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Author Topic: Downtown Development Overview  (Read 1117216 times)
swake
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« Reply #600 on: May 05, 2016, 01:53:06 pm »

1. It would create more options for vehicles and pedestrians to circulate around the area between 1st & 3rd, Elgin and Greenwood -- especially if 1st and 2nd remain one-way.

2. It would help to create a direct connection across the railroad to the ballpark and the Greenwood District (even if it became a pedestrian-only connection across the tracks).

3. One block of Frankfort between 1st & 2nd, with two-way traffic and on-street parking allowed on both sides of the street, would create a safer and more active pedestrian environment on the abutting sidewalks.

4. If there happened to be a wreck, a parade, an arts festival, a fire or another emergency, a bike race, a marathon, road construction, utility work, or similar obstructions on another street in the vicinity, then Frankfort could provide an alternate path for vehicles and pedestrians.

5. Smaller blocks and finer-grained grids make for safer pedestrian environments. 

It looks like the Santa Fe Square plan does extend Frankfort, but only to pedestrians.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #601 on: May 05, 2016, 02:10:12 pm »


In regards to extending Frankfort. There is already no rail crossing for Frankfort. I really don't see the benefit, and I totally understand that smaller blocks are better. But I believe there will actually be pedestrian way through the development even. Putting a stop sign/signal @ Greenwood would do just as much for perceived pedestrian safety. It would slow down the entrance/exit traffic from the highway. I would think this would be planned for already...hopefully.



It looks like the Santa Fe Square plan does extend Frankfort, but only to pedestrians.


A railroad crossing at Frankfort, even if pedestrian-only, would be beneficial in connecting the areas north and south of the tracks, just as the street crossing at Greenwood, the Detroit Avenue bridge, the Boston Avenue bridge, and the Boulder Avenue bridge are beneficial.

The planned pedestrian way through Santa Fe Square would be improved if it included lanes for vehicles:  two-way traffic, with parking on both sides of the street, as stated in my previous post.  See Walkable City by Jeff Speck, pages 97-99 and page 165.

There are stop signs at Greenwood already.  There are limited sight lines at Greenwood and 2nd, around Legends.  Converting both 1st and 2nd to two-way streets would improve actual pedestrian safety, not just perceived safety.  If 1st and 2nd remain one-way streets, then I agree that a stop sign on the east side of Greenwood at 1st and another on the west side of the street at 2nd would improve pedestrian safety along Greenwood, both perceived and actual.  But my post was about re-opening Frankfort between 1st and 2nd in response to TulsaGoldenHurriCAN's question, not about Greenwood.    
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 02:13:16 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #602 on: May 05, 2016, 02:17:56 pm »

Tulsa probably won't ever be a Portland, but I'd never say never.  In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Tulsa and Portland were more similar than they are now.  There were some proposals to establish urban growth limits around Tulsa, as there are around Portland.  Other than the size of P's and T's downtown blocks and street grids, I'd say the biggest difference between the two cities is that Portland implemented their urban plans.  In contrast, Tulsa has continued to host planning workshops, conduct traffic studies, hold meetings, create plans, revise plans, and talk about urban design -- but it has been mostly talk, with very little coordinated or cohesive action, other than installing thousands of brick-like unit pavers and hundreds of glaring acorn lights.

Perhaps Tulsa never will be a Portland, but we do have our own Pearl District.  I know this for a fact, because there's a sign identifying Tulsa's Pearl District at the corner of 11th & Utica, way out in front of the sea of paving surrounding the "pedestrian friendly" Pearl District QT.  I've seen the "Pearl District" sign, fairly recently, so I'm assuming that Tulsa still has a Pearl District, or at least has a sign with "Pearl District" on it...unless the sign has been removed during the last week or so.  I don't pass by Tulsa's "Pearl District" sign every day, but the last time I looked, it seemed (to me) to be substantial -- constructed with masonry with the words "PEARL DISTRICT" in capitalized letters. 

A few years ago, Tulsa had a Lawrence Halprin fountain -- that was common thread shared with Portland.  Unfortunately, Tulsa's fountain has been replaced a couple of times during the last decade.  And what we have now, in its place, perplexed Jeff Speck last night!  He couldn't seem to figure out what it was, other than a low obstruction in the middle of the intersection at 5th & Main.   


Could be...I don't have any reference (friends/family) living in the area until after about 1975.  By then, progress was starting to change the town.  It was always much more progressive - as in able to envision, discuss, and implement, progress than we have been.  Progress to us was ending prohibition by 1960.  Somewhere along the line if ya wanna have progress, ya gotta start with progressive thought.  As demonized so thoroughly in Okrahoma by the Koch Brothers and Murdochian mentalities.

Our "progress" was to tear down the old buildings so we could cater to the Williams Brothers and then sit around waiting for something to happen.




Broken Arrow is getting a big dose of stupid...they had a nice little farmer's market that was only a few years old and was probably starting to outgrow the space a little bit.  Solution?  Tear it up and put in a splash pad.   Just like Tulsa...  No apparent intellect or thought or cohesive plan.  But it's people who moved to BA and took their Tulsa "solutions" with them....



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"So he brandished a gun, never shot anyone or anything right?"  --TeeDub, 17 Feb 2018.

I don’t share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
Bamboo World
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« Reply #603 on: May 05, 2016, 04:32:39 pm »


I thought everybody wanted higher property values.


Property owners who are wanting to sell or lease, along with associated real estate professionals generally want the highest property values and appraisals.

On the other hand, owners who are holding real estate for long terms generally want low property values until they're ready to sell or lease or develop or renovate or whatever.  That's why some of property owners in downtown Tulsa have actually lowered the values of their own land by demolishing buildings or other improvements.  Lower property values result in lower ad valorem taxes.  Less square footage of built improvements results in lower stadium district assessments.

Within the IDL, parking lots are prevalent because they're lucrative -- or, they're less expensive to own and operate than non-productive buildings, at least.  The stadium assessment downtown really works in opposition to what many of us on this forum would like to see:  fewer parking lots and more buildings.  But the stadium assessment rewards those who want to demolish their buildings and convert their land to parking lots.  That's the way the City Council and Kathy Taylor devised the assessment district.     
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #604 on: May 06, 2016, 09:34:10 am »

The current incentive structure has favored surface parking lots over preservation for decades.  That should have been changed a long time ago.

1) Ban surface parking as a primary land use inside the IDL (this is what Denver did in the early 80s to stop the spreading plague). 

2) Existing surface parking should also be taxed at a much higher rate per assessed $ than other uses.  As is, there are prime development lots inside the IDL that are paying $1,000ish in property tax per year, providing the owners with no incentive to do anything except sit on their land and wait.  For instance, if commercial property is taxed at $25 per $1,000 in assessed value, surface parking should be taxed at $75 per $1000 in assessed value.  That should help incentivize speculators to sell to someone who will build something on the property.

3) City staff should have marching orders to make life hell for land speculators or people wanting to create surface lots.  You want to have a surface lot on prime developable land?  Then every single city ordinance and code will be enforced 100% at all times.  People like CJ Moroney should be driven out of the city.  This is probably too far, but Chicago has even taken to threatening eminent domain when developers leave marquee real estate vacant for too long (in our case the Sinclair Building, in Chicago the old Post Office and seizing Northerly Island to build a park).

The first two are urban planning at its best - managing incentives and externalities so that the private market provides the city's desired outcome.  Conservatives should love it to because there is no direct interference in the market and no city money spent.

The last is maybe a little too big city political hardball for Tulsa, but still an interesting thought experiment.

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Tulsasaurus Rex
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« Reply #605 on: May 06, 2016, 09:44:19 am »

The last is maybe a little too big city political hardball for Tulsa, but still an interesting thought experiment.

No it's not. Eminent domain abuse for private economic development is actually pretty sickening.
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #606 on: May 06, 2016, 10:49:43 am »

It can be.  Note Pfizer and New London, CT.  Or Omaha and ConAgra. 

But CJ Moroney is scum.  I'm not overly concerned with his right to sit on a beautiful historic building and allow it to fall into disrepair until it is unsalvageable. 
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DTowner
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« Reply #607 on: May 06, 2016, 11:37:32 am »

It can be.  Note Pfizer and New London, CT.  Or Omaha and ConAgra.  

But CJ Moroney is scum.  I'm not overly concerned with his right to sit on a beautiful historic building and allow it to fall into disrepair until it is unsalvageable.  

Moroney has the right to sit on beautiful buildings and do nothing with them because he bought them.  What he does not have a right to do is not pay taxes or assessments or violate codes and ordinances.  Fair and even-handed enforcement of codes, regulations and taxes are the best defense against real estate vultures like Moroney.  Unfortunately, as he has shown, the bankruptcy system and courts can be used to slow things down to a snail’s pace.  

I do not want to live in a city that targets for harassment those property owners that are deemed to be “scum” or are not using their property the way I would like to see it used.  We may all agree Moroney is scum, but such tactics once unleashed inevitably will get used on someone we do not all agree should be loathed and run out of town.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2016, 12:46:06 pm by DTowner » Logged
swake
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« Reply #608 on: May 06, 2016, 11:55:48 am »

Moroney has the right to sit on beautiful buildings and do nothing with them because he bought them.  What he does not have a right to do is not pay taxes or assessments or violate codes and ordinances.  Fair and even-handed enforcement of codes, regulations and taxes are the best defense against real estate vultures like Moroney.  Unfortunately, as he has shown, the bankruptcy system and courts can be used to slow things down to a snail’s pace. 

I do not want to live in a city that targets for harassment those property owners that are deemed to be “scum” or are not using their property the way I would like to see it used.  We may all agree Moroney is scum, but such tactics once unleased inevitably will get used on someone we do not all agree should be loathed and run out of town.



I disagree, he should not have that right. He has the right to be compensated, but buildings like the ones he owns/owned are community assets and if they are not being cared for, they can and should be taken from him. But the public has to pay him for what is taken.
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cynical
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« Reply #609 on: May 06, 2016, 12:09:04 pm »

Not one of those cases involve Oklahoma, which has the unique provision in its Constitution that the public/private character of the intended use is exclusively a judicial question. Taking for private purposes is not going to happen. And as has already been mentioned in this discussion, "economic development" has been ruled out as a public use by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In Oklahoma, land cannot be taken from one private entity to be handed over to another for a private development. There are gray areas involving things like pipelines to supply gas to private power plants, but not to take buildings simply because the owner chooses not to do what the city fathers would have him do.

Your concern about Moroney's buildings is beside the point.

It can be.  Note Pfizer and New London, CT.  Or Omaha and ConAgra. 

But CJ Moroney is scum.  I'm not overly concerned with his right to sit on a beautiful historic building and allow it to fall into disrepair until it is unsalvageable. 
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cynical
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« Reply #610 on: May 06, 2016, 12:13:59 pm »

Who decides what is and is not a "community asset?" In New London, CT, it was the city council, whose finding was entitled to judicial deference until the Supremes stepped in to impose reason. In Oklahoma, it is the judiciary. The fact that a building is of interest to you or anyone else does not make it a "community asset." At least not in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Supreme Court has been on both sides of some of these questions, but its more recent decisions cast considerable doubt that "preservation of an architecturally interesting building" or "elimination of an eyesore" would, in the absence of evidence that the property is a public nuisance, justify a taking.

I disagree, he should not have that right. He has the right to be compensated, but buildings like the ones he owns/owned are community assets and if they are not being cared for, they can and should be taken from him. But the public has to pay him for what is taken.
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Tulsasaurus Rex
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« Reply #611 on: May 06, 2016, 12:22:45 pm »

Moroney has the right to sit on beautiful buildings and do nothing with them because he bought them.  What he does not have a right to do is not pay taxes or assessments or violate codes and ordinances.  Fair and even-handed enforcement of codes, regulations and taxes are the best defense against real estate vultures like Moroney.  Unfortunately, as he has shown, the bankruptcy system and courts can be used to slow things down to a snail’s pace. 

I do not want to live in a city that targets for harassment those property owners that are deemed to be “scum” or are not using their property the way I would like to see it used.  We may all agree Moroney is scum, but such tactics once unleased inevitably will get used on someone we do not all agree should be loathed and run out of town.

Amen!

Look, I love downtown Tulsa and it makes me upset to see the Sinclair building in mothballs. But Swake and johrasephoenix, the problem with taking the Sinclair building and handing it to someone else is that it has no limiting principle. Everything can be replaced with something nicer. What you're proposing is rather uncivilized and gruesome.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #612 on: May 06, 2016, 12:49:15 pm »


The current incentive structure has favored surface parking lots over preservation for decades.  That should have been changed a long time ago.


The current Stadium Improvement District has not been around for decades.  Kathy Taylor and the City Council were in a big, big hurry to establish the stadium trust and real estate assessments less than ten years ago.

Yes, the parking lot "incentive" structure could have and should have been changed a long time ago, but even recently, in 2009, when our elected officials (former mayor Kathy Taylor and the City Council) had the opportunity to change it for the better, they chose to change it for the worse.  The assessments, as approved by Kathy Taylor and the City Council at the time, are favorable to downtown property owners who choose to demolish existing buildings and replace them with parking lots.  The assessments, as approved by Kathy Taylor and the City Council, provide an incentive for owners of existing parking lots downtown to keep them as parking lots, rather than construct new buildings.
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DTowner
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« Reply #613 on: May 06, 2016, 01:04:01 pm »

The current Stadium Improvement District has not been around for decades.  Kathy Taylor and the City Council were in a big, big hurry to establish the stadium trust and real estate assessments less than ten years ago.

Yes, the parking lot "incentive" structure could have and should have been changed a long time ago, but even recently, in 2009, when our elected officials (former mayor Kathy Taylor and the City Council) had the opportunity to change it for the better, they chose to change it for the worse.  The assessments, as approved by Kathy Taylor and the City Council at the time, are favorable to downtown property owners who choose to demolish existing buildings and replace them with parking lots.  The assessments, as approved by Kathy Taylor and the City Council, provide an incentive for owners of existing parking lots downtown to keep them as parking lots, rather than construct new buildings.

I don’t think there is any doubt that an unintended consequence of the stadium district assessment was to further incentivize tearing down significantly underutilized buildings.  While unintended, it should have been recognized by the mayor and council.  Unfortunately, given that the assessment was already facing some significant opposition, adding any provision prohibiting tear downs or having a higher assessment rate for surface parking would have likely killed the deal and left us with no ONEOK Field.  As it was, I recall that Kathy Taylor had to fly one the councilors back on her private jet to cast the deciding vote.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #614 on: May 06, 2016, 01:29:32 pm »


I don’t think there is any doubt that an unintended consequence of the stadium district assessment was to further incentivize tearing down significantly underutilized buildings.  While unintended, it should have been recognized by the mayor and council.  Unfortunately, given that the assessment was already facing some significant opposition, adding any provision prohibiting tear downs or having a higher assessment rate for surface parking would have likely killed the deal and left us with no ONEOK Field.  As it was, I recall that Kathy Taylor had to fly one the councilors back on her private jet to cast the deciding vote.


The Mayor and the City Council had thirty years to observe the "parking lot incentive" consequence of a downtown assessment based on square footage of building.  I think there would have been a baseball stadium, but one that relied more on private investment and less on real estate assessments.  Kathy Taylor and the Council were in a huge hurry to get the trust and assessments in place.  Of course there was significant opposition:  The assessments are not fair because they're not related to proximity to the ballpark or to any proportional benefit derived from it.

Plus, a sizable chunk of the assessment went to control property surrounding the ballpark, most or all of which, as cannon_fodder noted two days ago on this thread, has not been developed at all.  That's land sitting vacant, which results in a poor urban environment, low ad valorem taxes, and the lowest stadium assessment possible.
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