OU Partners with Chickasaw Nation to Secure Cross Village Complex
Mike Seals - April 1, 2021 12:17 am
University Reaches Agreement to Settle Dispute Related to the Project
NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma today announced it is partnering with the Chickasaw Nation to acquire the Cross Village complex and make it available as part of OU Housing’s suite of on-campus living facilities in the fall 2021 semester. OU has reached an agreement – subject to OU Board of Regents’ approval – with Provident Oklahoma Education Resources Inc., the current owner of the Cross Village housing project located on OU’s Norman campus. The agreement resolves all issues relating to Cross, including the pending litigation, and adds Cross Village to OU’s on-campus housing portfolio.
OU is partnering with the Chickasaw Nation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Sovereign Properties Holdco, LLC in the university’s effort to refinance the Cross Village complex. Sovereign Properties Holdco will provide short-term financing for the university while it prepares to issue new bond indentures for the complex. Under the agreement, Sovereign Properties Holdco will acquire the land lease currently held by Provident and lease it back to OU until the university secures its own financing.
“Creating best-in-class housing for our students is a key component of our strategic plan, and this agreement allows us to do so years ahead of schedule and with a premier product in Cross Village,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “With this exciting announcement, we seize the remarkable opportunity to accelerate our housing plan, further cementing OU’s leadership in creating a first-class experience for our students, from the education they receive to the place they call home while they are here. The Chickasaw Nation is a pivotal partner in assisting us in the resolution of this matter and we are extremely grateful for their involvement.”
OU’s original Freshman Housing Master Plan, approved by the OU Board of Regents earlier this month, anticipated the completion of the Adams Tower replacement in 2025. The Cross Village acquisition will allow the university to fast-track its plan, presenting a premier residential option for students as an immediate replacement in 2021. The university can then proceed this summer with demolition of Adams Tower.
“The Chickasaw Nation is honored to play a role in the resolution of the issues surrounding this much-needed asset,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “We view our long-standing relationship with the University of Oklahoma as an investment in academic excellence. We are confident our investment in OU and other academic communities across the state will bring returns in the form of greater opportunities for student success for generations to come.”
“We are excited to assist the university in executing this part of its strategic plan for major upgrades in student housing,” said Bill Lance, Secretary of Commerce for the Chickasaw Nation. “There is no question the move by OU freshmen to the Cross complex will enhance their student-life experience.”
Located on the Norman campus at the corner of Jenkins Avenue and Fourth Street, Cross Village is a premier 1,200-bed complex featuring a range of amenities, including a 24-hour fitness facility and a black box theater. Cross also features retail storefronts and meeting spaces.
Additional information on the precise terms of the agreement will be forthcoming, once finalized by all parties and approved by the OU Board of Regents. The board is expected to consider the matter at its May 2021 meeting.