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City of Tulsa, developer ITULSA unveil plans for NOMA mixed-use project at 11th and Lewis

The City of Tulsa and developer ITULSA unveiled plans and held a groundbreaking Wednesday for a residential and retail development across from Mother Road Market.

NOMA — short for North of Market — is a $60 million project to be built on the former Tulsa Welding School site on the northwest corner of 11th Street and Lewis Avenue. Plans call for 256 one- to three-bedroom apartment units, retail and restaurant space, and a community gathering area.

ITULSA CEO Chris Ellison said it’s time to add those things to the growing Market District.

"This corridor is ripe for development, which is why this 4.4-acre site needs to be more than just crumbling concrete," Ellison said. "It needs to be housing. We need to turn this blight into something."

University of Tulsa Student Body President Kareem Ihmeidan said building NOMA down the street from the university will help keep talented young adults local.

"Days like today are significant. It's giving the next generation a reason to continue to choose Tulsa," Ihmeidan said.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said NOMA is the latest proof Tulsa has what it takes to be a world-class city.

"All we need are the people, the ideas and the investment, and all three of those things are coming together on this project here on Route 66, invented by a Tulsan," Bynum said.

The development is supported by a $5 million development agreement with the city and a special taxing district. Ellison is married to Elizabeth Frame Ellison, president and CEO of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, which built Mother Road Market and is also benefiting from the taxing district.

Construction is expected to take two years.

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.