Foundation Unveils Initial Plan For Riverside Drive Project In Tulsa

Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 10:37 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsans are weighing in on a $100 million park project along Riverside Drive. The George Kaiser Family Foundation is paying for the entire development.

Wednesday night, the foundation revealed the initial plan based on ideas the community submitted. The idea is to have designated areas for sports, nature learning, ropes course, a cafe and so much more.

"I think it's new and exciting and wonderful," Margaret Pray, park supporter, said.

Pray submitted one of the nearly 1,400 public comments in March that went into developing the plans. She's lived near the project site since 1963.

"I'm just anxious to see what a lot of people want and what the consensus is," Pray said.

The feedback had a strong emphasis on areas for kids that encourage play time and inspire thought.

"More space for kids and more creative places for them to be and not only play spaces for young kids, but kids maybe all the way up to early teens," Jeff Stava, Project Manager, said.

Other public priorities are activities the park will support, like yoga and movie night and connectivity to the land around the project.

"Tulsans really want an active part, which is something that we think we can deliver on," Stava said. "They talked about how to link the site with RiverParks. They want to see connections. They want to see more trails."

03/06/2012 Related Story: Ideas Pour In For Riverside 'Gathering Place' In Tulsa

The George Kaiser Family Foundation is planning the development and will pay for the $100 to $150 million price tag. The foundation is expected to break ground in early 2014.

The project involves more than 55 acres starting at the Blair Mansion and stretching south along Riverside to 29th Street - as well as the Sundance and Legacy apartment properties south of 31st.

The architect says Tulsa has the potential to look like other waterfront projects in major cities. The landscaping will rely heavily on natural grasses and rock formations found in Northeast Oklahoma.

The next public meeting for input is Thursday at 6 p.m. at the TCC Center for Creativity downtown.

The project manager hopes to have a final design plan by this fall.