City of Tulsa seeking ideas for Brownfield sites

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 12/16/2013 9:27 pm Published: 12/16/2013 5:25 pm

The city of Tulsa is on a mission to turn abandoned, blighted properties into sparks of new economic development in north Tulsa.

The city is sending out a request for proposals this week to redevelop the old Morton Hospital site in the 600 block of East Pine and the old Evans-Fintube site in the 100 block of North Lansing.

Those are both so-called Brownfield sites--places that are environmentally contaminated. But with cleanup grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, the city plans to start a new wave of economic growth in the part of town that needs it the most.

"I really hope so. I mean, there's a potential there," said Andru Morgan, who lives across from the old Morton site and is thrilled the city is ready to bring new life to the historic site that was once the black hospital in Tulsa.

"I'm excited to see anything go in. I can't describe how excited I am," said Morgan.

And he has an idea for what should go in.

"If the facility can still be used for what its primary purpose used to be--a teaching hospital, something of that nature, that can give back to the community--that would be a great need for this community," he said.

Economic development director for the city of Tulsa, Clay Bird, says that's exactly what he's thinking.

"Compatible to the neighborhood, something that would tie in as well to the library, to the school, all that maybe have some sort of educational component," said Bird.

As for the old industrial site, Evans-Fintube, while it still needs some expensive environmental clean up, it's 22 acres of potential.

"Retail, could be some housing, office, but really just a mixed-use development," said Bird.

Maybe a movie theater or bowling alley, but also a catalyst for more growth.

"Really bridge downtown development into north Tulsa to help spawn further development as it moves further north and the surrounding areas. One hundred percent sure it could happen. It's just a matter of if the developers that are coming in truly want to invest and believe in the community, I know that this community will support whatever's put in place," said Bird.

The proposals for how to redevelop those sites are due back to the city by mid-March.

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Mayor Maynot - 12/16/2013 8:02 PM
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Got a flame thrower???
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