Saturday, August 30, 2008

Draft Cordish Development for DT Tulsa

Some of you have likely seen the St. Louis Cardinals' new stadium which opened in 2006. What some of you likely haven't seen is the $650-million (nearly the price of Devon Tower) mixed-use development called St. Louis Ballpark Village. The project, by the same developer as KC's Power & Light District (which surrounds the new Sprint Center), includes 450,000 SF of retail and entertainment, 1,200 residential units, 300,000 SF of office space, and 2,000 parking spaces.

Now it appears that the City of Tulsa is embarking on a $70 million downtown ballpark for the AA Drillers, one that will seat 6,000 spectators..a smallish number to ensure plenty of sell-out looking crowds (though it won't be saying much). Surrounding the ballpark, on the north side the City wants a hotel complex, and on the west and south sides, it wants typical urban development between the ballpark and the tracks. Also, the area around the new BOK Center is surrounded to the south by the City Hall complex that the city wants to liquidate into mixed-use development of this nature. Of course the Drillers Stadium area is also adjacent to the heart of the Brady District's slough of redevelopment projects, but so far the only project to come as an apparent result of the proposed Ballpark is 120 Brady Village, which will include 40 high-end lofts and nearly 20,000 SF of retail.

We know one development that is now unlikely due to this project (the Ballpark will be on the site instead) is Franklin Square, the $30 million project by the Greenwood Chamber to revitalize the Greenwood district with an 82-room boutique hotel, 44 brownstone units, and 79,000 SF of retail/office.

If Tulsa is indeed interested in some eye-catching urban development, City Hall should contact Cordish and be willing to make whatever concessions are necessary in order to get a P+L or Ballpark Village built around the new Drillers Stadium. This company specializes in two things mainly: A, projects oriented around major sports venues; and B, projects that completely revitalize downtown areas. This is what Tulsa needs right now around either the BOK Center or the new Drillers Stadium.

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