Envisioning Elgin as the new Main Street


Our route into downtown was the Broken Arrow Expressway, then north on US 75, to the 7th Street exit. The first stoplight you hit on 7th Street is Elgin. I know that turning there will take me to the Blue Dome district, but to the unenlightened visitor, there is no indication that this is the place to turn. Times are tight, but perhaps the city could put up a sign.

As we drove north on Elgin, an idea struck me. Elgin should be the new downtown retail corridor, the new "main street". It is already anchored by Home Depot at the south end, and as it goes north, it intersects the 7th/8th Street interchange with the inner dispersal loop, goes past parking lots and a few commercial buildings, including the old Bill White Chevy dealership, connects to the edge of the Blue Dome district, then crosses the tracks not far from either Greenwood or Brady Village.

Elgin between 7th & the Frisco tracks is part of the proposed East Village district. The Tulsa Development Authority is working with a developer to try to create a district with housing, shopping, and entertainment. The TDA owns some of the land in the district and has plans to acquire more. The TDA could designate Elgin as the preferred location for retail, while encouraging more residential and office uses to the east.

How would we make it the new main street? Encourage retailers interested in downtown clientele to build there. Set design guidelines to require urban, pedestrian friendly street frontage along Elgin -- buildings with windows, not empty lots or blank walls, where possible. Try to get someone to build something dramatic right at 7th & Elgin as a grand entrance to downtown and an anchor to this new commercial corridor.

Oh, and strongly encourage the dirty movie theater at 3rd & Elgin to vacate the area. This idea won't take off as long as that blight is present.

For what it's worth -- I have no financial or property interest here. I was just driving down the street and had a Vision.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 26, 2003 11:19 PM.

Where's the music in downtown? was the previous entry in this blog.

Public hearing intentionally omitted? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]