A nondescript building in downtown Tulsa is getting a facelift in hopes of bringing it back to its heyday.
The once dilapidated and history-rich Coliseum Apartments at 7th and Elgin are the latest project of two local developers.
For years, the Coliseum Apartments Building served as a magnet for crime.
“It was the number one called 911 address in the city of Tulsa," said developer Elliot Nelson.
Nelson and business partner Casey Stowe decided to do something about that by purchasing the building in 2011.
"To get this, which is one of the main entrances off 7th street on the B.A., to get this entrance into downtown cleaned up to where that wasn't people's first impression," Nelson said.
Now, four years later, demolition begins on the project to bring the building back to what it once was.
Built in the 1920s, secretaries for Tulsa Oil executives lived in the 36 apartments.
"The building might seem like it is in an odd location, out on the edge of where everything is, but these historic opportunities happen where they happen," said Stowe.
Using historic tax credits, developers can't change much from the original design.
The tiny 36 apartments will remain 36 apartments, and prices will be affordable for people who don't want to pay more than $600 or $700 a month in rent.
“I'm hoping that income range can afford to live here in this complex and walk to work, and keep people down here and make it a real 24-7 neighborhood," Nelson said.
He said there are plans for a new office building next door and there is some chatter about interest in other empty lots near the intersection.
"Right now it feels isolated, but now there is almost continued development between this and where the activity is," Nelson said.
Stowe said, "We are looking at opportunities, and smart investments, and areas where we can make a difference, and bring some life into downtown and enhance what is already there."
Nelson and Stowe hope to have the apartments ready for move in sometime in August.