Negotiations To Begin For New Tulsa Development

Thursday, May 7th 2009, 1:00 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Negotiations begin on a developer's idea for a full city block by the BOK Center.  It would be the first since the arena opened.  The project would be a mix of shops, restaurants and apartments, anchored by a hotel.

The BOK Center can draw a crowd, but until now, not enough confidence for anyone to build something around it.  That could change in a year or two on what's now a parking lot just across the street.

As the construction manager for the BOK Center, Bob Eggleston spent three years building Tulsa's iconic arena.  It was supposed to spur development for all of downtown.  The building opened last fall, and frequently sells out, but no new development has started anywhere around it.

"I was absolutely convinced when I started the project that when it opened there would be something, that when 18,000 people walked out there would be a development there, a place to get a cup of coffee and hang out and it just didn't happen," said developer Bob Eggleston.

Eggleston decided to do something about it, so he bought his old office on the corner of the block between 2nd and 3rd, Denver and Cheyenne.

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He's trying to buy the rest of the block to build a full service hotel, shops, restaurants and apartments.

The Tulsa Development Authority owns the land he wants to buy and they're negotiating.  Eggleston says he foresees something that will bridge the architectural difference between the modern BOK Center and the Art Deco of downtown.

"You want to go to some place before the event, meet friends and at the moment that doesn't really exist, you have to get it your car and go to Brookside or Utica to meet and then come in so, this would be a meeting place prior to the event itself," said developer Bob Eggleston.

The plans are big and Eggleston says it will be at least a year before he could start building.  For now, he's talking with people who want to get in on the project and trying to make a deal on the land.

"You haven't got a project until you get the property," said developer Bob Eggleston.

Eggleston says the hotel is the anchor and he's talked with Hilton, but no deal has been made.