With downtown parking at a premium, a bank is writing a check to mitigate the problem.
Arvest Bank, 502 S. Main St., is investing in a four-story, roughly 180-spot parking garage at the southeast corner of Boulder Avenue and Fifth Street. Construction is scheduled to begin in January and should be completed in July, Arvest President and CEO Kirk Hays said.
“I guess since the early 1990s, as we’ve occupied all five of these floors, we’ve probably had 100 associates who have parked one, two, three, four blocks away,” he said Wednesday during an interview in his office. “We had always wanted to do something to bring our associates as close as we could.”
To add the amenity, Arvest is getting an assist from Price Family Properties.
Headed by developer Stuart Price, PFP owns the Bank of America Center, Arvest’s neighbor to the southwest at 15 W. Sixth St. Access to the upper levels of the new facility will be integrated through the Bank of America structure.
“He’s going to allow us to use their ramp system in that building, which allows that footprint to work as a parking garage,” Hays said. “By entering that ramp system, we will be able to knock some holes in the side of the Bank of America Building, and people will be able to come across into the parking garage that we’re going to build.
“It’s good for us. It’s good for downtown. Thankfully, Price Family Properties was forward enough thinking to get this done.”
Arvest’s building was constructed in 1980, according to Tulsa County Assessor records. The bank employs about 200 people at that location, Hays said.
Just northeast of Arvest’s proposed garage is Price Family Properties’ $12.8 million parking garage and retail space that will house 500 parking spots for tenants of First Place Tower. It is expected to open soon.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this without his (Price’s) support and just the fact that his entire family has a vision for downtown,” Hays said. “It takes people like that to make it happen.”
Davies Architects is designing Arvest’s structure, which will feature sky bridges, an elevator and designer lighting at roof level.
“I’m really excited what it’s going to look like for downtown Tulsa,” Hays said. “We all know that we need more space like this. With those elevated first-floor ceilings, if the day ever comes where we have automated cars, that could be converted into retail very easily.”