Bolstered by the success of phase one, West Park apartments is heading toward an expansion.

Building permits have been issued for the second part of the George Kaiser Family Foundation development in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood.

“Over the six years of operation for phase one, we have built a waiting list of more than a thousand people for the tax-credit units,” said Josh Miller of GKFF. “So, there is a huge demand in the city, and particularly in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood, to have safe, affordable, quality housing. This is just a small fraction to try to meet that demand.”

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Completed in 2013, the first West Park phase cost roughly $24.5 million and had 128 units, Miller said.

Phase two is between Lewis and Atlanta avenues and will stretch from East Fifth Place to East Sixth Street. It will be about a $20 million project that will encompass 107 units, a total of 30 of which are market-rate and 77 of which are partially funded by low-income credits from the state, Miller said.

Designed by Selser Schaefer Architects, phase two is scheduled to be completed in late 2020 or early 2021.

The first phase was funded by GKFF, the University of Tulsa, the city of Tulsa, state low-income tax credits and financing secured by McCormack Baron Salazar, a national developer that specializes in revitalizing economically distressed urban areas. The second phase is being underwritten by GKFF and the low-income tax credits.

The renovated area was originally designated the West Park Urban Renewal Area by the Tulsa Development Authority.

Miller said the purpose of the new housing is to focus on families with children at Tulsa Educare, Rogers High School and Kendall Whittier and Sequoyah elementary schools.

“The reality is that while it doesn’t get the big headlines, Tulsa faces a housing affordability crisis just like all mid-sized to big cities,” he said.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the United States faces of shortage of 7 million homes affordable and available to the lowest-income renters, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Rents have risen faster than renters’ incomes over the past two decades, and while more people are renting than ever, the supply of housing has lagged, the organization said.

Fewer than four affordable and available rental homes exist for every 10 deeply poor renter households nationwide.

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Rhett Morgan


Twitter: @RhettMorganTW

Staff Writer

Rhett is in his fourth decade as a reporter. He covers development, manufacturing, aerospace, entrepreneurship and assorted other topics related to the Work and Money section.