Developers Believe 11th Street Is Tulsa's Next Hot Spot

Tuesday, April 28th 2015, 11:05 pm
By: News On 6

Some are calling it the city's next urban neighborhood. 11th Street from Peoria to Utica has come a long way in just the last two years with businesses moving in left and right.

One building owner just started demolition on a close to $500,000 project to bring in new tenants.

The neighborhood is being compared to Cherry Street 20 years ago and the most recent project started Tuesday; just another sign that 11th Street through Tulsa - also part of Route 66 - is coming back to life.

Piece by piece Tuesday, demolition began on a strip of storefronts along 11th Street.

The buildings are rundown and mostly empty, but it's seen as prime real estate.

Ike's Chili recently moved in across the street, the building next door is fully renovated, Lola's is thriving and Joseph Gierek Fine Art decided to close shop on Cherry Street and to 11th Street as well.

A few blocks away, Studio Soul is unlike anything else in Tulsa and housed in one of the first full-service gas stations along Route 66.

"It is a little funkier than most places. We are a little outside of the ordinary box so for us it is perfect," said business owner, Amy Addington Smith.

They just added an outdoor patio for live music and there are plans to open a restaurant and bar.

"We really like the homegrown feel and people doing what they love and succeeding at it in an area like this," Smith said.

Councilman Blake Ewing said developers are finally noticing the potential there and are honoring the Route 66 history.

"These days folks that are traveling it are looking for little novelty shops and locally owned retail places," he said.

Ewing points out rental rates are still low and the bones of the buildings are strong.

A future bus route along Peoria will tie neighborhoods together and there are city discussions on widening the sidewalks and adding more parking options to make it pedestrian friendly.

"That is city making at its best. When private developers and local government are locked on the same vision to bring an area back to life and I think that is what we will see here. This will be the hot spot in a couple years," Ewing said.

Most people seem to agree that the area is a real compliment to what's going on half a mile north in the Pearl District and half a mile south on Cherry Street.