North Tulsa Growth Good for All

It occurred to me shortly after buying and moving into my new house that I can no longer call myself a “midtown snob,” a moniker I wore proudly for years, because I no longer live in midtown Tulsa.
I bought a beautiful, 90-year-old house in a burgeoning north Tulsa neighborhood many young professionals and creative types are beginning to call home.
It wasn’t long before I realized that many of my favorite midtown conveniences weren’t quite so convenient anymore.
Because I care about Tulsa’s overall well-being, I’ve always considered myself a proponent of north Tulsa development.
As Tedra Williams, manager of clinical program development for the University of Oklahoma’s Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Center so honestly and eloquently put it, “Economic development in each (emphasis added) part of this city benefits the city as a whole. When individuals have access to high quality basic needs — education, health care, goods and services, etc. — the result is an extremely positive community outcome: a healthier, more informed consumer and contributor to society.”
But it didn’t occur to me to put my money where my mouth is until driving anywhere south of Cherry Street became a chore, and I found myself in search of alternatives closer to home.
Wandering the Greenwood District, I came across the Natural Health Clinic, at 112 N. Greenwood Ave., a clinic and boutique offering natural supplements, snacks, medicine and beauty products. There, I found many of the soaps, lotions and snacks I frequently purchase from Whole Foods.
Next door, Sole Mates offers adorable and affordable shoes, purses and accessories, and The Brother’s Hat Shop offers menswear.
Treasures of Joy sells apparel, furniture and home décor at 2624 N. Cincinnati Ave., and Meek’s Quality Home Furnishings, at 4747 N. Peoria Ave., offers mattresses and furniture at great prices.
In addition, there are more than a few places in north Tulsa to have your oil changed, tires rotated, hair and nails done and eat.
North Tulsa doesn’t yet offer all of the amenities that midtown and south Tulsa do, but that’s why there’s a North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative — to encourage and aid business development in north Tulsa. Mayor Kathy Taylor organized the initiative in 2007, and it has already been successful in filling the vacant grocery space left at Pine Street and Peoria Avenue when Albertsons shuttered its Tulsa stores in 2007.
Antonio Perez, owner of four Las Americas grocery marts in Tulsa, will open Gateway Market in mid-January.
Taylor and other corporate and education leaders have exhibited a concern for and commitment to the welfare of north Tulsa businesses and residents. It is my sincere hope that our incoming mayor will show dedication equal to Taylor’s.
North Tulsa development is a key to the future of a healthy and dynamic Tulsa. As more local businesses open and thrive, major retailers will recognize the value of locating in a market of ready consumers. Tulsa residents who don’t live in north Tulsa still can — and should — participate in the area’s growth by patronizing the businesses that are there.
Next time you’re out furniture shopping, keep in mind the stores in north Tulsa. Next time you’re thinking of having lunch with a colleague or want to take the family out to dinner, consider dining at one of the restaurants in north Tulsa.
If you live in midtown, consider the services and goods for which you’re willing to drive to south Tulsa — and head north instead.

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