Innovative $36 Million Renewal Project Breaks Ground

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor Launching an innovative urban revitalization initiative, a coalition of public and private stakeholders has broken ground on Kendall-Whittier West Park project, a $36 million mixed-income residential development in Tulsa. Joining forces for the event were representatives of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the University of Tulsa, the city of Tulsa and developer McCormack [...]

Launching an innovative urban revitalization initiative, a coalition of public and private stakeholders has broken ground on Kendall-Whittier West Park project, a $36 million mixed-income residential development in Tulsa.

Joining forces for the event were representatives of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the University of Tulsa, the city of Tulsa and developer McCormack Baron Salazar (pictured at right).

Spread over 7.5 acres between South Lewis and Atlanta Avenues near 4th Street, the urban development aims to revitalize Tulsa’s historic Kendall-Whittier neighborhood. The project will feature one of the city’s first mixed-income housing developments: about 128 mixed-income residential units and 20 units for University of Tulsa graduate students. Construction of the residential component is scheduled for completion in fall 2013. The Kendall-Whittier West Park project will also include 7,000 square feet of retail and management space, as well as renovations to the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood park.

University of Tulsa president Geoffrey Orsak affirmed his institution’s commitment to revitalizing the neighborhood, commenting, “Together as neighbors, we are stepping up to create better housing opportunities and an even stronger community. This is one of the truly remarkable urban development programs that I’ve seen anywhere in this country.”

The Kaiser Foundation chose the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood as the pilot site for the revitalization initiative and is partnering with McCormack Baron Salazar, a national developer specializing in transforming  hard-hit urban areas into dynamic mixed-income communities.

With Community Action Project of Tulsa County serving as the lead planning agency, the Kaiser Foundation is also participating in the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhood Program and aims to emulate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone, the acclaimed educational initiative in Manhattan. In May 2011, The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency approved $750,000 in affordable housing tax credits for the Kendall-Whittier West Park project.

Image Courtesy of: www.utulsa.edu