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Tulsa County Surplus Property Near Jail Catches Iron Gate's Eye

Matt Trotter

The downtown soup kitchen that’s been trying to move to a bigger home for two years is considering a downtown parcel declared surplus by Tulsa County.

Iron Gate is still fighting in court to build a new facility at Seventh Street and Frankfort Avenue. That move was stopped when the Board of Adjustment declined to grant it a needed zoning exception last November. Iron Gate Board President Shane Saunders said a judge could rule on that any day.

"We very much like our existing site that we have under contract. We're committed to it. We would only be looking at the Tulsa County site as a potential backup plan should this not go our way," Saunders said.

The county property Iron Gate is looking at is near the jail and the Tulsa Day Center for the homeless.

"Certainly, there are some opportunities for synergy with similar social service providers in the area, and so it's of interest to us and we're just, at this point, doing our due diligence," Saunders said.

That means Iron Gate is learning the county purchasing process and evaluating whether its current plans for a new, $9 million facility fit the potential new site.

"Could we take our existing design and put it on that piece of property? Would it fit? Would it have to be modified? We really, really like what GH2, the architects, came up with for us," Saunders said.

The November Board of Adjustment proceeding was the second time in two years Iron Gate had a move out of Trinity Episcopal Church at Fifth Street and Cincinnati Avenue thwarted.