'Master Plan' In The Works For Downtown Tulsa Development

Friday, October 15th 2010, 9:29 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma - -A development boom is enlivening downtown Tulsa. It's all part of the Downtown Master Plan and a grassroots effort of small business owners.

The Master Plan has three goals and the first is revitalizing downtown. New business are popping up everywhere with that idea in mind.

Business owners like Blake Ewing want downtown Tulsa to become "the place to be."

"There's a certain energy and excitement that happens downtown no matter where you are and I think the citizens of Tulsa are starting to wake up to that," Ewing said. "Downtown was sort of taking a nap for a long time. "

Ewing opened Boomtown Tees in May and The Max, an arcade bar, last month. Next door, he'll open a BBQ and Blues joint next year.

"We get a log of support, they thank me for opening these places I think because people have this thing inside of them that really wants Tulsa to be a cool city," he said.

Downtown Tulsa is trying to draw people in between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Look for the blue door for new "nightlife."

"Business has been great, it's been fantastic," said Aaron Hamby, who works at Fassler Hall.

Fassler Hall is a German beer house that opened this month. The building was the old Indian Lock and Key.

"Downtown is becoming more of a cohesive unit instead of little spots here and there, it's like we are starting to expand," Hamby said.

The owner of Fassler Hall is developing a bowling alley across the street called the Dust Bowl Lounge and the Brady Tavern at the old Lola's at the Bowery.

To boost the residential appeal, lofts are going up everywhere. And for specialty shops, Lee's Bicycles rode into downtown in March.

"There's a lot of attraction going on and there's inertia and a lot of people like coming downtown. We are a destination location," said Adam Vanderburg, of Lee's Bicycles.

Business is up from last year, despite relocating from Brookside. And next door, Fleet Feet hit the ground running in September.

"It's all about rebuilding and restructuring and getting people who have been in south Tulsa, midtown, to see what a wonderful area it really is down here," said Kate Critchfield, of Fleet Feet Sports.

The other two goals of the Downtown Master Plan are to connect downtown to the Tulsa River Park's system and create a rail transit that extends outward from downtown.