BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) — Broken Arrow was named the "most livable" small city in the country during the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors' 86th annual meeting in Boston.

The 2018 City Livability Awards Program recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve quality of life. Tampa, Florida (large city), and Broken Arrow were selected as first-place winners by former mayors from more than 150 applicants, the Tulsa World reported .

Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond was honored for the economic development spurred by the rebirth of the downtown Rose District.

"Many new businesses, with expenditures of over $25 million, relocated into this once-declining district. These changes have elevated the quality of life for residents and brought more than 1,000 new jobs and over 70 new businesses into the area," a news release said about the award states.

"Over the last six years, new development has resulted in an increase of almost $4 million in local property taxes. Annual municipal sales taxes collected in the area during that same time period have also gone up . 2,025 percent."

The Rose District has about 40 unique storefronts, including restaurants, from Midway Street south to the Performing Arts Center along Main Street and a couple of blocks west of Main on Broadway. It has had about $60 million in investments since it was branded five years ago. Revitalization of the area started seven years ago and includes retail, restaurant and residential space.

"Receiving the City Livability Award is a tremendous honor for Broken Arrow," Thurmond said in the release. "Not so long ago, Main Street was almost derelict, with very few businesses and zero foot traffic. Today, residents and visitors will find a vibrant downtown with unique restaurants, local artisan products, entertainment and cultural experiences that have transformed our Rose District into one of the most popular destinations in the region.

"Thanks to the vision of city, school and chamber leaders, along with the citizens of Broken Arrow, the heart of our community is now thriving, with planned private investments of more than $60 million yet to be realized."

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com