City Seeking Proposals To Develop Historic Land

Tuesday, June 30th 2015, 12:05 am
By: News On 6

More than 22 acres of undeveloped land is sitting just outside the IDL in Tulsa and the city is asking for proposals on how to bring the historic property back to life.

The Evans Electric building went up in the 1920s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it's the second time the city has requested proposals for development there.

At almost 100 years old, the building shows some wear and tear, but to developer Antoine Harris it is much more than that.

"This building has incredible bones, and structure and a great story," he said.

Part of the Historic Greenwood community, the area used to be a bustling industrial complex.

Harris and his team think they've got the perfect concept for it - an open-air marketplace that will tell the history of the community while emphasizing sustainability.

"Taking these old historical buildings and rehabbing them into modern beauty. Our goal was to add to and tell the collective minority story by bringing it into the whole of today," Harris said.

There would also be more than 200 apartments on the property for medium income renters, like OSU and Langston students.

For Harris, it would be the second go-around since the city didn't accept any of the proposals for the area in 2013.

If Harris submits another proposal it would just be a revamping of the original idea, with a few tweaks; modeled after the famous Pike's Place Market in Seattle.

"This is screaming for a specific type of developer, one that is planted in this community and understands the history and where we are going as a collective city," he said.

And as the city points out, the area has direct access to Interstate 244 and US Highway 75. Plus, it sits just across the IDL from millions of dollars of investment in the Brady and Greenwood District that will only continue to grow.

Whoever ends up developing there will have to deal with some environmental issues. To make it fully ready for development, a close to two-year cleanup process will have to happen before anyone even breaks ground.