Tulsa Development Authority asks for ideas to redevelop Pearl District

TDA is asking for you to submit proposals for the redevelopment of the area (KTUL).

The Tulsa Development Authority says it wants to make the Pearl District the city's next up-and-coming area.

TDA is asking for you to submit proposals for the redevelopment of the area. Several buildings sit vacant and for sale throughout the Pearl District. Restaurants are at the top of the list of possibilities for the area.

"Please open a Mexican restaurant in the area, whoever," said Michael Williams, a barista at the Phoenix.

The TDA's proposal focuses on portions of a four-acre lot where the Laura Dester Center sits. Williams said he hopes those "for sale" signs turn into "open" signs soon.

"There is definitely space for that as soon as people occupy them with stuff," Williams said. "It will be good for everyone around here, businesses to kind of feed off of each other."

People living in and visiting the Pearl District say they want whatever will bring more people to the area.

"My wife particularly hopes for more retail, which would give her a little more reason to come down here and shop," said Michael Toburen, owner of Paws on Pearl. "Definitely some more restaurants, we've got a few bars, which is cool, but restaurants and bars, maybe some retail."

Pearl District visitors like Bryna Frohock say bike lanes and walking paths are a must.

"It is safer and easier to get around that way and make it less scary with all of the cars and stuff," Frohock said.

According to the Pearl District's website, ideas for future plans include a unique area where people can get around without a car.

John Atkins says he wants the growth but doesn't want the ambiance to change.

"It feels really down to earth, not too ritzy, not above the common people, feels very accessible to everybody, and it feels like a community to me, and I'd like to have it stay that way," Atkins said.

TDA is also putting in rapid transit routes and looking at putting in ponds and a canal through the district.

Proposals are due by Oct. 13.

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