Three more buildings

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The Whirled is reporting that Maurice Kanbar and Henry Kaufman have bought three more downtown Tulsa buildings -- the Philcade, the Amoco South Building, and the Atlas Life Building, all along the east side of Boston between 4th and 6th. They now own at least 17 buildings containing 28 percent of all downtown office space.

As far as I know, their intentions are positive, to do some creative things with these buildings and create a critical mass of development for revitalizing downtown. But this silly doubt has crossed my mind: What if they're demolition hobbyists who think it would be fun to reduce most of downtown Tulsa to rubble? (Remember the "Farm Film Report" on SCTV, with John Candy and Joe Flaherty as a couple of farm boys who would explode things? "It blowed up good." "It blowed up real good!") Because they could do that if they wanted and we couldn't do a darn thing to stop them.

I don't think that they plan to pave the rest of downtown, but it is 2006, and we still have nothing in place to protect our architectural heritage anywhere in this city.


Joseph Wallis said:

it wouldnt be a great loss if they wanted to buldoze the Amoco south building. Its pretty ugly IMO.

but no, I think these guys are going to do some really cool things with Tulsa. Think something along the lines of dirt cheap rent to lure a bunch of Californians from their high rent silicon valley areas.

Truman said:

One thing yet to be touched on.
They have done what many have tried to do.

They have made the property values in the Downtown area rise. Hopefully, placing doubt in anyones mind, that was contemplating demolition of any of the remaining jewels in search of new and improved parking space.

as much as i support what they're doing, there are some huge concerns coming out of kanbar and kaufman owning 28 percent of all downtown office space.

it's going to cost them millions upon millions more to renovate these spaces in order to get them to a condition that they can even do anything with them.
do they know that?
most of the buildings they have bought have been sight-unseen.

for folks interested in historic preservation and the like: what WOULD stop them from tearing everything down and re-building, rather than preserving historical buildings? there's no law, no ordinance, no guidance or anything that would tell them what they should keep, destroy, etc.

what about local businesses? ...let's say they want to create a ton of retail downtown, as there used to be. ok great, but what retail? chains and franchises?
or unique, locally owned and operated companies?
if the former, tulsa downtown will just end up some tasteless, cultureless, cookie-cutter urban outdoor mall of micky-d's, nike, and starbuck's.

all of the above is like...worse-case scenario. but seriously: what are their intentions? who (from Tulsa, and interested in what will make a great downtown Tulsa) is guiding their decisions?

Joseph Wallis said:

who says a person guiding their decisions has to be from Tulsa to know what is right from Tulsa? We've sat far too long to see that no one around here can seem to get it done. If that has been because of a lack of money, then Kanbar is certainly the man to fit the bill.

well, ok then; just, "interested in what will make a great downtown Tulsa".

heck, i'm not from Tulsa either, and neither are some of the biggest movers and shakers for [positive] change in the downtown area. but ya.
at least maybe not FROM here, but here day-in, and day-out who knows what's good for downtown?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 7, 2006 12:51 AM.

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