Locals hope to restore Crystal City's shine

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Reported by: MirandaChristian
Updated: 2/07/2013 8:40 am Published: 2/06/2013 8:54 pm

You won't have to fight for parking, because there's plenty of space. It's been this way for years.

Just off the highway, nestled in the heart of west Tulsa, east of the tracks, sits Crystal City. It’s a rusted, boarded up, empty shell of what it once was.

"This is not the way I remember it," said Matt Crain.

Crain grew up in the neighborhood, but he remembers hopping the train tracks, crossing the street and hanging out at Crystal City. Back when there was still life in the shops.

"I can point to things that I bought here that I still have,” said Crain.

Crain still lives in the area. He loves it so much he became President of the South-West Tulsa Chamber, but soon, the shopping center could be gone.

"It needs to be refurbished or reconfigured and changed," said Crain.

The shopping center will go to auction at the end of the month. Crain suspects it'll sell for just under $2 million.

"This is the livelihood of our neighbors,” said City Councilor Jeannie Cue.

Cue and Crain said whoever buys the place may decide to tear down everything, which would make a bad economic situation even worse.

"You have to go across town to find jobs and you're lucky if you do find one," said Aaron Haight.

There’s plenty of closed for business signs, and it seems the dollar store, and Red Box are the only ones going strong.

"It’s a matter of convenience because you have to go to the other side of Riverside to get to anything," said Amber Woodson.

Woodson said that includes groceries.

Folks in this area stopped just short of calling this a food desert. In fact, there used to be a grocery store in Crystal City years ago. Now the closest one is about two miles away.

"If not for the dollar stores there wouldn't be any way to get anything," said Crain.

The big question now is if anyone will spend the dollars it will take to return the jobs, and the shine to Crystal City.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

MCrain - 2/6/2013 10:30 PM
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Great job, Frank! Just one correction; the $2 million was the last asking price; it will go at auction to the lowest bidder without a reserve. Thanks for your good work.
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