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Work Underway on Development to Transform West Tulsa's Eugene Field Neighborhood

Tulsa Housing Authority

Work is underway for a vast project that will transform Tulsa’s Eugene Field neighborhood.

The first of six phases of the development that will be known as River West is now being built. It has 74 of 460 total planned housing units.

All apartments will have the same finishes and features, but some will be subsidized, some will be below-market and some will be market rate.

"A new apartment’s not going to solve a lot of social and societal gaps in many communities, and creating a mixed-income environment where you’ll have a higher likelihood of new goods and services coming to a community, you can start addressing some of those things," said Tulsa Housing Authority Vice President of Strategic Planning and Intergovernmental Affairs Jeff Hall.

Plans call for infrastructure improvements, new streets, a park and a full-service grocery store. Tulsa received a $30 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods program for the project, but the total public and private investment is more than $200 million since plans began roughly 10 years ago.

Included in that amount is funding to temporarily relocate and provide social services to families living in the subsidized housing River West will replace.

"If this is just pure construction, you knock everything down, you build it back. It’s faster. It’s cheaper. But that’s not looking at it through he lens of existing residents and how we’re trying to minimize impact to their lives," Hall said. "We’re building right now phase one on empty land so we’re able to impact the least amount of residents at the beginning."

Demolition for phase one began in December 2019 and included 17 buildings, totaling 90 apartment units. Phase one relocation of 69 families began in April 2019.

Residents of the Riverview Park and Brightwaters apartments in good standing will have first right-to-return to River West. Half of the total redevelopment is committed to returning residents.

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.
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