North Tulsa development hopes

Thursday, July 18th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

This week, Albertson's is expected to name the contractor to build its new store at Pine and Peoria. If all goes well, construction could start on July 29th.

The store will offer all the usual things like a bakery, a deli, and an "in-store" bank, but as News on 6 Business Reporter Steve Berg tells us, it also offers hope for a struggling neighborhood.

Ever since the project was announced a year-and-a-half ago, northside residents have been checking out the site, eager for the long-awaited grocery store. Northside resident, Tasha Alexander, "It's going to be wonderful. We really need another grocery store over here. We have to go miles and miles to get groceries, and it will really be convenient to have one here."

The area has virtually no commercial development, let alone a full-service grocery store. A McDonald's being one of the few exceptions. Like everyone here, they're hoping the grocery store will bring in more business. McDonalds’ employee Eric Tecson, "With the Albertson's or a brand new supermarket being across the street, hopefully we'll be able to get those patrons to buy some lunch and some happy meals or something from us before they go back home."

On Monday, the city created even more momentum for the area, by making the whole square mile to the north and west a Tax Increment Financing District. That means all the sales tax that's generated here will be spent here. But first, they have to have something that's generating sales taxes.

And that is why Albertson's is so important. Tulsa City district 3 councilor David Patrick, "It's going to be the anchor for the area. It'll be a base and it will spur new development in that whole area." The improvements to Peoria were also vital. It's taken a long time, but it looks as though the neighborhood is finally on the road to recovery.

The city estimates the northside has 10% of the city's "purchasing" power, but only 4% of its retail development.