Tulsa leaders work to find way to repurpose federal building
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa officials are working with the state’s congressional delegation to create a plan to repurpose a federal building downtown.
City leaders hope to add the Page Belcher Federal Building into the city’s downtown development plan, the Tulsa World reported . The plan will add retail shops, restaurants and other attractions to the area.
The building is currently controlled by the U.S. Postal Service. The federal court system also leases space in the building.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to the U.S. Postal Service,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Junk. “Until they determine the building is worth selling, the conversation is pretty short.”
The building, which spans two city blocks, has long been a major obstacle to commercial development in the area, city officials said.
City officials hope the federal government will be more receptive to a public-private partnership to repurpose the building with President Donald Trump in the White House, Junk said. But, he added, “the reality of it is, I don’t know if you can point to the last federal building the government decided to sell.”
Former Mayor Dewey Bartlett tried to find a way for the Tulsa Industrial Authority to purchase the property and lease it back to the federal government in 2011, but the plan didn’t gain traction.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com