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Developer Testing Discounted Rent To Attract More Downtown Living

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

For many people who work in downtown Tulsa, it's too expensive to rent an apartment there.

This month, a Tulsa development company is lowering rates for certain applicants to see if that will lead to more people living downtown.

"There is a demand for young professionals, and they would live downtown if it were more affordable," said TYPros Chair Stephanie Cameron.

“Consistently people will walk in and say, ‘Sure I really like this, but I can't afford it," said Steve Ganzkow with American Residential Group.

Ganzkow is behind The Edge Apartments in the East Village and, this month, if you meet certain criteria you can rent some units there for hundreds less a month than the market rate.

Your annual income can't be higher than about $60,000 and you must work downtown.

"Or also in conjunction with police officers, firefighters, teachers - people essential to quality of life downtown," Ganzkow said.

If the demand is there, American Residential hopes to be able to incorporate the less expensive workforce options in future developments, including The View, which will be built near ONEOK Field.

"This is done in conjunction with City of Tulsa, and, hopefully, State of Oklahoma to provide some of the incentives to hopefully make this work," he said.

Cameron said having more people live downtown attracts other development.

“We would be able to attract some of the organizations and businesses we would like to see, like grocery stores, like retail, to have a thriving downtown like we see in other cities," she said.

If the market test is successful, Ganzkow said, "Then we have a demonstrated track record that if you do this, it results in more people living downtown, and that is our goal."

They're trying it out this month, but there's no official arrangement yet with the City or State to make it happen.

The company will have a better idea of whether the concept will work in Tulsa after the end of the trial.

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