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Author Topic: Iron Gate  (Read 25693 times)
rebound
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« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2015, 08:58:50 am »

Why does everyone jump to the conclusion that Iron Gate only serves mentally-ill and homeless?  I've been told by people that have volunteered there that a fair number of downtown works use their grocery services on a regular basis.

All it takes is one volunteer shift at a homeless shelter or social service agency to realize that many of those using social services look just like you.  Many aren't homeless.  Many work and have a roof over their head but their hourly wage just doesn't stretch far enough.

As an aside, Peoria isn't void of social service agencies.  The Family & Children's Services HQ sits on the front of the Central Park development and the Native American agency is just to the north of FCS.  Both have what many on this forum would describe as "undesirables" visiting throughout every day.  The reality is that FCS serves 1 in 6 Tulsans every year, proving my point that all walks of life need a social service agency at some point so don't be so quick to label all the clients of Iron Gate as mentally-ill homeless degenerates.

I don't think anyone is saying that "Iron Gate only serves mentally ill and homeless".   To quote an earlier post:

"The day center serves about 900 meals a day. 25% (their number) of the people they serve are homeless.  80% are male.  Statistically, 1/3 of area homeless have untreated serious mental illness. So that's 60 adult males with serious untreated mental illness coming, hanging around, and going - every day."

To discount this out of hand, or suggest that people in the area should not be concerned with this aspect of the Iron Gate users, is illogical.  In a perfect world, everybody would get along, but we don't live in that world and the real ramifications of this proposed move have to be considered in a rational manner. 

And for the record, I also have no skin in the game (other than I do frequent the Hodges Bend area and the Phoenix), and am ambivalent about the move.  It just seems that some of the advocates are arguing "what ought to be", rather than "what should be expected".
 
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AquaMan
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« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2015, 11:59:56 am »

I don't think anyone is saying that "Iron Gate only serves mentally ill and homeless".   To quote an earlier post:

"The day center serves about 900 meals a day. 25% (their number) of the people they serve are homeless.  80% are male.  Statistically, 1/3 of area homeless have untreated serious mental illness. So that's 60 adult males with serious untreated mental illness coming, hanging around, and going - every day."

To discount this out of hand, or suggest that people in the area should not be concerned with this aspect of the Iron Gate users, is illogical.  In a perfect world, everybody would get along, but we don't live in that world and the real ramifications of this proposed move have to be considered in a rational manner. 

And for the record, I also have no skin in the game (other than I do frequent the Hodges Bend area and the Phoenix), and am ambivalent about the move.  It just seems that some of the advocates are arguing "what ought to be", rather than "what should be expected".
 
Just as some are arguing what could be with massive investment versus what really exists and it's current useful nature. They instead dwell on their worst experiences with drunks and renegades. No one has addressed what I asked. Is it wise to keep corraling undesirables in a ghetto downtown? And what kind of development are you expecting on a sliver of commercial land "nestled" between the tracks and 244?

Even a casual bike ride slowly through the area should convince most people that if not here.... Where?
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TulsaGoldenHurriCAN
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« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2015, 12:33:56 pm »

Just as some are arguing what could be with massive investment versus what really exists and it's current useful nature. They instead dwell on their worst experiences with drunks and renegades. No one has addressed what I asked. Is it wise to keep corraling undesirables in a ghetto downtown? And what kind of development are you expecting on a sliver of commercial land "nestled" between the tracks and 244?

Even a casual bike ride slowly through the area should convince most people that if not here.... Where?

How about just north of 244 right around there? NE/NW of downtown. Or just west of downtown. I think they could find a number of empty lots and that would service a different area while still staying close to downtown while keeping out of the main downtown areas being redeveloped.

I agree that intersection is shabby and doesn't seem like it's worth protecting when you see it, but adding that a couple blocks from Hodges Bend would ensure even more panhandlers hang out in East Village bothering people. Really creating a nice panhandling trail from Brady to 3rd & Peoria. I've had several near-violent/scary interactions with panhandlers over the years (mostly in LA) so don't really trust people being in an area for the sole purpose of begging and getting free food. Anything that encourages that it bad for the area.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2015, 02:44:22 pm »

How about just north of 244 right around there? NE/NW of downtown. Or just west of downtown. I think they could find a number of empty lots and that would service a different area while still staying close to downtown while keeping out of the main downtown areas being redeveloped.

I agree that intersection is shabby and doesn't seem like it's worth protecting when you see it, but adding that a couple blocks from Hodges Bend would ensure even more panhandlers hang out in East Village bothering people. Really creating a nice panhandling trail from Brady to 3rd & Peoria. I've had several near-violent/scary interactions with panhandlers over the years (mostly in LA) so don't really trust people being in an area for the sole purpose of begging and getting free food. Anything that encourages that it bad for the area.

NW of downtown is an up and coming neighborhood and NE is OSU Tulsa and Evans Fintube. Sadly, the place near downtown with the most rundown property is due east.

I work across the street from the current Iron Gate, walk by when they are serving regularly, only time I've ever been talked to by their patrons is to ask for directions or (once) complimented on my coat.
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DTowner
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« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2015, 03:34:55 pm »

Just as some are arguing what could be with massive investment versus what really exists and it's current useful nature. They instead dwell on their worst experiences with drunks and renegades. No one has addressed what I asked. Is it wise to keep corraling undesirables in a ghetto downtown? And what kind of development are you expecting on a sliver of commercial land "nestled" between the tracks and 244?

Even a casual bike ride slowly through the area should convince most people that if not here.... Where?

I drive through that area several times a week.  It may not be a looker right now, but then 5-8 years ago neither was 6th & Peoria or the Kendall Whittier neighborhood.  Can you realistically argue either of those areas would look like they do today if Iron Gate had located there 5-8 years ago?  What 3rd & Peoria can become is limited only by the vision and level of risk of those who want to give it a go.

As for where Iron Gate should go, my question is why does it need to be downtown or very near downtown at all?  There are already numerous locations downtown providing the same and similar services.  And if, as is claimed, a majority of its recipients are not homeless, then they must have some transportation getting them downtown now.  Maybe Iron Gate is more needed at 61st and Peoria or 71st & Riverside or 21st & Garnett, or any number of other places where you frequently see homeless folks and have local residents in need of its services.  As much as there is an argument against locating all of these similar service providers in one part of downtown, I would argue there is an equally good argument against locating all of these service providers downtown period.
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TulsaGoldenHurriCAN
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« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2015, 08:26:42 am »

NW of downtown is an up and coming neighborhood and NE is OSU Tulsa and Evans Fintube. Sadly, the place near downtown with the most rundown property is due east.

I said:
Quote
How about just north of 244 right around there (meaning north Peoria)? NE/NW of downtown. Or just west of downtown.

Notice that I didn't say directly north of downtown (where OSU Tulsa and Fintube are). Directly west of downtown has plenty of areas with empty lots and dilapidated buildings and is close to a lot of high poverty areas.
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TulsaGoldenHurriCAN
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« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2015, 08:28:17 am »

Another update:
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/iron-gate-officials-to-meet-with-opposition-tuesday-regarding-proposed/article_3f0f8db1-e0c6-53b6-8001-444b1c872dab.html

Highlights:

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Iron Gate is hosting a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at its location in the basement of Trinity Episcopal Church, 501 S. Cincinnati Ave., so those who oppose the move can see the agencyís facility first hand.

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The agencyís planned $9 million project to build a new headquarters at 302 S. Peoria Ave. is contingent on Board of Adjustment approval of zoning exceptions to allow for operation of the soup kitchen in an area zoned industrial.
The hearing is set for 1 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Tulsa City Council chambers, 175 E. Second St.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2015, 09:07:51 pm »

Anyone here actually walk the streets and businesses at third and Peoria? It isn't the Pearl you're imagining.

Amen.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2015, 09:13:29 pm »

It's three blocks to 6th and Peoria.

And I do think Iron Gate has been an impediment to development and is part of the reason why the Towercade and Tulsa Club buildings have been so difficult to develop. Both buildings should have been two of the first buildings to be converted to residential downtown and they remain empty with no plans in sight. Iron Gate being next door certainly is part of the reason so much damage has been done to the Tulsa Club by homeless people.

It absolutely has hindered the development of those buildings. It's also a thorn in our rear at our Downtown location. It was more annoying two years ago when we first opened, but now I'm numb to it and just take the view someone has to feed them. I can tell you without a question it gives the city a bad image to thousands of tourist a year being in our city center though.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2015, 09:15:24 pm »

Please tell me which property you'd like them to buy that is near the existing "social services corridor" in the NW corner of the IDL.

It doesn't mater where they go, it's going to be a fight.

Aquaman makes a great point that this is not in the "heart of the Pearl" but rather on the fringe in an area that is heavily industrial.  According to the measurement tool on Google Maps the Day Center is approx. 1,200 ft from The Tavern.  Iron Gate will be approx. 1,700 ft from The Phoenix.  Yet, the Brady District seems to be doing just fine.

Also, don't forget this is the same neighborhood group that strongly opposed a new QT at 11th & Utica.  So, maybe we should rename The Pearl, The NIMBY District.

Well that QT was outrageous in size compared to the previous version.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2015, 09:20:36 pm »

I get the feeling that the daily "homeless parades" through downtown's entertainment districts are vastly overstated.  If there is ever a need to help people get from the day center to Iron Gate, I'm sure some philanthropists can arrange a bus or other form of help, especially on very hot or cold days.  Iron Gate also isn't limited to the homeless.  There are many poor people in town that use their services and it will be more accessible at the new location it seems.  Also, as has been mentioned, it's on the fringe of the Pearl District, by the tracks, in an industrial area, and I don't see it negatively affecting the development of 11th and 6th street corridors.  If it comes down to the idea that poor people are bad for business, well that's just not a right way to think.

They honestly are not overstated, at least from our business location at 5th and Boston. It's been an issue for years, but you just eventually accept it because helping out the poor is the right thing to do.
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« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2015, 05:53:59 pm »

It was voted down 2-2 today.  They cited parking, but reading between the lines, they weren't impressed with misrepresentations made by Iron Gate and its proponents.  No one argues that the homeless or hungry don't need help, but it sure seems like there should be a deeper discussion about how to best use resources and planning.  And it would help if all the parties would be honest.  3rd and Peoria is not the same thing as 6th and Peoria or the Brady area.  And there are a lot more chronically homeless with a propensity to cause others trouble who are using Iron Gate than they let on.
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Conan71
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« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2015, 08:34:27 pm »

Perhaps a different clientele, Iím not certain who the clients are at the transitional living center at Yale & Admiral, but I suspect they may have been former Iron Gate clients or may still be.

It seems all the fears of surrounding property owners and nearby residents of wandering zombie homeless were grossly over-stated on that project.  In fact, Iím not aware of the area surrounding Admiral and Yale experiencing any sort of uptick in crime since that center was built.  Itís a whole lot better looking than the Warehouse Market which previously occupied the lot.

I believe the physical structure of the new Iron Gate might have been good for the area.  Take a long look at the Pearl from Peoria to Utica: it still has many low income residents as well as a Tulsa Housing Authority project or two as well as the Center For The Physically Limited and several other social services.  I donít really see that Iron Gate locating there would kill the future potential of the area.  If anything, the physical quality of the development would have been a nice improvement.
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« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2015, 07:31:10 am »

Ultimate irony for a lack of parking to be cited as the reason.  If it had been just about any other type of business the Pearl District folks would have been clamoring for the lack of parking to be approved.
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Conan71
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« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2015, 07:45:42 am »

Ultimate irony for a lack of parking to be cited as the reason.  If it had been just about any other type of business the Pearl District folks would have been clamoring for the lack of parking to be approved.

I caught that. 

Trinity has the space to the south which is now surface parking.  Why donít they just expand on their own property and have parishioners take advantage of other parking in the area?  That or give Trinity some incentives to build a parking structure above an expansion for Iron Gate which would benefit other buildings in the area during off-peak times for the church.
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"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the firstĒ -Ronald Reagan
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