Tulsa Vision 2025: December 2005 Archives

There's an interesting discussion over in the TulsaNow forums about the new Office Depot at 15th and Lewis. It sits awkwardly in the middle of the lot, roughly where the previous structure, a Safeway / Homeland / Alps supermarket, sat, but facing north, with a small parking lot to the north and another separate lot on the south side. The old supermarket had its main entrance facing Lewis, very near the sidewalk. The Office Depot also comes up to the sidewalk, but presents passers-by with a blank wall.

The discussion led to some questions about the relatively new McDonald's at 15th and Peoria, namely, "How could they build that plain ol' McDonald's there, right on Cherry Street?" I've posted an explanation and elaborated on what Oklahoma City has done to encourage good urban infill. Specifically, I talk about OKC's urban design districts, which are overlay districts that add some restrictions while relaxing others in order that new development fits the character of historic commercial districts like 23rd Street (west of the State Capitol, home to many Asian businesses) and Capitol Hill (a neighborhood south of the river which is nowhere near the Capitol).

In researching my response, which contains links to a lot of info about Oklahoma City, I found a link to a browsable zoning map of Oklahoma City. It would be awfully nice if Tulsa had something like that available online.

Dean Dennis of Global Spectrum, an unsuccessful bidder for the right to manage Tulsa's new arena and old convention center, flew to Tulsa on Thursday to ask a question: "How could they have more points on the scoring sheet for compensation?" "They" is SMG, the successful bidder, and the question refers to the fact that Global Spectrum made a lower (better) bid for compensation -- their management fees -- than SMG, and yet the committee that evaluated the bids ranked SMG higher in that category. No one answered his question. Chris Medlock has more on the story, with audio of the unanswered question. In this kind of a bid process, each evaluator ranks the bidders in each of several categories, and the ranking is added up for a total score. It's sort of like scoring a boxing match. It increasingly appears that the committee members tweaked their numbers in individual categories to make sure that SMG came out on top, even if SMG wasn't objectively the best bid in a particular category.

If companies don't think they'll get a fair hearing, who will want to do business with the City of Tulsa? I'm glad that Global Spectrum and Professional Bull Riders are making some noise about the way they were treated by Mayor Bill LaFortune, his staff, and his handpicked committee. Nothing will change until people are willing to speak out.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Vision 2025 category from December 2005.

Tulsa Vision 2025: November 2005 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Vision 2025: January 2006 is the next archive.

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