Business leaders in the fourth largest city in Oklahoma are working to show people their downtown is worth investing in.
The Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation hosted a Rose District Familiarization tour on Thursday.
25 small business owners, developers and brokers toured the rose district looking at nine empty store fronts.
“I saw a niche for an independently owned restaurant and bar,” said Jason Scarpa, Main Street Tavern Owner.
He has been in business two years. He joined the tour looking to build on the success he’s having. Scarpa showed FOX23 his restaurant. He spent $750,000 improving electric wiring refurbishing the dark wood to keep the original architecture.
“It was a challenge at first getting people to come to downtown broken arrow but once people come here once they turn into regulars," said Scarpa.
The city believes he has it all the drinks, the food and a great environment. They say it's a recipe that can thrive downtown with other vendors.
"I grew up in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and I’ve lived in Atlanta. I’ve seen these types downtown revitalization happen in other cities and how great they’ve turned out,” said Scarpa. “I see that same potential in Broken Arrow.”
The city loses out on $1.1 billion a year in sales tax. City leaders are working to keep that money in the city.
They will begin narrowing in May this street to three lanes to make the area more pedestrian friendly.