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November 24, 2017, 07:56:53 pm
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Author Topic: 2nd & Greenwood  (Read 4174 times)
DTowner
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« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2017, 02:42:39 pm »

BoK Center, OneOk Field, and road projects have equaled over $300 million public dollars into downtown in the last ten years. Add to this almost every new apartment and hotel has been given subsidy or no interest loans and I would say that it is equal to the discretionary funding of all the rest of Tulsa combined.

Tulsa is 192.1 square miles and downtown is three square miles.

I have supported everyone of those dollars spent downtown to date, but at some point they are going to have to grow on their own.

Not to pile on, but I think your point has some merit but ignores a number of issues unique to downtown, some of which were made above.

First, while I don’t think we need any big dollar items in the near future, we cannot stop investing in downtown if we want it to achieve its full potential.  Roads still need to be improved and modified to enhance walkability, one-way streets converted to two-way streets, downtown public transits needs to be developed, affordable housing will likely require some form of subsidy, etc.

Second, focusing on downtown’s geographic size as compared to the metropolitan area as a whole misses the point.  Downtown is the focal point and it the areas single most important asset that drives regional growth in a way no other part of town ever can.

Third, that $300 million was not at the expense of other parts of Tulsa.  If the BOK is not built downtown, it’s not built at all.  The Spirit Bank center gave us a glimpse of how a suburban arena would fare.  Indeed, $300 million over 10 years is really not that big of a number on an annual basis, especially considering the nearly $1 billion in private investment that it has help generate.

Fourth, I think we got and are getting a good return on our investment.  Downtown is changing before our eyes and this has happened during one of the worst recessions in 80 years, a slow recovery and an oil bust.  As noted, be cannot calculate a ROI, but you cannot ignore the apartments, hotels, restaurants, etc. that have been built.  We are going to spend $100+ million to widen Yale between 81st and 91st, which is a huge chunk of the last roads package.  While that will improve the lives of those living in that area, I don’t see it generating anywhere near the private investment or transformation that has happened downtown.

Tulsa needs to invest in all parts of the city, not just any one part.  But it cannot ignore, as it did for so long, the most important part.
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Oil Capital
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« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2017, 08:57:45 am »

No other part of town was treated with such disdain as downtown had in the 50 years prior to the last decade.  When you destroy more than half of what was built, it takes money to build it back up.  All the while, we've subsidized for decades the ever widening roads and bridges to for the city to sprawl outwards.  The hundreds of miles of roads and infrastructure built over the last 60 years for sprawl far outweights what has been spent on revitalizing the three square miles of downtown in the last ten years.  During that time, the only money being spent downtown was for wrecking balls.  Downtown is the heart of a city, and every major city that allowed their downtowns to crumble while catering to white flight are realizing their mistake and spending what it takes to make their downtowns lively and livable.  There are hundreds of articles on the economics of a strong downtown.  Here is one I found in 30 seconds.

http://plannersweb.com/2013/09/healthy-downtown-key-strong-community/

If Tulsa ignores the trends, we can expect to fall even more behind in competitiveness while young people flock even more than they do now to competitor cities who are doing things right.  And to attract conventions and other forms of tourism, people don't want to rent a car to get around, and don't care to stay chain restaurants on 71st Street, they want to see local restaurants, art, and public spaces in downtown.  Let's also recognize that the private sector, Kaiser especially, has largely matched public investment.  I don't think complaints about downtown investment over the last ten years is justified.  It's a net economic positive for the city.

It's not really accurate to say that the only money spent downtown over the 50 years prior to 2007 was for wrecking balls.   Just off the top of my head... in that period, Tulsa public investments in downtown included building the convention center and adding on to it, building the "new" city hall, central library and civic center complex, building the PAC, building the Main Mall
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #62 on: June 05, 2017, 09:03:35 am »

It's not really accurate to say that the only money spent downtown over the 50 years prior to 2007 was for wrecking balls.   Just off the top of my head... in that period, Tulsa public investments in downtown included building the convention center and adding on to it, building the "new" city hall, central library and civic center complex, building the PAC, building the Main Mall


True - there was money spent to build - but every one of those started with the wrecking ball to clear the space.

Broken Arrow is having a major 'deja vu' moment like that - all the people who have moved there from Tulsa have brought their 'Tulsa values' of tear-it-down-and-build-something-else to that space.  Much of the new near downtown stuff is just pure ole' bu$$ ugly carp - no character, do design, no thought to keeping/rejuvenating the area.  Gentrification at it's worst.



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Conan71
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« Reply #63 on: June 05, 2017, 11:25:48 pm »


True - there was money spent to build - but every one of those started with the wrecking ball to clear the space.

Broken Arrow is having a major 'deja vu' moment like that - all the people who have moved there from Tulsa have brought their 'Tulsa values' of tear-it-down-and-build-something-else to that space.  Much of the new near downtown stuff is just pure ole' bu$$ ugly carp - no character, do design, no thought to keeping/rejuvenating the area.  Gentrification at it's worst


I was told once much of the rip rap used on the Arkansas River through Tulsa for bank stabilization was from the demolition of the properties where the Williams Center was built.
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