Local Businesses Working On Plan To Expand Boston Avenue

Tuesday, June 23rd 2015, 11:26 pm
By: News On 6

From high-end wine bars to a legendary music venue, Tulsa's 18th and South Boston has a little bit of everything.

Now, the business association has a new vision to expand north, to 15th Street and breathe life into a district many refer to as SoBo.

The cross streets of 18th and Boston are home to the Mercury Lounge and Dalesandro's restaurant; but now things are moving three blocks north, and after years of talk, the association is ready to get the work started.

Sonny Dalesandro grew up in the neighborhood, so in 2004 - after moving away - he came home and opened Dalesandro's restaurant at 18th and Boston.

"For me this is the epicenter of my youth," he said.

Dalesandro is one of close to 100 business owners behind the idea to rehab Boston north to 15th street.

"It is very exciting to organize and incorporate with all the individuals getting on the same page," he said.

Enter, Association President Patrick Fox, who recently purchased a plot of land to develop and also happens to have an urban planning background.

"There has been a lot of potential here for years, and we think it is time to make it happen," Fox said.

The idea is to start with the basics - angled parking, fixing up streets and improving the area for pedestrians and cyclists; after all it's a direct route to Maple Ridge and what will be the Gathering Place.

"It is a true district plan that guides capital development, and then we sow seeds and watch it grow," Fox said.

Sterling Salon just relocated to the area a year ago and the owners said they moved to get in on something from the ground up.

The association is using local businesses, like Cubic, to design the web page and market the SoBo District.

"It is not an arterial street, but there are some great businesses along there. It can serve the neighborhood and serve downtown; there's really no other place like it in Tulsa," said Fox.

The vision is to keep the eclectic mix, as a way for Tulsans to enjoy a little bit of everything when they visit.

"Whether you drive a Mercedes Benz or an El Camino, you can have a fine glass of wine or a Miller High Life across the street," Dalesandro said.

The business association has met with the city on a number of occasions to discuss things like streets and parking, and they hope to have a plan to present the city by the end of August.

There are also some bonds issues coming up that could include capital improvement funds, so if the plan is accepted, maybe some of that money could be put into the neighborhood.