Old Tulsa City Hall May Be Demolished

Wednesday, September 16th 2009, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- There's no sale yet for Tulsa's old city hall.  It's just one of the buildings abandoned when city government moved into One Technology Center.  The city believes the old city hall will have to be demolished before any developer is willing to buy the land.

While there are no takers for that building, there are deals in the works for two other empty buildings downtown.

The old city hall seems destined for the wrecking ball.  The city says lots of developers want the land, but no a one wants the building.

"Demolition of the building is a likely candidate.  I haven't talked to any developer yet who was interested in remodeling the building.  They're all talking about demolishing the building and rebuilding on the site," said Mike Bunney with the City of Tulsa.

The city's point man for the sale of old buildings briefed the city council on the prospects.  Several councilors wants the space leased out if the buildings can't be sold.

"Even if we lease it out for a dollar a year and save the expenses it would be a net gain for the citizens of Tulsa," said Tulsa City Councilor Eric Gomez.

The city says a buyer is in negotiations now for the Center Office Building at 7th and Houston.  And, it says a non-profit is looking at leasing space in the old Fire Department Headquarters at 4th and Frankfort.

Meanwhile, the mayor stands behind the decision to consolidate city offices into One Technology Center which still has two empty floors the city hoped could be leased out.

01/22/2009 Related Story: Official Dedication Of Tulsa's New City Hall

"It's hard to calculate how much we're saving, because we're all in one building, we're not driving back and forth for meetings," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Taylor believes once the economy turns around someone will buy the surplus buildings and lease out the unused space.

"Sometimes you have to make an investment for the long term and that's certainly what this is," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

The city bought One Tech two years ago and still believes the savings will add up to match the cost.

There is more information on the sale of city hall and other city properties on a website.