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Downtown Tulsa resident campaigns for food co-op

Downtown food co-op
Posted at 9:59 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 08:47:40-04

TULSA, Okla. — The pandemic has not stopped growth in Downtown Tulsa. Restaurants and bars are moving in and living spaces are welcoming new residents, but many say there is one amenity sorely missing.

"That doesn't exist right now and I hope it will one day," Joe Barr, a member of Tulsa Remote, said.

Barr moved to Tulsa in January as a part of the city remote program.

"When they told me I was going to be able to move here, I said, 'Well, is there a grocery store downtown?' And they said 'No, it's something we're working on,'" he said.

Barr may be new to town, but the idea of a grocery store in the area is not.

Reasor's and other grocery stores and companies were tied to plans for a mix-used development at 2nd Street and Cincinnati Avenue. Contractors previously hoped to break ground in first quarter 2021.

Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Kian Kamas said the redevelopment project is still a go. She said in a statement to 2 News Oklahoma:

"We are continuing to work with the developer to move the project forward and feel confident in the project’s momentum. The addition of a full service grocery store downtown remains key to the ongoing revitalization of Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods."
Kian Kamas

But Barr is bothered by the uncertainty of it all, so he's planting his flag for a food co-op owned by fellow downtown residents and Tulsans.

"I grew up in Tucson, Arizona where they have a food co-op downtown and I thought, ‘Golly, I can’t imagine why nobody’s thought to do that down here,'" he said.

Barr said he has already received tremendous feedback on the project with dozens of people wanting to join. You can find more information on Barr's idea for a food co-op here.

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