Local historic preservationists Nelson-Stowe and Ross Group are teaming up for about an $8 million redevelopment in East Village.
They plan to refurbish four empty buildings in the 600 block of East Fourth Street into creative office space, expecting to start within about the next month and finish sometime in 2019, said Casey Stowe, a principal along with Elliot Nelson in the Nelson-Stowe development firm.
“As development moves through East Village, we see this as a natural progression of redevelopment in the area,” Stowe said by phone. “These buildings are getting harder and harder to find, and when we find ones that are in good enough shape to do quality projects on them, we get excited about it and we see it as an asset, even if it’s more leading edge of development instead of right in the middle.
“That’s how development works.”
The architect for the project, which will revamp between 40,000-46,000 square feet of space, is Mass Architects, which has offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Duane Mass is the designer behind the renovation of the state Capitol.
The buildings in the East Village were formerly NORDAM properties used for storage and offices, Stowe said.
“That’s another great thing about the project,” Stowe said. “It takes empty storefront and empty buildings and brings life back to them, which is better for everyone, better for everything.
“It reduces crime and reduces vagrancy and re-energizes parts of downtown that have become quiet and silent. It’s good for everybody.”
Nelson-Stowe’s redevelopment credits include The Coliseum Apartments and the Boxyard, a $2.5 million micro mall built with used shipping containers.
Ross Group has dedicated itself to historic preservation for years. Among its downtown projects include the old International Harvester Building, which Ross Group made into its headquarters.
The company also is in the process of a roughly $33 million refurbishing of the former Tulsa Club building into a hotel and retail space. That project is expected to open in 2019.
The Boxyard opened in late 2016 and has performed well, Stowe said.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a great fall. For most of our retailers, the month in ‘18 was better than the same month in ‘17. So year-over-year sales are trending up for almost everyone.”