Downtown development study done

Tuesday, May 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

City leaders are looking to rekindle the spirit of downtown Tulsa. A proposal they're calling the East Village is getting closer to becoming a set of blueprints.

KOTV's Donn Robertson says city leaders say the best thing about the proposed 155 acre East Village is there is a lot of open space. This is very rare for a downtown that is beginning revitalization. A block away from the proposed East Village, new loft apartments are sprouting up, some of the 19 different floor plans have waiting lists. The Tribune Lofts home is the old Tulsa Tribune building. Tulsa based American Residential Group is developing the former newspaper's home into trendy living.

According to the city, the company was the first to bring new housing downtown in 30 years with the Renaissance apartments. Sharon Hudson works downtown; she's sold her house in Bixby and is considering a move downtown. "It's a lot closer and I don't have to fight traffic coming in." Hudson is interested because she's getting some choices, the Village of Central Park is under construction, and it will house businesses, shops, homes and apartments.

Tulsa's director of Urban Development Brenda Miller says Central Park is just one of several new developments in the works. "We know the industry standard is retail follows the rooftops and it follows the people." One of the next steps is the proposed East Village. The city has hired an LA architectural firm to do the research and come up with plans for the East Village. The firm has given the city pictures of projects its done, the firm is currently finishing a market study to see what types of homes, shops and business should be in the East Village. "This is very urban style and a very urban living environment. So we are going to build ourselves 24 hour a day, 7 day a week mixed use development." A development for downtown workers, they make up 22% of the areas total workforce, and they want more downtown shops and fun.

A downtown worker, Nikki Hammock, "I'd do a not more than I do now. I get out of downtown as soon as I can." Another worker, Chris Trammell, "I don't know if I would live closer, but I would shop closer because I'm down here working." The LA firm working on the proposed East Village is expected to turn in its market study to the city this week. The city will look it over and release the findings to the public on May 17th. If everything goes well, the city would like to start awarding contracts for construction near the end of the year.