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Downtown Tulsa Living Filling Up Fast

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Downtown Tulsa is growing, from the Brady District to the Blue Dome District, just to name a few; and it isn't just businesses. Downtown Tulsa is growing, from the Brady District to the Blue Dome District, just to name a few; and it isn't just businesses.
Stuart Rains is renovating, what used to be Harrington's Department Store, into a loft-style apartment complex. Stuart Rains is renovating, what used to be Harrington's Department Store, into a loft-style apartment complex.
Developers say they are trying to attract young professionals mainly, but also empty nesters who want to experience a more downtown lifestyle. Developers say they are trying to attract young professionals mainly, but also empty nesters who want to experience a more downtown lifestyle.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Downtown Tulsa is growing, from the Brady District to the Blue Dome District, just to name a few; and it isn't just businesses.

People are moving downtown at a steady pace. In fact, residential occupancy is almost at 100 percent and developers are taking notice.

One downtown building will hold 40 apartments and some stores. It isn't complete yet, but it's already full. It's just one of 19 projects going on downtown.

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A nondescript building on the corner of 8th and Main, its history is evident on the faded brick; Harrington's Department store. The man developing it, Stuart Rains, actually shopped there as a kid and bought it in late 2012.

"I love the building. It's had, for the most part, good surprises," Rains said.

In the fall, the space will house 24 loft-style apartments from 600 to 900 square feet each.

"Here in this apartment, the walls are not up yet, but it gives you an idea of how much space you have without walls in," he said.

Many changes are underway in the building; what used to be the freight elevator will become a staircase. One thing will remain the same; the exposed brick.

"Having torn it back down to the bones, I think these apartments will be gorgeous," said Rains. "In fact, I wish I could move into one myself."

So do many other Tulsans.

"We are making a list of people interested. Don't think it will take long to fill it," he said.

A few blocks away, on East 5th Street, the Vandever lofts are already full.

"Once word got out I didn't have to do any advertising, all word of mouth, and filled up so quickly," said Vandever Lofts Manager, Monika Ford. "I have waiting list that could fill building up again."

Built in the 20s, the space also housed a department store.

"In fact I have a tenant here who remembers being a young child and shopping at this department store," said Ford. "So she has some great stories about this space and building."

Rains hopes developing his space will fuel interest in what many have already named the "Cathedral District."

"We're hoping to be at the beginning of something that will make more southern part of downtown more interesting," he said.

Developers say they are trying to attract young professionals mainly, but also empty nesters who want to experience a more downtown lifestyle.

Two other large residential projects in the works downtown, but they aren't for reporting just yet.

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