How Kanbar and Kaufman discovered Tulsa

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Who are these two men who have bought over a quarter of downtown Tulsa's office space? How did these two Blue Staters come to have an interest in this city in the reddest of Red States? David Lloyd Jones, formerly the Tulsa Tribune's Rambler, spoke to Paulette Millichap, a founder of Council Oak Books and a long-time friend of Maurice Kanbar and Henry Kaufman, and to Ray Feldman, a Tulsa attorney and friend of Kaufman. Jones's story, in the current Greater Tulsa Reporter, is the most complete explanation I've seen of the personal connections and ideas that brought these paradigm-shifting building buys to fruition. (Hat tip to MichaelC from the TulsaNow forums for spotting this article.)


Joseph Wallis said:

Well, I had read that article prior to this blog, but it is good to get it out to others. To me, the K&K development is more important than any of these elections.

K&K have intelligent plans. basically the gist is, move offices off of every first floor of the buildings they own and put in retail. Put service industry stuff on the 2nd and 3rd floors (like spas, gyms, etc) then on the middle floors put in or keep offices for lawyers and the like. Finally on the top floors high rent loft apts and condos.

You would think this simple Sim City tpye approach would have been done around here, but apparently it takes outside "blue staters" to get this type of thing going. Hopefully tulsa can become a moderate oasis in a right wing prairie.

I found Ray Feldman's doubting response interesting. Sometimes it takes an outsider to see the potential that's there.

Thanks for posting about their plans. I'd love to know more, and to actually get to meet with them. What you've described is the way things normally develop in cities, and it's the way most of our buildings once were. (The Philcade, e.g., had a shopping arcade on the bottom floors.)

I think it's a mistake to assume that interest in these lofts and good urban design correlates with ideology. There are a lot of us with red state values and blue state tastes -- "crunchy conservatives".

Joseph Wallis said:

One thing they cannot cure is the lack of geographic symmetry in this town. Powers that be carrying ideologies that we wont get into sprawled Tulsa southeastward while keeping all of tulsa's problems tucked neatly to the north. In most cities the downtown is in the geographic center and makes a logical meeting we are going to have an uphill battle to pull people from one side of town to the other.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 2, 2006 5:12 PM.

Tulsa's news bloggers; downtown Tulsa paradigm shift was the previous entry in this blog.

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