West Tulsa Rebirth

Friday, February 16th 2007, 9:52 am
By: News On 6

West Tulsa is well on its way to a rebirth. A group called Red Fork Main Street has applied to be part of the state's Main Street Association. If they get accepted, that will open the door to all kinds of promotions, marketing and design help. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg reports the organization wants to change people’s perceptions of west Tulsa.

"We have a number of people from various parts of the city, Jenks, Owasso, Broken Arrow, that have come to stay at our inn and was just never aware of the beauty of southwest Tulsa," said Randy Pittman from the Cedar Rock Inn.

Pittman opened the Cedar Rock Inn a year-and-a-half ago. It's all rolling hills and rustic scenery, but just a mile or so to the east is the old Crystal City shopping center, probably the most visible example of West Tulsa's blight.

"Crystal City is rundown,” Pittman said. “Most all the stores are vacant, boarded up."

So Pittman and other west Tulsa leaders have created Red Fork Main Street. Red Fork, in case you don't know, was once a town in the area now encompassed by West Tulsa. In fact, it was incorporated before Tulsa, and played an important role in the state's early history as a cattle trailhead, a rail stop and the site of Tulsa County's first oil well.

Red Fork Main Street needed $50,000 to apply for the Main Street program; they raised $120,000 in just two weeks. The Main Street Association provides neighborhoods with expertise in landscaping, architecture, marketing and other areas that can help them lure new businesses.

"They had an excellent application. Very well-written, well-funded and well-supported," said Linda Barnett with Oklahoma Main Street.

Pittman says luring restaurants to the area is high on his list.

"We are asked for suggestions on where to eat at the bed and breakfast all the time,” he said. “Unfortunately right now, we're directing most everybody to Jenks, down on Peoria, or downtown."

The Red Fork Main Street organization doesn’t know if they’re in the state's Main Street Association, but the odds look good.