ONEOK pleadges $10 million to Gathering Place

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Updated: 10/16/2013 2:01 pm Published: 10/16/2013 2:00 pm

ONEOK, Inc. pledged $10 million over 10 years to help fund the development of “A Gathering Place for Tulsa.”

As part of its commitment, ONEOK will receive naming rights for the Gathering Place Boathouse.

The Gathering Place, a project of George Kaiser Family Foundation, will span approximately 80 acres, connecting three previously independently owned sites with the existing River Parks.

The first phase of the park will develop a majority of the acreage, including 66 and one-half acres from 27th Street to 31st Street on both the east and west sides of Riverside Drive and then, from 31st Street to 33rd Place on the west side of Riverside Drive. An ingenious land bridge design will serve to connect the east and west sides of Riverside Drive. This will provide meaningful access to the Arkansas River, turning Tulsa’s waterfront into a dynamic and active space, and improving the city’s social, economic and environmental sustainability.

“With this investment, we are reinforcing our strong commitment to the continued development of Tulsa,” said John W. Gibson, ONEOK chairman and chief executive officer. “This is more than an investment in Tulsa – it’s also an investment in ONEOK’s future. A vibrant Tulsa is key to our ability to attract and retain the employees we need today and in the future.”

“As we believed when we made the commitment to ONEOK Field, we know the Gathering Place will be a great addition for our city,” said Gibson. “We believe the leadership of the George Kaiser Family Foundation further proves the longevity and growth Tulsa can support. It was a no-brainer for us – we knew we had to be part of the Gathering Place.”

The boathouse will be a contemporary take on a traditional boathouse, with a mix of social and educational spaces. The uppermost level of the building will offer views of the Arkansas River and downtown Tulsa from both an enclosed upscale restaurant and a large outdoor community deck. The middle level will house a nature center and a display area, as well as educational spaces and social gathering spaces. The actual boathouse will be on the lower level and will provide boat access to Blair Pond along with boat storage, a dock and a workshop for boat repair, educational classes and more.

“Tulsa is fortunate to have great corporate citizens like ONEOK, and we are excited they have committed to join us as a partner in the creation of the Gathering Place,” said Ken Levit, executive director of GKFF.

“ONEOK’s generosity and commitment to Tulsa is reflected throughout this city, and the park would not be complete without their presence.”

“GKFF recognizes that quality of life is critical to the social and economic strength of our region. Our vision for the Gathering Place is to create a large riverfront park that gives Tulsans of all ages more space to play, rest and gather along the river. This transformative space will be possible thanks to ONEOK and other partners,” said Levit. “ONEOK is always a part of the good things happening in Tulsa, and we commend them for their significant gift to the Gathering Place.”

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