Sand Springs' Vision 2025 project

Wednesday, November 2nd 2005, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

Sand Springs plans to re-develop 25 acres of land and as News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan explains, they're hoping to turn it from blight to business.

When the offer of a buyout came to Mini Leeks, she didn't hesitate. "And I'm glad to be going, glad I'm leaving." Mrs Leeks lives in a home that is typical of the neighborhood. It is literally falling apart. The windows are made of plastic or foil. The siding is falling off and what's left is rotting.

Mrs. Leeks was too embarrassed to show us inside, but said holes in the roof allow rain to pour in on her bed. She's lived in her home all her life, but she's eager to move. "If you stayed here as long as I have it's time for me to find a better place."

Her house and all the other houses - the whole neighborhood - will be bulldozed as part of the Vision 2025 plan for Sand Springs.

What will replace it is not yet defined, but Sand Springs wants the blighted homes replaced by stores and restaurants. Project manager Brett Mann: "And this is Sand Springs chance to catch up." Mann says a developer is already interested.

The buyout has begun for 22 homeowners, 26 businesses and dozens of rental properties. Many of those, 48 pieces of property, are owned by Jim Parker, who now hopes to cash in. "Back in the 1960's, I could see the future of the property so I started buying it in that manner."

It would be much easier of course to go to the edge of town to start a development, especially since so much of the land needs to be cleaned up, but by rebuilding the core of Sand Springs, the town hopes to avoid some of the sprawl in other suburbs.

The $14-million from the Vision plan should cover the buyout and the planning, but not all the work that's needed. Mrs. Leeks plans to leave in a month - to a new house she she's eager to show off. "And I got me a better place."

For more information about various Vision 2025 around Tulsa County
, you can check out