Historic Boston Building To Get Massive Renovation
TULSA, Oklahoma - Plans for a new downtown Tulsa hotel have saved an old building from an uncertain future.
The company that put lofts in the Philtower has turned its attention across the street to a run-down office building.
The Boston Building is going to be a hotel, but first it needs a massive renovation with some historic preservation.
The Boston Building is easy to miss, surrounded by art deco treasures, but the old headquarters of Sooner Federal is getting some new interest.
"When they become functionally obsolete, there is a grave danger of them just being demolished,” RiverCity Development’s Richard Winton said.
Developer Richard Winton is helping preserve historic elements of the building while tearing out old systems that made it so inefficient -- it wasn't viable as office space.
The top floor plans call for hotel meeting space, with 18-foot ceilings and a copper-clad fireplace, but the windows are the real draw.
"The views are amazing aren't they?” Winton asked.
The views are among the best in Tulsa.
But the building's interior is a wreck. All 13 floors are coated with asbestos fireproofing.
The cost of removing it made renovation unaffordable, until the city stepped in with a low-interest loan for environmental cleanup.
Clay Bird, City Economic Development Director: "The whole idea behind those revolving loan funds is that it's a loan,” City Economic Development Director Clay Bird said. “Once they're repaid, they go back into the fund and help remediate other properties."
The same program will help finance another step in the cleanup at the Evans Fin Tube site.
Work there starts next month to clean up asbestos, PCBs and lead-based paint.
But the work on the Boston Building is already well underway.
Where there was asbestos, there's now just the frame of the building on several floors.
The new hotel could open next spring, giving an old building a second chance.
"But I think now we've come to the realization these places are worth saving, and they contribute interest and beauty to our community,” Winton said.
The developer will get a $584,000 low-interest loan to finance the cleanup.