Big Changes In Tulsa's Brookside District

Tuesday, September 5th 2006, 9:50 am
By: News On 6

Call it dynamic, call it fickle. Whatever you call it, Tulsa Brookside is always changing and more big changes are in the works.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says it is pretty dramatic, as you can see that big pile of rubble where the old Wendy's used to be. That's making room for something that's kind of unusual for Brookside, new construction.

Always a big nightspot, Brookside is more and more seeing the light of day. Developer Henry Aberson: "We're really pushing daytime uses, more upper-end, upscale retail and food uses." In place of the old Wendy's restaurants, Aberson will build an expansion of his Center One venture, roughly doubling the size.

The new project will continue the eye-catching, brick and glass design. But instead of renovating existing buildings, this will be all-new construction, which Aberson says will go much faster. "It's about half the time that the renovation took, the renovations are difficult and you don't know what you're going to run into."

Across the street, more new construction. It will be home for a new Starbucks and a new Pei Wei. That building and Aberson's will follow Brookside's approach of putting the buildings close to the street, a practice sometimes dubbed "New Urbanism" that many feel is more pleasing to the eye. "I believe the same things that they do, so it's a cohesive situation."

While they build close to the street, the street itself is undergoing a major renovation with decorative crosswalks, and in many places, new curbs and sidewalks. “Y'know I think when the street construction is finished, and people come down here and they see all the new construction and the new things going on, I think it's definitely going to appear that Brookside, it's changing."

Aberson says his new building will be up in just 90 days. He says tenants will be in by spring. Starbucks and Pei Wei meanwhile, are expected to open sometime in November.