City of Tulsa accepting proposals for new Route 66 center

TULSA, Okla. — The City of Tulsa is looking to highlight Route 66 even more, with hopes for a new shopping and tourist center devoted to the Mother Road.

The City is asking for ideas right now with the only guidance that it will be a mixed-use building on a two-acre site overlooking near Route 66 and Riverside. This is the plot of land next to what’s known as Cry Baby Hill during the cycling event Tulsa Tough.

The hope is to create a sort of tourist stop, with information and shops focused on Route 66. The City of Tulsa has dedicated $5 million in public funds as an incentive for the project. They are also looking at a long-term lease of the land, removing the upfront cost of buying the land.

Previous Vision 2025-funded projects have already boosted the appeal of Route 66 to tourists with a matching grant program brining in more than 40 neon signs along the corridor. Entrepreneurs also have invested private capital and creativity along Tulsa’s two alignments of Route 66, resulting in more than a half-dozen commercial districts with food, entertainment, and art.

Proposals can be submitted on the City of Tulsa website, look for the “Development/Business” section then click “Selling to the City.” They are due Jan. 19, 2022. Once a proposal is selected, the City will choose a developer.