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January 22, 2019, 10:43:20 am
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Author Topic: Peoria-Mohawk Business Park  (Read 1963 times)
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« on: August 05, 2016, 12:21:46 pm »

GKFF developing industrial park in north Tulsa
North Tulsa revitalization plan nearly ready to go

A triangle of shrub-covered land bounded by Mohawk Boulevard, Peoria Avenue, Lewis Avenue and 36th Street North is proposed as the key to rejuvenating an underserved area of Tulsa.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation has, through a surrogate, quietly purchased more than a hundred acres over the past 26 months or so.
The Tulsa city website calls the site the Peoria-Mohawk Business Park.
Property records show a limited liability company has spent more than $2 million since May 2014 buying the land from about a dozen different owners.
Josh Miller, head of the project for GKFF, said soon the rest of the land will be purchased, too. Then site work, which involves clearing what from the street looks like a small forest, capping a few old oil wells and removing what Miller says became a “dumping ground” of spare car parts and trash. And there are zoning changes to be acquired.
It’s not going to look like the envisioned end product overnight. The end product is a “1,000-job employer,” ideally a manufacturer or something similar.
Miller said the foundation hopes some number of residents end up working there, though he acknowledged that it would be tough, and perhaps impossible, to mandate.
However, he said, there is the possibility of an overall benefit for the area from the park just by being nearby. He said workers could visit restaurants on their lunch break and buy milk on their way home.
There are other available sites to the north and east, but the foundation wanted it to be tucked in the neighborhood.
Mark Sweeney, a national site consultant for McCallum Sweeney, said GKFF is doing something that’s commendable but not guaranteed to be a success. He saw a similar situation in another city, and said residents in the immediate area around the new employer were included in the recruitment process.
“If somebody like this … doesn’t take the initiative, if you don’t do anything, nothing is going to change,” he said. “It’s beyond commendable.”
He said the site, once environmental work is done, will be attractive to employers because of Oklahoma’s business climate and Tulsa’s solid reputation despite worries of tornadoes and the possibility of losing skilled workers to energy companies if the market rebounds.
“I don’t think they’re building this in a place that’s not going to have any interest at all,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”
Part of that interest will come from a proposed Bus Rapid Transit line that will go past the park on Peoria Avenue.
The BRT route and $10 million in infrastructure costs for the industrial park are among the list of projects passed with the Vision renewal vote in April.
Sweeney said the transit route will help the site attract interest because of industries’ evolving “green sensibilities.” He added the existence of nearby transit will allow workers to have another means of getting there except by car.
Miller said the proposed transit line “certainly a potential benefit for a future employer.”
Risha Grant said she appreciates the effort and investment GKFF has poured into her community and is hopeful about the jobs its most recent initiative could provide.
“But north Tulsa needs commerce more than anything else,” said Grant, who runs a staffing firm that helps companies hire diverse candidates. “There’s no stores. You can’t really shop in north Tulsa. It makes you spend your money in other parts of the city.”
Grant is more enthusiastic about the proposed Bus Rapid Transit route.
“It could help change lives for some people,” she said. “You hear people don’t want to work. Some people can’t get to work.”
The bus route means transportation for some and a chance for investment for others.
The coming investments don’t come without their risk. Development could fail to take off alongside the transit route.
Sweeney said as long as GKFF has patience, their project should succeed. But there’s no guarantee.
“There’s the risk that this thing doesn’t do what you want it to do,” he said. “You can’t drive the risk down to zero.”
Grant said the coming investment is only one factor in changing the place. The other is the will to do so. That will is more visible now than it’s been in a long time. The racial strife and turmoil churned by up police shootings and protests across the country is multi-faceted, she said, and has grown into frustration with local economic stagnation.
There have been a lot of city plans to improve north Tulsa, Grant said, but many of them haven’t yielded results. This time may be different.
“Everybody is awake,” she said. “Especially within the black community. We know that we have economic power. It’s become a conversation about economics and how we create and impact and change for our community.”

Historic Artifact
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 10:10:49 am »

Very cool. Would love to see a Tulsa Hills type development here that is not stupid like Tulsa Hills.
dbacksfan 2.0
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 12:42:15 am »

It looks like this would be a good location for an industrial park since there are others in that area, but looking at it on Google Earth there appears to be a few old stripper wells and storage tanks and there are a couple of exposed pipelines towards the western portion of the area, and what looks like a former land fill on the north eastern side. Would this fall under some type of super fund clean up site? I would think that with those issues it might not be a shopping type location because of those environmental issues. I could be wrong, just curious.

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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2016, 05:03:41 pm »

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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 10:40:30 am »

Update on this industrial park:
Planning commission sends north Tulsa industrial park zoning to council

Planners agree to send the zoning change to city council for consideration

What was once forceful opposition from residents to aspects of a planned north Tulsa industrial park melted into agreement before the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission on Wednesday, leading the planning commission to approve rezoning for the project.
Provided it clears the Tulsa City Council, Peoria-Mohawk Business Park will have its industrial zoning, which paves the way for any development on the site. It’s a George Kaiser Family Foundation project that’s scheduled to receive $10 million in Vision funding in fiscal year 2019, according to city plans released Wednesday.
The project’s goal is to bring 1,000 jobs to north Tulsa. Progress was slowed late in 2016 when residents told the planning commission that they were concerned about truck traffic along Mohawk Boulevard and what the development would do for the neighborhood.
In two meetings over the past month, the foundation and residents have hashed out an agreement. Instead of entrances at both ends of Mohawk Boulevard, the foundation agreed to limit entrances along Mohawk to the west end of the street, away from the neighborhood on the south side of Mohawk and the one remaining house on the north side of the street.
The owner of that remaining house, Charles Williams, said Wednesday that the project will benefit the community and the area around it now that the foundation has changed plans.
He’s the last holdout on the north side of Mohawk Boulevard. He has refused to sell the foundation his land, and it plans on building on around him. It was Williams and Corinice Wilson who helped organize area residents to voice their concerns about the project.
That organization garnered praise from planning commissioners John Dix and Nick Doctor, who said it’s among the best they’ve seen.
Josh Miller of the foundation said the passage was what happens when the community comes together and works with those most affected to reach a solution suitable for almost everyone.
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