Consultant hired to help city implement downtown master plan
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 04, 2012
10/04/12 at 4:55 PM
Mary Means & Associates of Alexandria, Va., has been hired to consult with the city on the implementation of Tulsa’s master plan.
The hiring was announced Thursday afternoon at a press conference attended by officials from the city of Tulsa, Tulsa County and the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
According to its website, Mary Means & Associates has more than 25 years of experience in urban planning and consulting services.
Delise Tomlinson, executive director of downtown development for the chamber, said the decision to hire a consultant was not an indictment of the existing planning process.
“We’re kicking it,” Tomlinson said. “This is an opportunity based on all the momentum that we have currently to make sure the momentum continues and excels.”
Tomlinson said the consulting firm will meet with local officials, business owners and other stakeholders to help identify the city’s top “catalytic projects.”
“They may not all be physical; they may not all be brick and mortar,” Tomlinson said. “They are going to be looking at ways we as different entities can partner in a more meaningful and effective way so there is not wasted time, energy.”
Tomlinson said another objective of hiring the consultant was to create a seamless development process in which “there is a point of contact and they can get to the right people and the right places.”
Tulsa’s downtown master plan was approved by the City Council in 2010. It was the first small area plan approved by the city after the adoption of the city’s updated comprehensive plan, which encouraged the use of small area plans as a development tool.
Small area plans provide specific development guidelines for a targeted area of the city and address everything from infrastructure to housing to transportation.
The city’s master plan focuses on three objectives: revitalizing the downtown area; connecting downtown to Tulsa River Park’s system; and initiating rail transit service from downtown to outlying communities.
Mary Means & Associates is being paid $70,000 for its services. The city, county and chamber will share the expense.