Investor buys historic downtown buildings

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San Francisco investor Maurice Kanbar has bought six historic buildings in downtown Tulsa, including some art deco gems, like the Adams Hotel. KOTV has the story. I'll see what I can learn about Mr. Kanbar and report back later.

Life continues to intrude on blogging time. I hope to have time and energy to post more tonight. In the meantime, check out the links on the right-hand side.

UPDATE: Kanbar invented the D-Fuzz-It sweater comb among many other things. I found one connection Kanbar has with Tulsa. His memoir, Secrets from an Inventor's Notebook, was published by Tulsa's Council Oak Books.

A reader who lived in SF until a few years ago writes: "Mr. Kanbar is a friend of Michael Savage's. I remember Savage interviewing him years ago in SF, before Savage's show was syndicated. I also remember reading articles about him in the SF Chronicle. He is a good guy and a very interesting story."

OKC's Downtown Guy has two entries (here and here) with details from the KOTV and Whirled coverage of the sale. DG asks, "Could Maurice Kanbar be the first outsider to truly recognize the potential in Vision 2025 and Tulsa's attempt to revive its downtown?" Maurice Kanbar will be the first anyone, insider or outsider, to make a major investment in downtown since the Vision 2025 vote. We didn't see the same immediate outpouring of private investment that OKC did after MAPS was passed. I think the difference comes down to two things -- the economy was much better in the early '90s in OKC than in 2003 in Tulsa, and MAPS had far more for downtown than just an arena. Given the buildings he bought, I suspect Kanbar is an art deco lover, and that may have as much as Vision 2025 to do with his purchase decision.

Charles G. Hill writes: "Preservationists have had a tough time of it in Tulsa lately; with Kanbar apparently on their side, the balance of power could well tip in their favor. And about time, say I." And in comments on that entry, McGehee wonders if the Whirled has anything to do with this. Apparently nothing at all; if they did, demolition would be involved. You can see the kind of architecture the Whirled prefers here. (The center building is the Whirled's. The one to the right was demolished for an HVAC plant.)


Brian said:

Michael, I just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on the Urban Tulsa article. Good on ya!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 8, 2005 7:14 AM.

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