Neighbors Push For North Tulsa Development

Monday, June 20th 2011, 6:29 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma –A north Tulsa neighborhood has big expectations for what's called a "small area plan." It's a guideline for spending public money on infrastructure.

What is called the "Northland Plan" is just on paper at this point, but the neighborhood sees it as the beginning of radical change. It's a concept document that details how a north Tulsa intersection could once again serve as community center.

"We can't travel 10 miles to go get the things we need, even 5 miles, it's critical that it's all done right here," Sharon Hanson, with North Star Neighborhood Association, said.

The Northland Shopping Center once thrived at 3600 North Hartford, but now it's a crossroads surrounded mostly by parking lots.

The exception is the Tisdale Clinic that will open next spring. It's a $20 million outreach clinic from OU.

For the neighbors, it's the beginning of rebuilding the services the community needs.

"All the basic needs for everyday needs are somewhere else and that's a bad reflection on Tulsa, I think. It doesn't show Tulsa to be the progressing city that it needs to be," Madolyn Love-Thompson said.

The concept for Northland almost got shelved in favor of planning around the rapid growth at Tulsa Hills, to guide what's coming, and to plan renewal around Utica Avenue, to protect what's already there.

But now money for Northland is back in the budget.

"The area that through the PlaniTulsa process really should be first in line for a small area plan really is North Tulsa," Jim Twombly, Tulsa City Manager, said.

Tracie Chandler remembers when Northland anchored the neighborhood and has watched it decline. She wants the same thing for her neighborhood that everyone wants for their neighborhood.

"We want a neighborhood that is safe, economically sound and one that is involved in the city," she said.

The plan for "Northland" will cost about $75,000. It's in the mayor's proposed budget which is up for council approval this week.

By guiding how the city plans to spends money, it gives private developers something to count on as they consider investing in an area.