A west Tulsa shopping center that was about empty is getting new life. A new business opened Monday morning in Crystal City, and more are on the way.
If you look at Crystal City and see the empty spots, you're not seeing what a lot of people are noticing - that those empty spots are filling in, and more shoppers are coming back to what one was the heart of west Tulsa.
As far as ribbon cuttings go, Monday morning’s was routine, but it carries more symbolism than most of the change in the works.
The new Freeland Brown pharmacy opened in what's been, for years, an almost empty shopping center; but Crystal City is turning around.
The new store joins a Family Dollar, an AutoZone and several smaller shops.
A Sav-A-Lot grocery store is moving in next month in a space that's now under renovation, and an old liquor store is being eyed for a new business.
The owners of the pharmacy invested in new technology for the store, figuring there's demand for a full-service pharmacy, with a complete line of medical supplies.
Co-owner, Andy Kohler said, “We really think it will revive this area, and not many people realize that this center for west Tulsa - the Redfork, Berryhill area - this is the closest source for any kind of food and prescriptions they might need."
At the opposite end of Crystal City, Carl's Coney Island dates back to when it was surrounded by successful businesses. They're hoping to see new customers with the resurgence of Crystal City.
“It may not be like the 1920s, but even when this opened in the 1970s there were all sorts of businesses here, but everything went out of business, except this, Carl's,” Janet Cook said.
Tulsa City Councilor Jeannie Cue said, "For so many years, this was a blight on the community."
But the changes are exciting for Cue, who believes it's becoming a new town center for west Tulsa.
“They want a place where they can see their neighbors and visit, and this what makes this area so exciting, because people have memories, I do too, of what this used to be,” she said.
Crystal City is just another example of Tulsa taking areas that have been run down for a while, and bringing them back to life.
The shopping center might also benefit from tourism along Route 66. They're incorporating that theme in the redesign.