Tulsa Preservation Blog
Flurry of Construction Activity Downtown
Posted by Ed Sharrer on April 27, 2009 | Link to this Entry | Email this Entry
The signs of progress in downtown Tulsa are more apparent every day! Here’s a rundown of all the construction activity I saw today just during the normal course of business.
The most dramatic occurrence was the closure of 5th Street between Boulder and Main so that cranes could hoist HVAC air handling units up to the roof of the Mayo Building, soon to be 67 apartments plus the downtown YMCA fitness facility. Some of those units looked bigger than my college dorm room!
Across Main Street, framing work is moving right along on an IBC branch bank location in the McFarlin Building. New storefront windows, too.
Two blocks west on 5th, crews have erected scaffolding along the entire front facade of the Mayo Hotel, which will be reborn as 100 apartments and 70 hotel rooms. By the way, Topeca Coffee on the ground floor is still open even though you can’t see the front door. The scaffolding will be in place for two months, so the owner is concerned about the effect on her business. Note to self: drop by for a cup more often.
Folks, that’s tens of millions of dollars of investment in a two-block stretch of 5th Street. But there’s more.
An article in this morning’s Tulsa World revealed that the T-Town Trolley will convert the Blue Dome at 2nd and Elgin (pictured above) to a trolley depot and gift shop. Great use of a Tulsa icon!
A block to the north, the owner of the Blue Dome, Michael Sager, is converting the five-story Jacobs Hotel building to loft apartments. Residents of the First Street Lofts will be moving in just a few months.
Of course, no mention of downtown construction would be complete without mentioning the $39 million ONEOK Field, which will be the new home of the Tulsa Drillers minor league baseball team in 2010.
Staying on the east side of downtown, I noticed that the paint has been removed from one of the buildings on 3rd Street between Greenwood and Kenosha just in the past few days. It’s no longer black.
When I went to lunch, I drove south on Cincinnati. Not sure what’s going into the one-story building at 7th & Cincy, but it’s been completely rehabbed inside and out.
After lunch, I drove north on Boston Avenue. The new Tulsa Community College building at 10th Street is really looking sharp. Further up Boston, I drove past the Atlas Life Building, which is being converted to a Courtyard Hotel by Marriott (opening in May 2010).
To recap, that’s two new buildings being constructed on formerly vacant land and rehab work on eight existing buildings, three of which are historic tax credit projects. I walked or drove past all these projects today. My travels didn’t take me over to West 3rd, where the state’s largest ballroom is under construction at the Tulsa Convention Center, but trust me — that project is well under way.
The best news? There’s more to come. The rebirth of downtown Tulsa has only gotten started!