Tulsa Solicits Developers For Former Laura Dester Site

Tuesday, May 2nd 2017, 2:36 pm
By: News On 6

The site of the former Laura Dester Youth Shelter in Tulsa’s Pearl District is getting a makeover – and the sky’s the limit when it comes to design ideas.

The land has a lot of perks - it sits in the middle of a neighborhood, it’s close to brand new shops, and, it is less than a half mile from downtown.

Built in the 1940s as a shelter for homeless children, the buildings have been empty for years and are not in the best shape.

So, the Tulsa Development Authority wants to hear from developers on what to do with the four-and-a-half acres of land.

Leanne Benton with the Pearl District Association said, "This is the first time I've ever seen this much land in the middle of a business district that’s available.”

Benton said with downtown booming the way it is, "There is only so much land in the IDL, and this is right outside the IDL, and I think the ripple effect is being felt."

The land has been appraised at $790,000 and the main stipulation is the area in the center remain reserved to design for flood control.

The buildings can stay and be renovated, or, they can go to make way for new construction.

In the last few years, this area along 11th Street has welcomed dozens of new business owners.

“Forbes named us number one in entrepreneurs coming to Tulsa - we need more housing,” Benton said.

Interested developers have until October to put in their proposals.