Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Old City Hall Update
In this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly, there is an article about the future of the Old City Hall. There are a few interesting comments about the site, but nothing too shocking. Like I mentioned in the previous post about the Old City Hall, city officials are hoping the site will be developed into a "convention-class hotel." I don't know what a convention-class hotel is, but I am guessing it's a hotel designed around hosting conventions? Anyway, the City did not receive any official proposals by the March 31 deadline. Given the size of the proposed project, it is no surprise that the current economic situation is cited as one of the reasons for lack of interest in the site. Although, a few City Councilors believe the lack of interest is also due to the difficult nature of developing a site with the Central Library and the County Courthouse in close proximity and the deterioration of the plaza. While there is more bad news, there is also some good news; Mike Bunney, an economic development officer with the City, is quoted as saying that the City is open to adaptive reuse possibilities, meaning that the developer would reuse the existing building. The bad news is that Bunney also states that all the developers interested in the site have commented that the building will have to be razed. I suppose the positive side of this is that the City isn't planning on demolishing the building on the hopes that someone will develop the site, which is what often happened with urban renewal in the 1970s. Now, they are at least giving the developer the opportunity to use the existing building. Maybe someday the City will make adaptive reuse mandatory for redevelopment downtown.