|Updated: 10/17/2013 6:22 pm
||Published: 10/17/2013 3:52 pm
The explosion of growth in downtown Tulsa continues as plans surface for more loft apartments.
The old YMCA building near Fourth and Denver has been vacant for years, but developers will soon bring new life to the building.
"I do think that when people come to the city or come to the courthouse, to see that building run down is terrible," said Luis Flores. He can't wait to see the YMCA building transformed into loft apartments.
"I think it makes it a little bit safer as well downtown having people living down here, to have grocery stores, to really have a vibrant community down here. So I'm excited to see it," he said.
The building will become 80 apartment units with parking, a close to $10 million investment in downtown Tulsa.
"It's making the tax values go up and helps our economy," he said.
Blocks away, the old Vandever building, once home to a retail store, is also becoming apartments after years of sitting empty.
"It's wonderful to have our existing building stock revitalized, especially when you take some older buildings that have office space that is really becoming obsolete for office, and turning that into residential. You're putting more life back into downtown," he said.
Flores said life in downtown is changing the way people view Tulsa.
"When I graduated from college many years ago everybody wanted to leave. Now with all the stuff that's going on: Guthrie Green, there's new bars, new restaurants, BOK Center, everything. I think that's been really beneficial to the city and making Tulsa more of a hub for people to really wanting to come…not only to come visit, but also wanting to stay," he said.
Delise Tomlinson, who oversees downtown development for the Tulsa Regional Chamber, said the more people stay downtown the more development will continue to roll right along.
"But more people living downtown will bring more things, like more retail downtown and it makes it a more exciting place to be," she said.