Walkable communities are developing in Tulsa's downtown
Two smart growth and new urbanism projects in Tulsa’s downtown and Pearl District aim to revitalize the area and create community identity that will last for years to come.
What is smart growth and new urbanism?
A smart-growth community is a mixed-use development that offers daily necessities within walking distance. A small piece of land is used in an efficient way and creates an environment where one could live, play and work.
New urbanism focuses on planning and architecture to create a walkable community.
“It’s really old urbanism with some bells and whistles,” says Jamie Jamieson, managing partner at Village Builders. “We’ve been developing mixed-use, walkable, sustainable communities for thousands of years and we’re just now beginning to realize that it works.”
The following are two examples of smart growth and new urbanism developments in Tulsa:
New urbanism development
The Village at Central Park
Developer: Jamie Jamieson, managing partner at Village Builders LLC
Location: Pearl District (south of East Sixth Street and South Peoria Avenue)
Built: The first home was built in 2001 and five homes are being built now.
Style: Owner-occupied traditional, Georgian-style brownstones attached to other homes with nearby shops.
Amenities: This urban, walkable setting is located next to Centennial Park and features interconnecting streets and sidewalks, as well as private courtyards. The development is not gated so residents can engage the neighborhoods around them and not be cut off from society, Jamieson says.
What’s next: The finished plan will have 88 homes, ranging from two to four bedrooms and one to three stories. Village Builders also owns eight commercial lots along Peoria Avenue, which will eventually have office and neighborhood retail with loft homes above.
Developer’s take: “It’s been designed primarily for the pedestrian in mind and to enable children to get around safely and easily,” Jamieson says. “One of the central tenants of new urbanism is anyone can get around easily.”
Smart growth/new urbanism development
Developer: Bob Eggleston, One Development LLC
Location: Between Denver and Cheyenne avenues and Second and Third streets, east of the BOK Center
Style: Adheres to smart-growth principles:
- A mixed-use development
- Compact design
- Green space
Amenities: This project will include restaurant, retail and residential space (750- to 1,350- square-foot apartments and lofts), as well as a 120-room hotel.
What’s next: Progress is being made in negotiations with the Tulsa Development Authority (TDA) over the sale of the land, and a final agreement should be made in the near future.
The project is expected to be completed in the next three to five years and will create 180 construction jobs and 138 permanent jobs. One thousand regular visitors and 2,500 special event visitors are expected.
Developer’s take: “One Place and other downtown developments are essential in the revitalization of Tulsa’s urban core,” Eggleston says. “In order for the entire metropolitan to grow and prosper, we need a vibrant downtown.”