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September 18, 2018, 07:53:05 am
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Author Topic: UCAT v. TDA, land development north of 244  (Read 2560 times)
cannon_fodder
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« on: February 12, 2018, 09:30:16 am »

Thirty years ago Tulsa was the largest US City without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution.  The timing of this realization corresponded well with an urban renewal trend (and federal cash), so a bulldozed neighborhood was given to University Center at Tulsa (UCAT) to turn into a comprehensive 4 year University.  It was going to be a joint offering of Langston OU, OSU and NSU, but currently it is pretty much a branch of Oklahoma State instead of a stand-alone hi-bred University (and there is a debate whether that was for better or worse).  But there are many acres of land that were cleared, remain empty and without a scheduled plan 30 years later.

Apparently the City took note during the Vision process and started asking questions.  The TDA (fka Tulsa Urban Renewal Authority) feels like something should be done with the land, OSU-Tulsa (fka UCAT) is arguing that building one new structure each decade is good enough because all development after phase 1 is subject to funding.    They created a map to show how they might grow the campus:



The TDA started making noise the last few years - essentially that UCAT needs to use it or lose it in regards to the land and that 30 years was long enough.  It  appears the conflict is centered on 8 blocks of land directly north of the Brady District.  UCAT has filed a lawsuit in Tulsa County to settle the matter, arguing that the deal doesn't specify a time limit for most of the development because it was subject to funding, so they can take as much time as needed so as long as they are making progress.

The TDA wants to see the land used.  UCAT can't afford to give away assets.

Clearly, huge implications for development and OSU-Tulsa.  I think we are better off if the land is either developed OR used to grow OSU Tulsa.  But sitting there doing nothing cannot be good for anyone.  My suggested compromise: OSU-Tulsa sells/leases/or otherwise makes the land available for development, brokered by the TDA, and uses the funds to grow higher education in Tulsa.  Land isn't in short supply for OSU-Tulsa, even if they gave up the 8 blocks in question they have acres to build on.  But apparently funding to grow the campus IS in short supply.

Win Win!  So basically, zero chance of that working out.   Wink


- - - -

The lawsuit, linked below, includes many interesting attachments.  Exhibit B the original master plan as envisioned for the campus (800k feet) and "urban renewal" for the area (go look, and go OOooo and Awwwww then remember it never happened).  It mentions a mixed-use lease-back development proposal from Ross Group in 2015 for the unused land (no details given). The suit discusses all kinds of other interesting ideas that haven't come to fruition (like taking more land in the area by Eminent Domain).  It also includes the original UCAT development agreement as Exhibit A.  Worth breezing through Petition (click the link, download the petition).
http://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx?db=tulsa&number=CV-2018-127


Big Changes Could be Coming to OSU-Tulsa, Langston campus N. of Downtown.  April. 28, 2016.
Quote
The city of Tulsa, the Tulsa Development Authority and other interested parties plan to meet soon to discuss changing the redevelopment agreement for the area after some people questioned why more construction has not occurred on the property...

The 25-page contract sets out a timeline for development that Bussert believes the UCT Authority has met. He noted that the authority met its original obligation under the agreement when it built OSU-Tulsa’s Main Hall within two years of signing the contract.

Since then, Bussert said, the UCT Authority has built at least one OSU-Tulsa facility on the property each decade. Those projects include North Hall, the auditorium, the bookstore and Helmerich Research Center.
https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/the-university-center-at-tulsa-was-created-30-years-ago/

Tulsa Development Authority wants undeveloped UCAT property to revert to city
http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/tulsa-development-authority-wants-undeveloped-ucat-property-to-revert-to/article_26d8abec-eed1-5141-a0fb-37e663e86058.html

Attempted Land Grab Hurts City's Higher Ed Future - by the President of OSU-Tulsa and General Manager of UCAT
http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/opinionfeatured/howard-barnett-jr-attempted-tda-land-grab-hurts-the-city/article_2fbfac27-3207-5613-ba0b-8a9f0daaea3a.html

Steps to Nowhere, Michael Bates, This Land Press
Quote
Urban renewal plans of this period called for the clearance of nearly all non-residential uses and multi-family housing, with commercial uses permitted only along Denver, south of Fairview. The city’s policy was to eliminate the mixed-use quality that set the Near Northside apart from other neighborhoods. Given time, those former commercial sites might have been filled with single-family homes.

Tulsa’s pursuit of state-funded higher education would change everything for the Near Northside. In 1982, the dream of a free-standing Tulsa State University gave way to an awkward compromise called the University Center at Tulsa (UCAT). Langston University, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, and Northeastern State University would offer graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses toward a degree from one of the four schools, on a 200-acre campus to be provided by the city.

The city chose the Greenwood District, north of I-244 and east of Detroit, as the heart of the new campus. The 84.6 acres had been home, in 1960, to about 2,200 people and dozens of businesses, but it had been leveled by the Model Cities urban renewal program and sat empty save for two churches, and a house. The plan to replace Greenwood with high-intensity residential and commercial development had gone nowhere.

In 1985, the City of Tulsa established the University Center at Tulsa Authority (UCATA) to acquire, improve, and maintain a campus on behalf of the four colleges. A firm drew up a master plan, and City of Tulsa voters approved funds for the first academic buildings, which opened in 1988. In 1986, the Tulsa Development Authority, successor to TURA, had signed a lengthy development agreement with UCATA, requiring the land be used for a public university and for development to occur in a timely fashion, and transferred the initial campus area to UCATA.
http://thislandpress.com/2014/06/18/steps-to-nowhere/

« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 09:37:03 am by cannon_fodder » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 10:56:28 am »

What I think should happen:
1. OSU/UCAT should only keep the land west of MLK if they put together a plan to build dense student housing south of John Hope Franklin.  Otherwise it gets transferred unless at least a Phase 1 is built within 5 years.  
2. Keep all OSU and Langston academic and research functions east of MLK.  Update the campus master plan to consolidate parking into garages and build on the existing lots.
3. Move the "OSU Technology Park" to the south next to where the existing ARTC is located (on the parking lots directly east of Elgin).  This creates a synergy with future private development across the highway.  
4. Use that land along MLK for additional THA mixed-income housing development.  Tear down Sunset Plaza apartments.
5. Create a park space on the hillside from MLK to Greenwood with housing on top of the hill and the campus at the bottom.
6. Sell the land north of John Hope Franklin and west of MLK for private residential development to connect with Brady Heights
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 12:08:53 pm by SXSW » Logged

 
heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 01:29:42 pm »

Such great potential.  Such horrible utilization/implementation.  It all goes to the failure of the Oklahoma Legislature and the State Board of Regents.  Again.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be...Oklahoma Fail...Amen...Amen...!

We probably still are the largest city without a comprehensive, public 4 year university...since we don't have that now, either.  We have OSU branch office...


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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 02:28:04 pm »

Such great potential.  Such horrible utilization/implementation.  It all goes to the failure of the Oklahoma Legislature and the State Board of Regents.  Again.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be...Oklahoma Fail...Amen...Amen...!

We probably still are the largest city without a comprehensive, public 4 year university...since we don't have that now, either.  We have OSU branch office...


....and an OU branch office, a Langston branch office, a NSU branch office and Rogers State (if you go with metro area.)

While it might be nice to have a real 4 year college here, does it really matter if you go to TCC for free*, then get your 4 year from any of the above?

* Per the website...   Through Tulsa Achieves, full tuition and fees are provided for every high school senior, public or private, who graduates with a 2.0 grade point average and commits to begin college the fall following their senior year.    *Caveat also says "living in Tulsa County"
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 03:07:44 pm »

The part on that map that shows a future OSU library is one of my favorite spots in Tulsa.

You can access the hill from the north on a deteriorated driveway that goes up to a view of downtown that is great.

I shot this TV commercial there last summer...
https://www.ozonealert.com/videos.htm


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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 03:20:31 pm »

Thirty years ago Tulsa was the largest US City without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution.  The timing of this realization corresponded well with an urban renewal trend (and federal cash), so a bulldozed neighborhood was given to University Center at Tulsa (UCAT) to turn into a comprehensive 4 year University.  It was going to be a joint offering of Langston OU, OSU and NSU, but currently it is pretty much a branch of Oklahoma State instead of a stand-alone hi-bred University (and there is a debate whether that was for better or worse).  But there are many acres of land that were cleared, remain empty and without a scheduled plan 30 years later.

Apparently the City took note during the Vision process and started asking questions.  The TDA (fka Tulsa Urban Renewal Authority) feels like something should be done with the land, OSU-Tulsa (fka UCAT) is arguing that building one new structure each decade is good enough because all development after phase 1 is subject to funding.    They created a map to show how they might grow the campus:

I presume you really mean to say that Tulsa was the largest US metro area without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution (because, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Tulsa is even the largest city in the State of Oklahoma without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution) and I'm pretty sure there are other larger cities in the same boat.  As to metro areas, while it may have been true 30 years ago, we are any longer without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution. We now have Rogers State in Claremore.
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 03:23:15 pm »

....and an OU branch office, a Langston branch office, a NSU branch office and Rogers State (if you go with metro area.)

While it might be nice to have a real 4 year college here, does it really matter if you go to TCC for free*, then get your 4 year from any of the above?

* Per the website...   Through Tulsa Achieves, full tuition and fees are provided for every high school senior, public or private, who graduates with a 2.0 grade point average and commits to begin college the fall following their senior year.    *Caveat also says "living in Tulsa County"


I don't argue with OSU Tulsa - I am an Aggie - but it isn't a Tulsa 4 yr university.   Still much better than I ever expected from this state.



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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 03:26:07 pm »

I presume you really mean to say that Tulsa was the largest US metro area without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution (because, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Tulsa is even the largest city in the State of Oklahoma without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution) and I'm pretty sure there are other larger cities in the same boat.  As to metro areas, while it may have been true 30 years ago, we are any longer without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution. We now have Rogers State in Claremore.


Rogers State isn't a comprehensive 4 yr university.  That was the original complaint by NE Oklahomans.  We ended up getting a hodge-podge of places putting programs together - and that isn't bad...it is working fairly well for many if not most.   It's not what it should have been, though.




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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 04:00:08 pm »


I don't argue with OSU Tulsa - I am an Aggie - but it isn't a Tulsa 4 yr university.   Still much better than I ever expected from this state.

OSU-Tulsa should be governed like UW-Milwaukee, as an independent urban extension of the OSU system.  From UW-Milwaukee's Wiki page:

Quote
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee was founded with the belief that Milwaukee needed a great public university to become a great city. In 1955, the Wisconsin state legislature passed a bill to create a large public university that offered graduate programs in Wisconsin's largest city. In 1956, Wisconsin State College-Milwaukee merged with the University of Wisconsin–Extension's Milwaukee division (a graduate branch of the University of Wisconsin–Madison) to form the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (also known as UW–Milwaukee, UWM or Milwaukee) is a public urban research university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It is the largest university in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and a member of the University of Wisconsin System. It is also one of the two doctoral degree-granting public universities and the second largest university in Wisconsin.

The University consists of 14 schools and colleges, including the only graduate school of freshwater science in the U.S.,the first CEPH accredited dedicated school of public health in Wisconsin, and the State's only school of architecture. As of the 2015-2016 school year, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee had an enrollment of 27,156, with 1,604 faculty members, offering 191 degree programs, including 94 bachelor's, 64 master's and 33 doctorate degrees.
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 05:33:40 am »


Rogers State isn't a comprehensive 4 yr university.  That was the original complaint by NE Oklahomans.  We ended up getting a hodge-podge of places putting programs together - and that isn't bad...it is working fairly well for many if not most.   It's not what it should have been, though.






To expand, Rogers State only recently became a four year school. It previously served as a junior college of sorts.

However, a closer option (BA) is Northeastern State. A much more reputable school, with a very impressive satellite campus. It is actually comical how much more impressive it is than the downtown OSU campus.

I actually had the pleasure of taking one course @ NSU-BA and was thoroughly impressed with the quality considering it wasn't their main campus. Satellite campus often feel like a second tier option. Rogers State Main campus feels like a 5th tier. And their Bartlesville campus feels like day care. (I will admit that results may have changed as my "samples" are getting dated-nearly 10 years old at this point).
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 05:35:26 am by erfalf » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 09:13:59 am »

If TCC is going to handle the first two years, OSU-Tulsa (and the others) should at least be able to increase their offerings of degrees and graduate programs.  I looked recently and it's pretty limited what degree you can actually obtain from OSU-Tulsa, and specifically graduate degrees.  I agree with the Tulsa World editorial.  I don't really care who is right legally, the land needs to be put to better use sooner rather than later.  The TDA can develop some of the parcels on the western side of the tract and OSU would still have tons of room for expansion.
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 09:49:32 am »

I presume you really mean to say that Tulsa was the largest US metro area without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution (because, correct me if I'm wrong

I did not research the truth of the matter asserted, I was repeating what the President of OSU Tulsa/UCAT said in his Tulsa World Article:
Quote
Tulsa, just 30 years ago, was the largest U.S. city without a public bachelor-degree-granting institution. Today, Tulsans can choose to earn a bachelor’s degree at Langston-Tulsa, OSU-Tulsa, OU-Tulsa or NSU-Broken Arrow.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/opinionfeatured/howard-barnett-jr-attempted-tda-land-grab-hurts-the-city/article_2fbfac27-3207-5613-ba0b-8a9f0daaea3a.html

As far as my opinion on the resulting many Universities,  I think it is inferior to the single large four year residential University planned.  Without disparaging the education of the institutions we do have, the result for Tulsa is not the same as having UCO and OU attached to OKC metro, or UNT, UT Dallas, UT Arlington, and UT Commerce in the MetroPlex. 

Large contiguous residential campuses bring together assets that regional commuter campuses do not.  Not only synergy in education, brand recognition, and campus life - but huge advantages for the metro.  Having Universities associated with your metro area improves the impression of your metro; few in the state hear OU, OSU, Rogers State, NSU and thinks TULSA--- let alone regionally or nationwide.  The impression of having higher education in your town is important.

There is also an obvious economic advantage.  People migrate to go to residential 4 year colleges.  They move from the rural areas to the city, from out of state, or even from out of the country.  A certain number of those newly educated people will stay and either be drawn into the labor force or start companies, others will leave with a favorable impression of the metro and spread the word.   Scholars, athletes, and tourists visiting campus raise awareness of what you have to offer.  And, of course, having 25,000 college students living right outside downtown Tulsa would be an economic boom for the area.

As it stands, we have education options that suffice for many area residents, that's good for the metro and good for the residents.  But it lacks the impact that a single larger University would have had. When large companies talk about relocating to a community with higher ed so they can partner for programs or recruit students, they often have an image of a well known flagship school, not 6 separate institutions to try and work with (NSU, RSU, OSU, OU, TCC, Langston).  When people think about a metro area with great higher education, it almost always includes one large flagship school.  When people move somewhere to go to college, it is most often for a residential campus.

Plus, most of these campuses are not a priority.  Look at what OSU-Tulsa has said - they lack the funding to build more than one building a decade in Tulsa, and wasn't the last significant academic building funded by a Tulsa bond vote anyway?  Meanwhile, in Stillwater, they are currently working on a new business building, dining center, human sciences building, engineering lab, performing center and parking garage (to say nothing of athletic facilities).  Both NSU-BA (3500 students)and OSU-Tulsa (2300) focus on juniors & seniors, as well as adult education. Langston is a satellite campus offering 9 undergrad degrees and a few masters in one building. OU-Tulsa has an interesting mix of programs and a growing campus, but only 1600 kids.  RSU has ~3k kids in Claremore and only offers a single graduate program (Masters in BA). 

That's a far cry from the promise of a full service university with 25k students and a residential campus.


(again, this isn't to say the quality of education can't be there, just that the impact on the city isn't the same IMO)

http://www.langston.edu/tulsa
http://www.ou.edu/content/tulsa/about.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_State_University
https://www.nsuok.edu/brokenarrow.aspx
http://tulsa.okstate.edu/about
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 10:29:21 am »

I'd like to see a Tulsa mayor run with this issue as the #1 priority.  Sadly it hasn't been a big enough issue for city leaders to try and change the status quo. 
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 11:39:21 am »

I just don't see the state ponying up astronomical amounts of money to build another campus when it appears the two majors they have are doing just fine with one location.

And I also don't see the two major private U's expanding dramatically, or even less likely a new entrant all together.
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 02:25:23 pm »

I just don't see the state ponying up astronomical amounts of money to build another campus when it appears the two majors they have are doing just fine with one location.

And I also don't see the two major private U's expanding dramatically, or even less likely a new entrant all together.

Cannon's post almost perfectly encapsulates the issue, and I agree with it completely.  But I think you are right, particularly with the current political climate, I cannot see a new major public university happening in Tulsa.  (But the spot is perfect for it...)

But still,  the "University of Northern Oklahoma" (UNO!  We're Number One!) in Tulsa would be pretty cool.

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