Tulsa Street Fest Launches Pearl District Revitalization Plan

Saturday, April 16th 2011, 4:46 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, Oklahoma -- The City of Tulsa, the community and small business owners have big dreams for the Pearl District and they showed those plans off Saturday.

03/02/2011 Related Story: Tulsa's Pearl District Now Pilot Area For 'Foot Traffic Friendly' Code

The chamber of commerce and Tulsa Young Professionals held the showcase event. The Pearl district is east of downtown, from Highway 75 to Utica, between 11th Street and I-244.

Saturday's street fair focused around Peoria and 6th -- and future business. The idea is to make the Pearl District as viable as Cherry Street and Brookside.

"Painting and helping install new windows, working with the property owners to really clean it up. And through that we are able to give a visual representation of what this area could look like if it was developed," said Cassie Reese, TYPROS Chairperson.

The Pearl District started declining in the 1960s.  Organizers hope to restore the area to its former glory by turning it into a pedestrian-friendly, small business neighborhood with a canal down the middle of E. 6th Street right off Peoria.  It would be surrounded by two lanes for foot and car traffic.

A few businesses already plan to open in the next few months.  Phoenix Cafe will open by the end of the summer as a bagel, coffee and used book shop in one.

"I just kinda fell in love with the space and got really excited about putting something there that the whole community, not just downtown, but the area around it could all share," cafe owner Blake Ewing said.

Lot Number 6, an art gallery and bar, is opening next month.

"We'll have art openings once a month featuring local artists," said Vanessa Somerville, the owner of Lot Number 6.  "And then as soon as we get all of our licenses in place, we'll be selling beer and booze full time."

The city will start street improvement and waterline replacement on Monday, April 19, at the intersection of E. 6th Street and Peoria.

Traffic will be cut down to one lane in each direction through October.