There’s a new timeline for the Gathering Place construction, including the groundbreaking and the demolition of apartments that are in the way. Residents are just getting word now they'll have to be out by the end of the year.
The plan for the privately financed park has always included the demolition of two apartment complexes already controlled by the foundation. What's new is that the plans changed from tearing them down in a couple of years to tearing them down next January.
The Legacy at Riverview and the Sundance Apartments sit alongside Crow Creek just south of 31st street. There are 577 units between the two complexes, with 708 tenants who all have to move by year's end.
The project manager for the park, Jeff Stava, said to make sure every resident has a place to go; the Kaiser Foundation will have housing consultants at both complexes.
"To work one on one and come up with a transition plan for every single tenant," he said.
The complexes will be demolished to make room for equipment and parking for three years of construction on phase one of the Gathering Place.
There will also be road closures and trail closures in the area.
"And we'll be working hard to make sure it's all communicated, but be sure when you're building a $350 million park there's going to be inconveniences, but it's short term for a very long term, world class asset for the City of Tulsa," Stava said.
The planning is now far enough along that the Kaiser Foundation has set a date for the groundbreaking; Saturday, September 20th on the Blair Property.
That's where a massive playground and lake will be built, so the groundbreaking will incorporate a public picnic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"So we're encouraging all the kids to come and they'll get little shovels so they can take part in the groundbreaking because this is a park for all of Tulsa," said Stava.
The plans for the Gathering Place have now been refined to include the design for tunnels along Riverside Drive, for one of the water playgrounds, for the boathouse, and for treehouses, all in just the first phase.
The second phase will redevelop the land where the apartments will be demolished creating a new large open space on the south end of the property.
The first phase is three years of heavy construction with all the equipment and workers using the land where the apartments are now.