George Kaiser Family Foundation to put model of Riverside project 'A Gathering Place' on display

TULSA - After much anticipation, Tulsa residents had a chance to take a close-up look at a proposed park that will sit alongside Riverside Drive.

The George Kaiser Family Foundation unveils the $200 million 3D model Tuesday for the project titled "A Gathering Place for Tulsa."

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A 55-acre plot of land where the Blair Mansion currently sits near 29th and Riverside Drive will become a place for the community to visit. Among the attractions -- Adventure Playground, Blair Pond, a boathouse, a community deck, Four Seasons Garden, Lakeview Lawn, Lodge Interior, Mist Mountain and Sky Garden.

More than 1,300 comments from the public were taken into consideration by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, who is responsible for the park's concept, which includes upgrades to Riverside Drive.

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"On Riverside Drive there's a bend that gets precarious on 31st Street, so the city is looking to rebuild that street," said Jared Brejcha, Mayor Dewey Bartlett's chief of staff.

While the GKFF is funding the project, however, the Riverside Drive upgrades may be dependent on a capital improvements package on which city voters will decide.

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Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014. The first phase of construction is expected to cost $200 million and the park is expected to attract an estimated 600,000 visitors each year.

According to the GKFF, the construction process is expected to give a $460 million economic boost.  Additionally, non-park jobs are expected to earn $400,000 each year.

Park operations will generate $3.4 million annually.

The 3D model can be viewed at the TCC Metro campus beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

For more information on the future site, visit www.agatheringplacefortulsa.com .

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