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Using Vision 2025 money for downtown housing development

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Tulsa's Vision 2025 money is being used to build a sparkling new, state-of-the-art arena, but city officials are hoping Vision money can also be used to save some of Tulsa's oldest downtown buildings, too.

Tuesday, the city announced the latest project benefiting from the Vision 2025 plan. $9-million in seed money for residential development.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says before you can revive downtown, officials say you have to have people living downtown. But some of the old buildings can be very hard to renovate.

So they're giving some incentives. They are offering $9-million to developers. It's the largest amount of money that's ever been allocated for this kind of project. For example, the current effort to renovate the Philtower into loft apartments was done with just $1-million. The money can only be used for residential projects. But they're hoping that the buildings will be mixed-use.

Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune: "We want to see a building that has retail on the first floor and then maybe some office right above that and then the residential above that. That is what's happening around the country when you see successful downtown revitalization."

Up until now, most of the downtown residential projects have been geared for the upscale crowd. They're hoping they can get housing for a broader range of incomes.
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