|Updated: 10/16 12:41 pm
||Published: 10/16 12:18 pm
As construction continues along Interstate-44, new businesses are popping up in an area that used to be a traffic nightmare, causing headaches for drivers and businesses.
“We didn’t know where to shop, we didn’t know where to eat,” Lesley Patterson with Tulsa’s Regional Chamber told FOX23.
When the construction hit 51st Street and Harvard Avenue, we told you businesses were some of the hardest hit.
“It’s been a nightmare,” Patterson said. “I know when they leveled the shopping center there we really lost a lot of things.”
But all that’s changing.
Shopper Ann Seaberg said, “I’m grateful that they keep adding things.”
“Now Open,” “Coming Soon,” and “Yes, We’re Open” signs around the intersection say it all.
Patterson says, “With the widening of 44, it’s bringing in new enterprise, new stores to the area.”
FOX23’s Janai Norman asked Patterson about areas around the city seeing the most growth. Amongst them, she named South Tulsa, Tulsa Hills and 51st and Harvard.
“We’re really proud to see business wanted to expand, to come to town, to fill out the spaces where nothing has been in the past.”
It’s an area she says people naturally gravitate toward, like Seaberg, who’s lived there for years.
“I remember hearing once that 51st & Harvard was the geographical center of Tulsa,” Seaberg said.
Patterston describes it as “a great central location.”
That’s what FOX23 is learning makes the area a potential hot spot, most recently for Reasor’s, McDonald’s and soon for Quiktrip.
A spokesman says QuikTrip waited for construction to wrap before bringing in the new gas station, which is expected to be completed next Spring.
Now, construction that hampered business in the past, is helping accommodate it today.
Seaberg says, “The way they’ve designed getting on the freeway, I think it can handle all this these big groups [of people.]”