Business 2012 Look Back: Brady District, downtown see year of revival
BY BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 4:59 AM
Original Print Headline: Brady District, downtown see year of revival
It wasn't the year that downtown development took off, but 2012 was the year that downtown's new identity emerged.
Dozens of downtown projects came online throughout 2012 and as the dust settled from construction in the Brady District, a vibrant arts and entertainment neighborhood emerged.
"We knew this was coming and it was going to look like some kind of overnight success, but this has been in the works as far back as 15 years ago," said Delise Tomlinson, executive director of downtown development for the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
Nearly $400 million in private development and nonprofit projects were completed or are near completion.
Metro at Brady, a resident complex located at 10 E. Archer St., opened and invited a permanent population into downtown.
The Hardesty Arts Center opened this month as a haven for creative education and workers and is creating a gathering place for artistic folk along with the Zarrow Center for Arts and Education, the Philbrook Museum of Art Annex and the George Kaiser Family Foundation-supported Mathews Warehouse renovation.
A flood of investment into historic Brady District buildings brought new bars, restaurants and retailers as the area continues to develop.
The Fairfield Inn & Suites, 111 N. Main St., opened in November as a signature hotel downtown with restaurants on the ground level.
Development, however, wasn't exclusive to the Brady District. The $180 million, 18-story OnePlace project reached into the sky and opened to its first tenants, Northwestern Mutual, in the fall.
It all piggy-backed on 15 years of development reaching back to the construction of the BOK Center and ONEOK Field and risky business openings in the Blue Dome District that are now thriving.
"It's a big selling point for Tulsa," Tomlinson said. "Downtown is finally a happening place to be."