View Full Version : Tulsa council decides to move city hall...

07-16-2007, 07:10 AM
Tulsa mayor praises decision to move city hall

The Associated Press

TULSA Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor is praising the decision by the city council to move its city hall, saying the action will help start a transformation of the downtown area of Oklahoma's second-largest city.

On Thursday, the council approved a $76 million proposal to buy a 15-story glass building called One Technology Center. Closing on the building is scheduled for Sept. 10."This is a legacy decision and a bold move for economic development, Taylor said.

The speed at which the project moves depends on how quickly revenue bonds are sold. Taylor said she hopes the consolidation can be completed in stages by next spring.

Among other hurdles, the council must also approve a master lease with a third party that would assume the risk of finding tenants to rent the space in the building not occupied by the city. Councilman Cason Carter introduced that condition, saying he wanted to see the deal advance in a way that covered potential risk to the city.

Before closing on the building, the city must either secure the master lease or create a reserve fund with capital assets worth at least $12 million.

Taylor said her administration's immediate focus will be on securing a master lease and preparing for the bond sale. Tulsa Economic Development Director Don Himelfarb, the city's lead negotiator on the deal to buy the building, also praised the council.

"Coming from the private sector, my view of the risk and risk tolerance are greater than what I have come to understand the responsibility of a public servant is,' Himelfarb said. "I now understand and agree that when you're dealing with public money and the citizens, you have to be far more conservative than you would in corporate America, and that is where I tip my hat to the council.

"They kept pushing us and we kept resisting and eventually a light bulb went off and I said, 'OK, I get it.' That is when we used our private enterprise view of the world to find a solution for a public problem. The citizens get a real win here.

Included in the project's $76 million price tag are the actual building purchase price of $52.25 million, relocation costs, bonding costs, demolition of some vacated city structures, security and consultant fees.

07-16-2007, 03:36 PM
I saw this story on Tulsa World and judging by the comments written the reaction up there has been overwhelming negative. I would like to know why Tulsa people are so against this...

07-16-2007, 03:53 PM
You want to see a cool city hall....Austin's has an Austin Java restaurant in it. Where you can buy beer. You can sit at city hall and drink beer. It rocks.