|Updated: 8/23/2012 9:05 am
||Published: 8/22/2012 6:24 pm
An abandoned apartment building that's been called a nuisance was torn down Wednesday.
People who live nearby say the change in landscape will make their community safer.
The former Oakwood Apartments building on 62nd St. near S. Peoria Ave. had been abandoned since 2009. It was boarded up, but that didn't keep intruders out, and police and firefighters were called there on a regular basis for disturbances.
"I'm glad it's coming down, because it's been an eyesore," Christy Tipton, who lives near the site, said.
Tipton had been working with the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County for months to get rid of the building she called a blight on south Tulsa.
"They've responded wholeheartedly to help us out here," she said.
Other neighbors were just as excited.
"It's just fantastic seeing it torn down," Ken Meinheit said.
"Recently, the police have patrolled it and we haven't seen much activity, thank goodness."
But Meinheit was getting tired of seeing police officers spending all of their time there, fighting a seemingly unwinnable battle against criminals and homeless people.
Now Meinheit sees new hope for the property.
"[I hope it becomes] a shopping center, or use it for a good business," he said. "It would be great."
Others had different ideas on how to repurpose the site.
"If we can get some nice housing in here those units will be occupied," Karen Keith, Tulsa County Commissioner, said. "They'll actually be contributing to the tax rolls. We won't be spending a lot of money for police and fire coming out here on calls all the time."
Both are ideas for a bright future that Tipton can hardly wait for.
"I love where I live," she said. "And I want to see this neighborhood flourish like it should. And this is just one of many good things that are going to happen here."
"I just want people to know that this is going to be an up-and-coming neighborhood."
The property owner, who lives out of state, had not paid his property taxes for a long enough period of time that the county took ownership of the property. That's how the county was able to demolish the building.
There are other improvements coming to the 61st St. and S. Peoria Ave area, as well.
The City of Tulsa is working with the owner of a small bar on Peoria to turn it into a restaurant and small grocery store. And another dilapidated building on 62nd St. will likely be demolished later this year.