Small Businesses Jumping To Be Part Of Deco District Growth

Wednesday, March 9th 2016, 11:08 pm
By: News On 6

With all the planned residential projects, downtown Tulsa is on the verge of more than doubling its population.

A number of those projects are in the historic Deco District surrounding 5th and Boston, and business owners are trying to get in on the ground floor of the expected growth.

The area has its anchor tenants - like Bank of Oklahoma and OneGas – but the neighborhood is now filling in around them with apartments, hotels and small businesses.

After a life in corporate America, Julee March opened Jules three months ago and is already catering to the neighborhood.

“I had an epiphany one day and decided I wanted to work for myself and realized now is the right time to be downtown,” she said.

Her shop, in the Deco District, is right next to another brand new business, StudioOne Yoga. It’s a startup venture between Jessica Sprenkel and Teresa Moyer.

“Both of us spend a lot of our time around these four blocks and we want people to come work out with us,” Sprenkel said.

She fell in love with Tulsa while visiting from Austin and moved here last year.

“It felt like the right vibe to start my own thing,” she said.

The businesses sit right in the middle of two soon to be apartments in the Deco District. And those people moving in are going to want places to shop and work out.

While there is still a number of 'for lease’ and 'available' signs, William Franklin, who has owned Decopolis for three years, said the new tenants will help complete what the neighborhood needs.

“To have that next leg of people actually living down here, that will help things go even better," he said.

Kanbar Properties, who owns many of the buildings downtown, said in the last few months they've leased more than 7,000 square feet of space.

Some specific tenants they're going after now include grocers and pharmacies as well as salons and new restaurants.