Downtown Tulsa is on a roll following years of steady growth. As an architectural firm that helped spark the change with several developments including the adaptive re-use of 200 East Brady 10 years ago, we’re often asked if Tulsa can keep up the momentum. We not only can – together we must. Here are four ways to keep our downtown development strong in 2016 – and beyond.
1. Mix it Up
People like to be where the action is. We all feel the connection and energy that comes from a vibrant, dense cityscape bustling with other workers, diners and shoppers. The key is a varied marketplace that attracts all kinds of visitors with destinations ranging from indie coffee shops and farm-to-table eateries to condos, offices and shops. It’s time to think of what is not yet offered in the downtown marketplace and add to the mix.
2. Create a Home Run
Downtowns flourish when they give people a place to not just gather, but belong. Housing and hotels that accommodate people across a broad range of ages and incomes, including Millennials, keep the heart of the city alive after five.
3. Make the Connection
A strong connection between developed districts not only creates a more walkable, populated urban landscape, but also allows businesses and restaurants to draw from neighboring areas. With so many districts going strong, the next level is to fill in the pockets for a continuous urban edge. For example, the new global headquarters we designed for Hogan Assessments at First Street and Greenwood Avenue transformed an empty lot at the intersection of three downtown districts into a space infused with people and activity.
4. Be True to the Brand
Today’s cultural place-making means people are choosing the city they want to live first, and seeking a job around it second. It is our opportunity and responsibility to support our community in ways that build on Tulsa’s authentic story. We must continue to restore and preserve our historic buildings, in-fill with inspirational spaces, and invest in projects that honor the diversity of our people.
It’s Tulsa’s Time
“Families are always rising and falling in America,” Nathaniel Hawthorne said. The same is true for our cities. It’s nice to see Tulsa on the rise, reinvesting in the fabric that makes our city unique. Together we can continue the upswing if we keep focusing on what brings people together as a community.