TU Clears Way For Property Improvements


Monday, September 19th 2016, 10:02 pm
By: Emory Bryan


The University of Tulsa demolished two houses Monday near the campus.

It's another step toward the reconstruction of the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood.

The houses were knocked down there because new homes will go in there. But a larger demolition just finished at 6th and Lewis. The area is being cleared for improvements.

It didn't take long for a demolition crew to knock down and load up two old homes.

The University of Tulsa owns the property but hasn't decided what to do with it.

Across the street there's a larger plan, a 100-unit apartment building, financed by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, with 50 units at market rate, 50 units for people with lower income.

"All the units are finished at market rates or above," said Josh Miller, Program Officer for the Kaiser Family Foundation. "They're all very nice, and opposed to having a lesser finish for a tax credit unit, as opposed to a market rate unit, they're the same and so it's an opportunity for everyone to have the same level of quality housing here."

Last year, the site looked very different with several homes, a run-down gas station and an apartment building.

Next year, phase two of the West Park Apartments will begin.

It's all part of a plan involving the Kendall Whittier School, the Educare next door and phase one of West Park by that.

It has 128 units, and a waiting list with 300 names on it.

One section has non-profit offices downstairs and TU graduate students upstairs.

New homes nearby, designated for teachers, fit into a strategy to rebuild a neighborhood for all incomes.

"It's not only the physical environment like the apartments and housing, it's also the schools, starting at the beginning with Educare and creating a system of interventions and creating a birth to college to career pipeline for kids in the neighborhood," Miller said. 

The next step is the state approving tax credits for the lower income units. That should come in November with construction after that.
The next step is the state approving tax credits for the lower income units. That should come in November with construction after that.