Crowds Line Up To Oppose Proposed Turkey Mountain Outlet Mall
TULSA, Oklahoma - More than 150 people showed up to hear about the proposed Tulsa Premium Outlets – the shopping center that would stand in the shadow of Turkey Mountain.
Right now there isn't a store in sight, and the people who came out to Tuesday's meeting said they want it to stay that way.
Turkey Mountain is seen as the last piece of pristine nature in Tulsa, but that could change with the outlet mall.
Tuesday night there was a long line and security present at the meeting centered on the proposed Tulsa Premium Outlets.
3/16/2015 Related Story: Meetings Held Over Controversial Turkey Mountain Mall Project
Tulsa resident, Valerie Soules said, “There's a lot of people that are concerned about this, and the facts need to get out there.”
"I think they need to listen to the people. What is best for the public, best for the people that live in this area," Turkey Mountain supporter, Sue Marlof said.
Simon Property Group is planning to build the 800,000 square foot shopping center on the northeast corner of 61st and Highway 75.
2/19/2015 Related Story: Designs Discussed For Proposed Mall Near Turkey Mountain
The developer has already submitted plans to relocate utilities and construct a six-lane bridge above the highway with a double left-hand turn into the shopping center.
A Simon spokesperson told people at the meeting that the outlet mall would not be seen from Turkey Mountain.
Opposition to the outlets is fierce, especially among runners and cyclists, like Cailean Carlberg.
"Taking away green space in Tulsa alone, you know, there are plenty of places to build," Carlberg said.
Travis West said, "People need this. People need to be able to get out, get away."
Soules said she's proud so many showed up to defend the urban wilderness.
"I think this is too big of an issue to just sit on Facebook and post things and hope that logic will prevail because I don't think it's the appropriate site," she said.
Tulsa City Councilor Jeannie Cue said she, too, wants more information from the developer.
"We all love Turkey Mountain. It's our Central Park. I've lived by it my whole life and we don't want to do anything to damage that area," she said.
Neither do most of the people at Tuesday night's meeting, but Simon hopes to break ground this fall.
We reported in August that the Kaiser family has purchased enough land to maintain Turkey Mountain and said it is safe from commercial development.
Simon is asking the planning commission to re-zone the property for commercial development. The city council will approve or deny that re-zoning.