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Tax Incentives Could Help Projects at Historic Buildings Downtown

Matt Trotter

Developers eyeing four historic downtown Tulsa sites may get tax incentives to help pay for combined residential and retail projects.

City Economic Development Coordinator Jim Coles said the incentive is a property tax abatement to cover any gaps between financing and actual costs.

"It freezes the tax level as it currently is, so all the taxing entities still receive the current amount that they would, just like last year," Coles said. "But for six years, it doesn't increase. That's captured by the developer; he keeps that and uses that toward his project."

Two developers are looking at the old Bill White Chevy dealership, the Transok Building, the Adams Hotel and the 111 West Fifth building. Coles said the buildings need new purposes.

"They just don't work great as high-quality office space anymore," Coles said. "It is a real opportunity to reuse them, reinvent them, keep them looking classic as they always have and get more people downtown."

A development committee and entities receiving property taxes have vetted the projects. The city council will have a public hearing and will likely approve the incentives at its June 12 meeting.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.