Who is Scot Matteson, the developer planning the tallest tower in the US?


Several questions were prompted by recently publicized plans to build the country’s tallest tower in, of all places, Oklahoma City.

One is: Who is Scot Matteson, the developer pitching such a project?

In its current iteration proposed on Jan. 22, The Boardwalk at Bricktown would include four towers and 2.7 million square feet of space across nearly 4 acres, with 1,900 residential units, a 480-key hotel and 110,000 square feet of retail and restaurants.

The centerpiece would be the tallest tower in the U.S., a 1,907-foot supertall that would dwarf the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center. Another three towers would each rise 345 feet.

“Oklahoma City is experiencing a significant period of growth and transformation, making it well-

positioned to support large-scale projects like the one envisioned for Bricktown,” Matteson, 63, said in a press release.

The enigmatic developer, however, has an opaque background.

Neither of Matteson’s companies cited in the press release — Matteson Capital and Centurion Partners — have a website.

Details of his completed projects are sparse, other than what he has told the press. He claims to have 40 years of development experience and to have been involved in The Residences at Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, the Icon Hotel in Houston, the Sapphire Tower condominiums in San Diego and Miami, and “a 5,000-acre master plan in Tuscany, Italy.”

Prior to 2020, most of what was written about Matteson had to do with his brief relationship with Shannon Beador, a cast member of the “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Their relationship lasted about six months in 2018. During that time, salacious allegations about the couple were published in online tabloids, which told of bounced child support checks and too much drinking.

There is a 2006 Aspen Times feature about Centurion Partners’ co-founders, Matteson and two others development plans for Aspen, including building Residences at The Little Nell.

A 2016 court record shows a small claims case for an unspecified amount of less than $10,000 filed against Matteson —  which is nothing compared to the 8-, 9- and 10-figure lawsuits many large developers face throughout their careers. The case was mediated two years later. It’s unclear if it was connected to his business dealings. 

In addition to listing Matteson Capital and Centurion Partners in his employment history, his  LinkedIn profile says he had a four-year stint as executive chairman and founder of Quiksilver Hotels & Resorts International from 2013-2017. Like Matteson’s other ventures, there is very little information on the company. 

A LinkedIn page describes it as “a newly-formed hospitality company that will manage, acquire, and develop luxury hotel and resort projects using the Quiksilver brand.” Some news outlets ran stories about the company’s strategy in 2014, as well as its plans to build a $350-million-dollar “world class” surf resort in Palm Desert. Ten years later there are still no signs of the resort.

Aside from his brief high-profile relationship, little else is out there on his personal life. A Facebook account bearing his name says that he’s a pancreatic cancer survivor and a widower. And a 2019 GoFundMe page set up by his four daughters includes Matteson’s picture and an appeal to raise $100,000 to help him fight Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. Around $15,000 from 77 donors has been raised as of Jan. 26.

Since 2020, however, Matteson has almost no digital footprint, until he resurfaced with The Boardwalk at Bricktown plans.

While it’s hard to get a clear picture of who Matteson is, what is plainly in focus is why a developer would eye OKC for a major project. It’s one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S., having expanded its population from about 400,000 to more than 600,000 over the past 10 years. It’s also got a new $900 million downtown arena on the way for its NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Still, in a city like OKC, where the skyline is far more modest than other urban centers, a supertall flanked by three much shorter towers would stand out like a huge middle finger to the Southwest. Perhaps that is an implicit statement the clandestine developer is hoping to make?

Matteson’s partners have expressed doubts about the project becoming a reality.  

Randy Hogan, an Oklahoma developer who is partnering with Matteson on the project, called the supertall proposal “aspirational,” according to The Oklahoman. And that was back when the plans called for the tower to rise only 1,750 feet.

But Matteson insists that he is determined to push forward.

“I’m used to being told you can’t do things,” he told The Oklahoman in December. “But I’m used to getting it done.”

While that’s bold talk, his ability to back it up could be met with a slew of challenges, particularly in securing financing when interest rates are high and distress is piling up everywhere across sectors. 

So how Matteson can pull this off  —  or whether he has to rethink his plans altogether — will remain unanswered questions for now.



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