A development project in north Tulsa is moving forward.
The Tulsa Development Authority is giving the go-ahead for a plan for new retail and apartments.
"North Tulsa rocks, and it's time to get on board," said Michael Smith, the Morton's Reserve developer.
Smith is a Tulsa native.
"I am a proud graduate of the Booker T. Washington," he said.
For the last four years he's wanted to do something good for the Dunbar Community.
What they have planned will go at the site of the historic Morton Hospital on Pine near North Peoria.
"Opportunity to really re-imagine a long-neglected part of our community, part of our city," Smith said.
With designs just approved by the Tulsa Development Authority board today, Morton's Reserve is bringing a new look to the community.
"We'll be able to bring some quality-of-life amenities, retail amenities to the neighborhood," Smith said.
The historic Morton Hospital will become office space as well as a 14-hundred square foot museum honoring north Tulsa's history.
The actual hospital building will be re-imagined into offices as well as a museum honoring the legacy of north Tulsa.
"... which captures the richness and history, not only of the Morton Hospital, but also north Tulsa in general," Smith said.
Also on the site will be a three-story office and retail complex, drawing in national chains and quality-of-life amenities.
"This is definitely going to be new, upcoming area. Close to downtown, close to BMX," Smith said.
A third building will have 64-multi-family apartment units.
"As good, if not better than what you would see downtown," he said.
Smith hopes to attract locals to reinvest in the area, something Dunbar Association President Bill White thinks will happen.
"People in the neighborhood are looking for places they can go. They may not want to go all the way downtown or pay downtown prices," White said.
While some designs still need to be worked out, the plan is to break ground early next year.
"We're bringing a level of quality of housing stock to this neighborhood, as good, if not better than what you would see downtown," Smith said.
District One City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper said the project is needed.
“Michael Smith is bringing a project to north Tulsa that is so needed to recognize the Greenwood District." Hall-Harper said. "This project truly exemplifies the spirit of Greenwood and we hope that this project will be a catalysis for many more projects to come.
"Kudos to Michael Smith for engaging the community like no other project has ever done in this community in the last 30-to-40 years. I am so very proud of this project and I can’t wait to see it completed.”