the property to freshmen and issuing housing contracts for the property pending the approval of the OU Board of Regents at its May meeting, and interested students will be notified when the option becomes available.
According to documents from the Electronic Municipal Market Access, the settlement amount is $180 million and final settlement “of all amounts owed under the indenture and all claims and causes of action under the lawsuit.”