The city of Tulsa is one step closer to seeing major development around the 11th and Lewis area just outside of downtown.
The Mother Road Market sign went up Monday, but there’s a lot more in the works, and it looks like the city will most likely pitch in to help.
It is a scraped lot now at 11th and Lewis, but developers are eying it for 5,000 square feet of commercial space, three to four stories of apartments, townhouses, and a multilevel parking garage.
“Nobody is going to convert that unless they see the City saying ‘Yes, we want to convert that’ and ‘this is a key area for developing this,’” said developer Christopher Ellison.
On Monday, a committee made up of folks from the city council, library, health department, and TCC voted in favor of creating a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district at 11th and Lewis in order to spur development.
“It will totally change the economics of that intersection,” said city councilor Blake Ewing. “So, a TIF captures all that new money and property tax revenue that will come and turns around and puts it right back into the area.”
But capturing all that money can take time and projects can drag, but not this one.
The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation has pledged several million dollars up front to get moving on things like improving traffic congestion, sidewalks, and crosswalks.
“The city still makes all the design decisions with the hope that they will get reimbursed through the TIF,” said Ellison.
“Having a foundation willing to front the project, we haven’t seen this before and this is a really exciting thing for Route 66,” said Ewing.
It isn’t just potential for shopping or apartment developments in the area. The renaissance neighborhood is there, as well.
“It is right by TU. Seems like an ideal place to live to me,” Ellison said. “The city is talking about bus rapid transit so, in theory, you could be a one-car or no-car family if you work downtown.”
With Monday’s vote, it moves to the city council, which is expected to vote yes.