Emory Bryan, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- There's progress on plans to develop the Arkansas River. The City of Tulsa is working on a development for the West Bank, roughly from 17th to 23rd streets.
This is the first time the city has offered developers the best slices of land on the West bank. It's up to the marketplace to come up with something doable and then the city gets to choose which one can go forward.
When Katy and Bill Pyle moved to Tulsa two years ago, they were disappointed to find there wasn't much to do along the river.
"It was kind of shame to see nothing done with such a good water feature, running right through city," said Bill Pyle.
They enjoy the river, and so does their dog, but like so many Tulsans, they would like to see it finally developed.
"But if there's more attractions along the river, it would increase tourism, everything, I like the idea," Katy Pyle.
The City is close to asking developers to come up with plans for 115 acres on the West bank. It would include the River West festival park, the Tulsa Concrete Company land, and the City public works yard.
While the City wants the park land redeveloped first, otherwise they're leaving it up to developers to come up with a plan.
"We're not presupposing anybody's proposal, we want to open it up as much as we can and see what it brings," said Mike Bunney, City of Tulsa Economic Development.
The City wants the development to become a major tourist destination and sales tax generator. Developers would have to meet strict environmental and building restrictions and ensure continued access to the public park land.
"The festival park and the ability to have festivals is specified in the bid documents," Bunney said.
Developers have to look no further than just across the River to the Blue Rose Cafe to see the potential. The site planned for development has even better views of the River and downtown.
The Pyles, from Dallas, are hoping to see it happen.
"We're up for more, restaurants and things like that for the river, definitely," Katy Pyle said.
The City hopes to make a deal on by the end of the year. At the soonest, that could all construction on something as soon as a year from now.