TULSA, Okla. — A plan to transform the 36th Street North Corridor in Tulsa into a mixed-use, mixed-income community got a major boost on Thursday.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge stopped by the 36th Street North Event Center Thursday morning to formally award the city and the Tulsa Housing Authority a $50 million “Choice Neighborhoods Initiative” grant.
the money will be used for the $190 million “Envision Comanche” project. Plans call for the 271 apartment units at Comanche Park to be torn down and rebuilt, with an additional 274 apartments added that will be affordable and at market rate.
The plan to transform the corridor also calls for bringing in commercial development at the corner of 36th and Peoria including a neighborhood grocery story and the creation of an urban wilderness area.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge was asked about the effort transform distressed public housing.
“When you mix communities and you bring people together of different socioeconomic backgrounds, different educational backgrounds,” Fudge said, “It has been proven that persons from the bottom are lifted.”
“When you people in communities that are doing well the schools become better, they demand things like grocery stores and health centers, etc. that most people of modest means don’t have the voice to do.”
This is the second time the city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Housing Authority has been granted this type of award. Secretary Fudge said her team considered what proposal had the best chance of succeeding and would help the most people. Tulsa was one of five finalists to get the grant.
According to the Tulsa Housing Authority, demolition of the Comanche Apartments is scheduled to get underway by April of 2023. The 110 families who will have to be relocated during this process that gets underway in October will have the first right of return.
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