City of Tulsa Getting Some Help to Redevelop Old Route 66 Businesses

Apr 27, 2018

Credit Trip Advisor

The City of Tulsa is getting money that will help prepare old Route 66 businesses for new life.

The EPA is awarding Tulsa $300,000 for brownfield assessment. City Deputy Chief of Economic Development Michelle Barnett said brownfield sites include old gas stations, garages and dry cleaners and may have a variety of environmental problems to mitigate before they’re turned into a new business.

"There could be asbestos in buildings. It could be lead-based paint inside the buildings. It could be digging up contaminated soil or addressing groundwater issues that have been on site. There’s a range of things that could be required," Barnett said.

The grant funding is available in October and will go as far as preparing a cleanup plan. There are options when it comes to who does the cleanup work.

"Some of our cleanup activities are performed by developers themselves. Some of them are done through public-private partnerships, like our revolving loan fund for brownfield cleanup," Barnett said. "And then some of those will be city-owned properties that the city takes responsibility for cleanup and then provides them as a market-ready resource."

As part of Tulsa's application for the EPA grant, the city prepared a brownfield redevelopment plan for Route 66 last year locating potential sites and identifying which ones have the highest redevelopment potential.