City officials unveiled on Tuesday a Tulsa Arena District Master Plan, a key step in the effort to overhaul the area surrounding BOK Center.
Located in downtown Tulsa, BOK Center is home to hockey’s Tulsa Oilers (ECHL) and is used for a variety of other events, including large concerts. The active facility has drawn visitors to downtown Tulsa since opening in 2008, but city officials are floating a plan that could lead to the creation of an arena district with surrounding amenities.
The 30-block, 165-acre area would have the BOK Center as one of its anchors, and feature new green space along with amenities such as dining options, retail, a hotel, multi-use transit center, and more. For Tulsa officials, the goal is to create an area that provides more amenities to arena event attendees and, in turn, foster more economic activity. More from Tulsa World:
For decades, the district has been home to the city’s essential houses of civic life, including the Tulsa Central Library, the Page Belcher Federal Building, the Tulsa County Courthouse and the Police Courts Building.
Those facilities, however, have done little to foster activity in the district after business hours, and they provide few options for entertainment and dining for the 1.8 million people who visit the library, the BOK Center and Cox Business Center each year….
“It is an important foundational first step. … This is creating a vision for what this district (of) downtown wants to be in the 21st century,” said Chris Hermann, a principal with MKSK, the firm hired by the city to create the plan.
At the heart of the proposal are three catalytic projects: construction of a 400 to 600 room full-service hotel; the removal and repurposing of the Page Belcher Federal Building property; and construction of a multistory, mixed-use transit center on the block now occupied by Tulsa Transit’s downtown bus station.
Tuesday’s unveiling marked a major step for the master plan, though several key steps remain as officials work to move the concept forward. It will need city council approval before factoring into Tulsa’s official planning documents, and it is expected that funding for basic infrastructure upgrades will be sought in this year’s Improve Our Tulsa renewal package, a package that would require voter approval.