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Local & Regional

Report: Vision 2025 Brought $900M in Downtown Tulsa Development

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KWGS News photo
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The iconic BOK Center

Voters invested $254 million in downtown Tulsa through the Vision 2025 sales tax. A report from real estate firm CB Richard Ellis says that investment has translated into more than 900 million dollars in real estate development within the Inner Dispersal Loop.

Vision 2025 money was split among the BOK Center, the Jazz Hall of Fame and a downtown neighborhood fund. Those spurred developers to build hotels and renovate old buildings for mixed-use projects.

"Significant public investments like this tend to always resonate with investors in terms of trying to drive development, but I think you've really seen that take off downtown with the BOK Center, with the downtown neighborhood fund," said Cody Brandt, the researcher who wrote the report.

Brandt says the $21.6 million neighborhood fund helped kick start downtown housing projects. That led to more retailers and more demand for downtown office space.

Retail broker Ben Ganzkow said that sector needs to keep momentum to round out downtown development.

"One of the biggest voids in the market is not having a grocery store, a full-line grocery store, downtown, and I think that would be a tremendous help to balance out the retail sector," Ganzkow said.

There are several retail projects currently planned or in the works, such as the Boxyard and Santa Fe Square. No grocery stores have been announced, however.

Office broker Mary Martin said that sector has lagged a bit behind, and the sale of the Williams Companies is creating uncertainty.

"If they vacate and sell the tower, that would put an awful lot of office space on the market downtown in the [Central Business District], and it could change some of these developments," Martin said.

The real estate firm’s report says developers will be closely watching Tulsa’s Vision renewal.