$8M Renovation Brings Closed East Tulsa Apartment Complex Back To Life
TULSA, Oklahoma - A once crime-ridden apartment complex has gotten a new lease on life after an $8 million renovation.
The old Somerset East Apartments in Tulsa have been transformed and City Councilor Byron "Skip" Steele is calling it a win-win.
He says the new MetroPlex Apartments are not only some of the largest in Tulsa, but they're also expected to spur development and help reduce crime on the east side of town.
Building developer Steve Pereff always knew this day was possible, if he could only get to it.
"There were people living in the complex that we didn't know about. One pulled a gun on me," Pereff said.
He said having a gun pulled on him was just part of what - 2 years ago - was an eyesore and a hotbed of crime.
"Anything you can think of was going on," Pereff said.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said the complex was known for, "Everything from gang activity--a lot of theft in the surrounding neighborhoods, a lot of drug activity."
Jordan said many of the calls officers go on are related to poorly managed, run-down apartment complexes, and this $8 million renovation will do more than provide new places to live.
"This will be a quality residential area that we won't have to worry about," Jordan said.
Steve Pereff showed us around one of their three bedroom, 1,300-square-feet apartments.
"We have new bathroom fixtures, new tubs," Pereff said.
There's also new flooring, appliances, carpets, cabinets and counters.
"Everything you can think of is brand new, from the studs up," Pereff said.
He said the renovated apartments are doing more than providing housing again, it's also increasing the property values and salability of homes in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Developers hope to have all 216 units completed by December.
Tenants are already moving in, and while there's still work left to be done, Pereff said he's already thinking about future Tulsa developments.
"We're looking at three or four other properties, as we speak."
Right now, about 40 apartments are complete, with another 30 coming in the next few weeks.
One bedroom, 800-square-feet apartments start at $675.
The complex is located across the street from the Eastgate MetroPlex, or what used to be the old Eastland Mall. Developers say more than 2,000 people work there, and they're hoping to make some of them tenants.