Community Celebrates Completion Of Kendall-Whittier Revitalization

Thursday, October 17th 2013, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

A $37 million revitalization project has transformed the Kendall-Whittier area of Tulsa.

Anyone who knows Tulsa probably knows the neighborhood had a lot of abandoned homes and wasn't a child-friendly environment, not that long ago.

Now, it looks like a completely different place with a beautiful park and brand new apartments.

"The experience here has been amazing. It's really been a big blessing to live here," said resident Claire Theriot.

Theriot moved into the brand new West Park Apartment complex nearly a month ago.

"As a single mother, college student and on a teacher paycheck, I don't have much money to live in a beautiful home such as this," Theriot said.

That's why the George Kaiser Family Foundation and other community partners saw the need to add affordable living options for people in the neighborhood.

There are 128 new apartment units. Half have subsidized rent for lower incomes.

Inside there are brand new appliances, full-size washers and dryers, oversized bathrooms and large walk in closets.

"They're beautiful. They're so amazing. I have an island in my kitchen. I never thought I would ever have one of those," Theriot said.

8/7/2012 Related Story: Kendall Whittier Park Project Part Of Whole Neighborhood Revitalization

The kids in the area will probably think the best part about the revitalization project is the new playground across the street. There's also a splash pad, trails and pavilions at the new Kendall-Whittier Park.

"It really transformed this neighborhood. This was really one of the highest crime areas of the city, one of the highest rates of poverty and absenteeism," said Ken Levit, with the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Levit said they began working on the project nearly a decade ago. It started with the Educare Early Childhood Center and has blossomed into so much more.

"We've got to make sure our families are strong, our streets are safe, our neighborhoods are secure, the incomes are stable," Levit said.

City Councilor Blake Ewing said, "This was a neighborhood that was not achieving its potential and now it really is starting to turn around."

Out of those 128 apartments, there are only 30 vacant units.