Council scrutinizes City Hall move

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Once again I'm later than I should be in getting this linked....

This week's column in Urban Tulsa Weekly is about the special Council meeting held on Saturday morning, June 23, to discuss Mayor Taylor's plan to move municipal offices from the current City Hall and other locations to One Technology Center at 1st and Cincinnati. Originally planned to be an executive session, councilors (with my encouragement) chose to discuss as much of the proposal as possible in open session and to defer any confidential matters until the end of the meeting. The meeting left councilors more doubtful than ever about whether the move would be good for city finances in the near term.

I left one interesting facet of the discussion out of the column: Councilor Martinson said he didn't think the Staubach Company had given due consideration to two other options for consolidating city offices: build-to-suit on land already owned by the City or by the Tulsa Development Authority, or a purchase-leaseback arrangement, whereby a private investor would take on the risk of finding tenants for the extra space in the building.

A possible location for build-to-suit would be on TDA-owned land near the Hartford Building between 1st and 2nd, Greenwood and Hartford. Martinson pointed out that a building custom-made and right-sized for city purposes, including requirements for easy public access to certain offices, might well be less expensive, and would be less risky, than a deal that required the city to attract and keep tenants for excess space.

A Whirled story about the plan quoted Martinson's analogy illustrating the problems with buying more building than we need:

"A gallon of milk is a lot cheaper per ounce than a quart. But if you only need a quart and the rest of it goes sour, you've ended up paying more money than what you really needed for the amount of milk you're going to consume."

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2 Comments

sbtulsa said:

Martinson's public utterances, on this an other issues, have convince me that he is much more business literate than mayor taylor.

Paul Tay said:

The problem is not really the move itself. It's the location. If looks like a bail-out, quacks like a bail-out, probably MUST be a bail-out.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 1, 2007 11:52 PM.

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