Tulsa County Looks To Buy Property Along Arkansas River

Friday, January 28th 2022, 9:50 pm

TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Tulsa County wants to buy a piece of property that's long been targeted for development along the Arkansas River.

A concrete plant on 27 acres is moving, which is opening up new possibilities alongside RiverWest Festival Park.

Sharon King-Davis, a member of the RiverParks Board, said, "I cannot tell you how many doors I've been knocking on to figure out, how do we do this?"

King-Davis said she's met with city and county leaders with the hope that Tulsa doesn't miss the opportunity to buy it for public use.

The land is just north of 21st Street, in between a rail line and the river.

It's been an industrial site for decades, but is alongside the Festival Park that recently lost a large overflow parking option with the construction of a new housing complex.

Some of the buildings on the site have already been cleared. The property is expected to be available this fall.

The City and County have been interested in the property for more than 20 years.

"So, it's an opportunity I think all of us in Tulsa need to be looking at," said County Commissioner Karen Keith, "and then figuring out, how do we protect our Festival site and create something really exciting right there?"

Keith believes the site could easily accommodate all the parking that's needed and a commercial development as well.

The possibilities were discussed on January 27 in a RiverParks Board meeting, but no action was taken.

The land is valued on tax rolls at about $2 million dollars, but the selling price isn't certain.

Though there's no developed plan for it yet, Sharon King-Davis is urging action before the land is sold for a use that wouldn't be compatible with the trail and development downriver with Gathering Place and the new pedestrian bridge.

"It's just a corridor that needs to be completed, for Tulsa" she said.

Keith doesn't want to wait, either.

"There's some great things that could happen on that site, but we've got to get it secured," Keith said.

Both RiverParks and Tulsa County are trying to find the money to buy it, while they also consider what to do with it if a deal comes through.

They're working on about a six-month timeline before the property is ready to sell.