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Five Years of Progress on North Tulsa Area-Wide Plan Brownfields Projects

This article was archived on 10/7/2017

In the five years since completion of the North Tulsa Brownfields Areawide Redevelopment Plan, nearly $120 million has been committed to cleanup and redevelopment at five of the top nine sites shortlisted in the plan. These include Evans Fintube at 150 N. Lansing Ave., the former Morton Hospital at 603 E. Pine St., the Storey Wrecker site at 10 N. Elwood Ave., and two sites at the future Peoria-Mohawk Business Park at 1400 and 1828 E. 36th St. North. One of the remaining undeveloped sites, 2103 N. MLK Blvd., was later determined not to be a brownfield. The remaining sites in the top nine include 1047 E. Apache St., Apache Circle – 533 E. Apache St., and 3519 N. Hartford Ave.

The redevelopment plan covered the area roughly between I-244 and 36th Street North, from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Peoria Avenue, reaching slightly into downtown to include Storey Wrecker. The City of Tulsa met with a neighborhood advisory committee and other community members, working together to identify vacant, underutilized sites with environmental barriers to redevelopment and taking a proactive approach to converting these sites to economic engines for the community.

The City-of-Tulsa-owned Evans-Fintube site, located in the Historic Greenwood District, has been chosen as the preferred site for USA BMX’s national arena and headquarters. The Vision Tulsa sales tax approved by voters in 2016 includes $15 million for design and construction of the facility.

Environmental cleanup is in progress at the Evans-Fintube site, and is scheduled on a timetable that will allow USA BMX to open for business in 2019. Olympic trials are planned at the site in 2020.

Cleanup of asbestos and lead-based paint at the Evans-Fintube site was completed early in 2017. After some additional testing of the soil and groundwater, a request for proposals will be issued early in 2018 for cleanup of contaminants found through the testing.

Environmental cleanup is complete at the former Morton Hospital site, and the Tulsa Development Authority has approved plans for a $25 million mixed-use development. Michael E. Smith, a Tulsa native and current resident of Houston, plans to build Morton’s Reserve, preserving the former hospital building for commercial/office and museum use, and adding two new buildings – one for office and commercial use and one for a three-story apartment building.

Tulsa County purchased the Storey Wrecker site and plans to relocate its juvenile justice facility there. Demolition of the structure was recently completed, and the County has arranged for an environmental consultant to test for contaminants and prepare a remediation plan. Construction is estimated to begin in early 2018.

The George Kaiser Family Foundation purchased the two properties at 36th Street North and Peoria Avenue that will become the Peoria-Mohawk Business Park. The properties have been cleaned up and are ready for development. Using $10 million in Vision Tulsa funds, the City will provide infrastructure to support this development.

The remaining private sector brownfield properties, as well as other city-wide sites, are eligible to use the City’s revolving loan fund which began with a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Based upon the success of redevelopment from the North Tulsa Area-Wide Plan, the city began a new area-wide planning process for the Route 66 Corridor in August.