Tulsa city council ok's the condemnation of two downtown properties

Friday, September 17th 2004, 6:22 am
By: News On 6

She refused to accept the city's offer to buy, so officials are now taking her property.

The Tulsa City Council voted Thursday night to condemn the property of two downtown landowners to make way for the new arena. One is the Denver Grill. Owner Peggy Jones sat teary-eyed as the vote passed.

While the city raised its offer by nearly $100,000 above the assessed property value. Jones says she simply can't afford to relocate at that price.

Council members say they legally couldn't go any higher than they did, but that this decision doesn't mean the negotiating process is over. In fact they say she may come out better in the long run. Jones’ son in law Steve McGrew: "We've never been greedy in the process. My mother in law's going to retire in about five years and to go build a new business would take probably twice what we're asking for."

Now a judge will appoint three commissioners, who will decide the value of the property. Unlike the city negotiators, they can attach a monetary value to Jones' years of effort at the restaurant.

She can accept that amount or demand a jury trial.