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November 22, 2017, 02:15:32 pm
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Author Topic: REI  (Read 64822 times)
BKDotCom
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« Reply #510 on: February 28, 2017, 10:24:06 am »

Very well said.
I also like how he was humble and addressed his critics with #5
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Conan71
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« Reply #511 on: February 28, 2017, 11:12:49 am »

Well-written, long-winded as usual, and it echoes many of my own thoughts.  I particularly like that he also gets the idea Tulsa needs to act like it has some self-esteem when it comes to development.

I suspect Jeannie will be a “no” on this, and if she is, they will likely get a majority to vote no. I think Lakin was really warm to the project so I expect he would still be a yes vote.

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Bamboo World
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« Reply #512 on: February 28, 2017, 12:31:38 pm »



In case you missed Blake Ewing's facebook post...
https://www.facebook.com/a.blake.ewing/posts/1236434066476979

I will vote no to surplus the property on Wednesday night. I have no problem locking that in right now.


Thanks, PonderInc!  I had not seen that Facebook post.

Since Blake Ewing has already locked in a "NO" vote already, that will save me the time and effort of attending what I imagine will be another lengthy "harlots and chopped up babies" type of squabble.

"NO" is the correct vote.  The current City Council didn't get us into this mess.

Whatever the outcome of the City Council vote, I'd like to see the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority disbanded and abolished, asap.

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DowntownDan
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« Reply #513 on: March 01, 2017, 10:06:02 am »

I can see Anna America voting no.  She was the lone no vote against the CVS at 15th and Utica.
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« Reply #514 on: March 01, 2017, 09:21:56 pm »

It passed 5-4.  What a shame on so many levels.  This could be a cool development but not in its current form. 

Extremely disappointed in GT Bynum.  Another empty suit just like his predecessor.
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AngieB
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« Reply #515 on: March 02, 2017, 08:10:15 am »

I can see Anna America voting no.  She was the lone no vote against the CVS at 15th and Utica.
Well, you lost that bet. Very disappointed!
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TheArtist
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« Reply #516 on: March 02, 2017, 09:33:59 am »

I am shocked and angry.  Did I just gauge the public sentiment totally wrong on this? I would say 90% of the people  I know are against this development going in that park.  This travesty has made me more angry than anything in recent memory.
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« Reply #517 on: March 02, 2017, 12:47:51 pm »



I am shocked and angry.  Did I just gauge the public sentiment totally wrong on this? I would say 90% of the people  I know are against this development going in that park.  This travesty has made me more angry than anything in recent memory.
 

I am not shocked.  This is not surprising behavior by Tulsa's elected and appointed officials.

I am not angry -- disappointed, yes, but not angry.  Again and again, Tulsa goes for mediocre, run-of-the-mill developments with tons of surface parking.  I've lived here since the 1980s and have seen it happen before.  It almost certainly will happen again if a select few people (such as the Tulsa Public Facility Authority) continue to make deals.
 
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Conan71
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« Reply #518 on: March 02, 2017, 11:46:18 pm »

In case you don't want to read a long screed on my opinion of the entire issue I will defend GT somewhat on the issue first:  This colossal love up landed in GT's lap when he was elected.  He could not simply shred the file and pretend it never existed.  He advanced it as a win-win and presented what I thought was a reasonable plan if the property had to be developed.

That said, I'm a bit different as far as negotiating goes.  I personally would have had no issues contacing the developer and explaining their purchase agreement was a rip off to Tulsa tax payers, the developer knows it, and the park land should not be sacrificed for the benefit of the developer and everyone (including our full council) needs to sit down at the table again in a more transparent fashion and discuss a more appropriate sales price for this land if that is to be the intention.

Now, moving forward:

What disappoints me is public sentiment in my unscientific compilation of public comments seems to have been about 80%-85% against.  City officials have a flawed logic that people who are for a development simply don't speak out.

Honestly, I think this project actually had more support against it than the proposed outlet mall on the western 60 acres of Turkey Mountain and that was one project the majority of the council said they could not support.

Here's where it gets interesting: The Turkey Mountain parcel was privately owned land, owned by a prominent real estate investor and broker who had been making this land available for commercial development for literally decades prior to signing a contract with Simon Properties.  Yet the council made it clear there was a majority against it and they would not approve a needed zoning change for the land.  This boiled down to a "best use" argument, in my opinion.

You, myself, and others own Helmerich Park as tax-paying citizens of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The man who saw through the acquisition of this land, Walt Helmerich, wanted this to be park space in perpetuity.  

He also wanted Miss Jackson's and Petty's Fine Foods to be a part of Utica Square forever, but I digress.  

Our last mayor even said as much when he was a city councilor that there needed to be safeguards to make sure property like the Helmerich land was never developed yet he gave the green light to his minion, Clay Bird, to circulate an RFP to try and develop this land to raise revenue.  If that is not bad enough, Bartlett's original vision recently uncovered by former mayor, Terry Young, reveals renderings of the entire park parcel (60-80 acres, I don't remember the reputed total) was to be developed some day.

Mr. Helmerich was a huge supporter of public spaces and his widow even expressed her own puzzlement of this being developed.

So what gives?

So how does it happen that a piece of land destined to be a commercial parcel get protected as a park and a piece of land destined to be a park gets designated as surplus property so it can be developed?

I'm not complaing about he outcome of what happened at Turkey Mountain at all.  I'm simply calling out a really weird irony in how a property which was supposed to be protected from the beginning was voted as being "surplus" last night by council members who were prepared to vote against approving any zoning changes for the Simon project on Turkey Mountain.

I think this is a bad precident future councils will use to guide them when they want to consider selling "surplus" city property.  Losing common recreational space is never good for a city and it is usually do to a short-sighted gain which will never realize its promise.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 11:53:17 pm by Conan71 » Logged

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« Reply #519 on: March 03, 2017, 08:07:56 am »

In case you don't want to read a long screed on my opinion of the entire issue I will defend GT somewhat on the issue first:  This colossal love up landed in GT's lap when he was elected.  He could not simply shred the file and pretend it never existed.  He advanced it as a win-win and presented what I thought was a reasonable plan if the property had to be developed.


I like GT and think he'll do a good job overall, but I'll disagree with him on this and with this point.  He could have acknowledged that Dewey gave a sweethart deal without transparency and that his administration will do everything it can to get, at a minimum, an arms-length deal for the land.  The worry about lawsuits is overblown.  Lawsuits happen and sometimes settlements aren't a good thing.  This wasn't a win-win.  All the people got was a slightly better parking lot and box building.  The fact that a supposedly hip outdoors oriented retailer like REI had to be forced into doing something better than a windowless wall on the trail tells me that their public image is nonsense.  They're no different than every other big box retailer.  This also is unfair to local businesses who are paying fair market value for land and rent while this company gets a sweethart deal.  It's just not right, morally or economically. 
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PonderInc
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« Reply #520 on: March 03, 2017, 11:07:03 am »

I had hoped that voting against abandoning the park land would have helped the legal case, and thus preserve the park for a better plan. That said, I am certain that GT and the councilors who voted "yes" did so with sincere good intentions. 
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swake
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« Reply #521 on: March 03, 2017, 11:54:47 am »

I like GT and think he'll do a good job overall, but I'll disagree with him on this and with this point.  He could have acknowledged that Dewey gave a sweethart deal without transparency and that his administration will do everything it can to get, at a minimum, an arms-length deal for the land.  The worry about lawsuits is overblown.  Lawsuits happen and sometimes settlements aren't a good thing.  This wasn't a win-win.  All the people got was a slightly better parking lot and box building.  The fact that a supposedly hip outdoors oriented retailer like REI had to be forced into doing something better than a windowless wall on the trail tells me that their public image is nonsense.  They're no different than every other big box retailer.  This also is unfair to local businesses who are paying fair market value for land and rent while this company gets a sweethart deal.  It's just not right, morally or economically. 

A supposedly hip retailer whose CEO is a native Oklahoman and former Tulsan.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #522 on: March 03, 2017, 12:39:28 pm »

One thing that amuses me about the proposed added transparency along the trail...  Since it's just a box, with no shade or overhang, those are going to be some impressive solar heaters on the west side.  Anyone who's sat out on the patio at Blue Rose in the summer can appreciate the power of the setting summer sun.

Any building that truly wants to interact with the trail and also function, would include transparency and SHADE on the west side.  Typically, you need an overhang that is as deep as 1/2 the height of the window to prevent the windows from creating too much heat inside the building.

Maybe some trees will help them.  But let's think about that.  The building is 30 feet tall, and the green space looks to be between 15-25' deep, that's not a lot of spread for large trees.  The landscaping plan that was approved with the PUD shows 2 shumard oaks, 1 swamp oak, 1 loblolly pine, and two redbuds.  The oaks all have a mature spread of 40-60'.  Hmmmm.... so they're going to be drastically pruned on one side, which means they will never live long enough to provide the necessary shade.  The loblolly pine and redbuds will fit, although we all know the redbuds will never get tall enough to shade this huge building, and they have a pretty short lifespan, too.

Betcha a dollar that the windows will have dark tinting, to prevent interior materials from fading.  Or they will hang banners in the windows, effectively turning them into billboards for trail users.  We'll see.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #523 on: March 06, 2017, 11:03:21 am »

I think the council sincerely believes they played the hand they were dealt as well as they could. They could have just ignored it and let the Courts sort it out, so kudos for addressing it. 

I view the development as a lost opportunity.  Development can happen along the river in a way that does not detract from the parks, or is at least a solid compromise.  But there is a reason you don't see anyone else putting strip malls, big box stores, and surface parking lots along any river they want to make an attraction in their community.  Developing the riverfront in the same manner as any suburb doesn't create a draw, it doesn't use the asset, and it doesn't add to the trails or parks.
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« Reply #524 on: March 09, 2017, 12:04:25 pm »

Like I've said before it's not that I dislike REI.  I think it's a great store and have enjoyed shopping there in other cities.  It's a destination-type retail experience that could be an asset to the river corridor.  But that isn't what the developer has proposed unless something changes, and that is doubtful without more oversight/design controls.

A singular REI in an interesting building pushed closer to 71st and fronting the river trails with big windows could be interesting.  Especially if the main entrance was well connected to the trails with an adjacent cafe or coffee shop along the west (river) side, also with trail interaction.  In fact if you eliminated the outparcel building and shifted the REI and restaurant to the north you could eliminate a 1/4 of the parking on the north side. 

I also think it would be better to spread the rest of the parking on the south side (for trail/park users) more along Riverside instead of fronting the river.  Move the new sand volleyball courts to close to where they currently are located next to the trail with parking to the east.  The sand volleyball courts could then also be adjacent to the restaurant/patio which would be nice. 
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