Big Plans Set For Tulsa's Greenwood Neighborhood
TULSA, Oklahoma - People who live and work just north of downtown are eyeing a vision plan for the future.
Notre Dame students have been studying the area between Interstate 244 and Pine Street, between 75 and the Tisdale Parkway.
There's nothing on MLK Boulevard but trees and a few streetlights.
But one idea on the drawing board would turn it into a popular corridor with retail, housing, and food options.
"Living here for 11 years you see that it's actually safer because everybody knows each other and looks out for each other," said Nathan Pickard. "We want to live in a walkable community. One that forces interactions between neighbors to live, work, and play all in one area."
The area was packed with 16,000 people before the Tulsa Race Riots nearly a century ago.
There are some projects in the works, like a public Montessori school, BMX's headquarters and OSU's expansion.
But some say that's just a start.
"With gentrification happening, the community is becoming more middle class white and we would like to see it diversified back to what it was," Pickard said.
So Notre Dame students gathered input from business owners, residents and community leaders, coming up with a three-phase design.
"I'm blown away by some of the stuff that they've been able to do," said Clarence Boyd.
Boyd said a key focus is bridging gaps between the area and downtown.
"There's also a socioeconomic gap, a racial gap ... And so how do we attract people who want to live in this area, thrive in this area, and raise families in this area?" he said.
The design fills the gaps with mixed living, retail offices and restaurants, an amphitheater, monuments, and sidewalks.
All without erasing the history of what used to be a thriving area.
"They're connecting our past to our future," Boyd said.
"We want it to be unique. Something that shows how cultures can come together and unite," Pickard said.
One big dream is to take out the stretch of I-244 that runs between Interstate 75 and the Tisdale Parkway, turning it into an urban boulevard.
The designs will be presented to city leaders in the next month.