Master Plan Has Big Ideas For Tulsa

Tuesday, June 30th 2009, 9:38 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- City of Tulsa officials unveiled details of the new master plan in a public meeting on Tuesday night.  The plan includes a train through downtown Tulsa, urban housing projects and all kinds of other exciting proposals. 

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. downtown Tulsa is a happening place.  From 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., most of it is a ghost town.  But, according to developers of the downtown Tulsa master plan that is about to change.

Currently, there are more than 300 residential units in the pipeline to be built downtown and hundreds more getting ready to enter the pipeline.  That means thousands of Tulsans will not only work downtown, they'll live there, too.

"Downtown will in fact be fairly significantly transformed just with the stuff that's already about to happen. And, all that's going to do is make it easier for the next generation of people to come do something else," said planning consultant Jack Crowley.

There are plans for a park in the East Village, an outdoor amphitheater and art museum in the Brady District, and lots of green space and green buildings in between.

"We've been talking about doing things green so let's do it," said planning consultant Jack Crowley.

That's what the master plan is all about, moving beyond talk and into actual projects.

One project in the plan that's not in the pipeline is a rail-line through downtown that connects with all the suburbs.  That's a project Crowley is worried about.

"That is the most difficult thing to sell to anybody. Even when I know as a professional that is absolutely important for Tulsa to begin it," said planning consultant Jack Crowley.

Tulsa City Councilor Eric Gomez says he's glad to see downtown moving forward because we've been stuck in the past for way too long.

"Just to put it into perspective the comprehensive plan that we operate under in the City of Tulsa was created when Wal-Mart was just a five and dime in Arkansas," said Tulsa City Council Eric Gomez.

Now that the city has a plan, Gomez hopes the city will be able to hire a city planning director sometime soon.  But, right now the city is on a hiring freeze.