Posted by: As I See It by Arnie | July 9, 2007

Tulsa Downtown Development…..?

The downtown area of Tulsa has been slowly declining for decades. A hot topic for the residents of Tulsa and the county for decades, as other cities have formulated plans, implemented them and now have vibrant areas for the residents to go and enjoy. Oklahoma City has it’s Bricktown area. “The Bricktown Entertainment District, Oklahoma’s most unique entertainment destination and neighborhood, is the vibrant home to many restaurants, nightclubs, sporting facilities, shops, attractions, condos, and a spectacular canal. Located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, Bricktown, as it now stands, was once a warehouse neighborhood that has been magnificently restored. It has enjoyed a physical revival and gained immense popularity since the early 1980s, becoming a hot spot, known for its diverse and often varied entertainment options. Be it enjoying a baseball game at its AAA stadium, catching a movie at the Harkins Theatre, or drinking and dining at its many fabulous restaurants and nightspot there is always fun for the entire family.” It’s alive and well.

As with any large municipal development, you’d expect the commercial aspect to follow suit with additional restaurants, hotels and shops to come right on down and start their purchasing of prime property and start building to be ready at the opening of the events center. Not in Tulsa. All we get is this. Snow Cones.

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A beautifully constructed plan is failing to attract much more.

In neighboring suburb, Broken Arrow arrainged a tax incentive plan with Bass Pro Shops to open in the town.  And guess what, along with Bass Pro came a major hotel chain, several restaurants quality with more on the way and the other retail and service shops that naturally follow a major public attraction.  Broken Arrow is thus seeing an increase in city tax revenues.  Increase in economic development, additional population growth and on and on.

City of Tulsa.  Zippo.

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