Unnamed buyer interested in former Children's Medical Center

Tuesday, April 30th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A new deal is in the works for the vacant former home of Children’s Medical Center in Tulsa.

The building closed two years ago, and now there's another effort to buy it. The News on Six has learned that a buyer has the building under contract - and the deal is moving towards closing. This after another developer backed out last year.

News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says after 50 years - the Children’s Medical Center building is something of a landmark. Built as an oil company research lab - it became a children’s hospital and closed in 2000. The last two years it has sat vacant - and it shows.

But the property is under contract with a developer - for a new location of a still secret retailer. The deal is close enough that Hillcrest is paying the city for roadwork that will begin in 30 days. Mark Brown with the City of Tulsa: "Darlington gets its fair share of traffic coming through or going to the mall." The city will convert the I-44 underpass at Darlington to one way southbound. Traffic from the neighborhood can still pass through to Skelly - but the change will eliminate the traffic from the new development going north.

That's just one of the concessions won by the neighbors as the previous developer worked to get the zoning approved. Brown, "We're just trying to preserve the livability of the neighborhood and we're hoping in the future to work more with developers to come up with traffic mitigation efforts." The new developer will have to abide by the traffic changes approved in the zoning. It's a victory for the neighborhood that won't change just because the original deal fell through.

City Councilor, Randy Sullivan, "There's an equity for the people who own this property and want to develop it and the people who live around here to not have their lifestyle change and this is where people live." The new developer has the same template to work from - a big box retailer with several small businesses in the parking lot facing I-44.

Since the deal hasn't closed - and could still fall through - no names have been confirmed - but it would be another major business development in the heart of Tulsa.