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'North Tulsa's been under-resourced': Affordable housing project breaking ground

36 north affordable housing north tulsa
Posted at 6:29 AM, Jun 27, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — A new affordable housing project broke ground on June 27, with hopes of bettering life in North Tulsa.

The 36N project plans to turn a portion of the 36th St. North corridor into a mixed-use, mixed-income community.

The Tulsa Housing Authority calls it the largest affordable housing investment in Tulsa’s history, with $210 million going toward it.

A 2023 housing assessment found over the next decade, the city needs to add 13,000 housing units across all income spectrums to meet the need.

“36N is going to essentially double the footprint of Comanche Park Apartments that we have since demolished,” said Ginny Hensley, vice president for communications and public affairs at the THA.

"It’s going to bring back a new, revitalized community, and it’s truly our biggest and boldest project that we’ve undertaken to date," she added, "and we believe it has the power to be transformative for that area of Tulsa.”

The project will have 545 units when it’s complete, the old Comanche Park Apartments had 271.

36 north tulsa affordable housing layout
The master plan for the planned 36N community.

As part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods program, cities around the country compete for grant money to create affordable housing projects — specifically, ones that activate the wider community.

“We’re looking at some nature trails at Flat Rock Creek, an urban garden, and some other really important community investments so that 36N is catalytic for this entire corridor of North Tulsa,” said Hensley. “We don’t want to just build beautiful, new housing and say, ‘We’re done.’ We want it to really be transformational for the broader community as well.”
There are two concurrent Choice Neighborhoods projects in Tulsa, something many cities can’t say. Hensley told 2 News when they started Tulsa’s first one, River West, the average annual income for residents there was around $4,000. After only a few years, it sits around $25,000.

“We believe that 36N is going to be able to accomplish the same things for residents,” she emphasized, “which is super important and exciting for us because North Tulsa has been under-resourced and divested in for so long.”

This will become the first mixed-income community in North Tulsa, according to Hensley, with there being three tiers: subsidized, affordable, and market rate.

These will also be some of the first multi-family, market-rate units in this area of Tulsa. This new project offers multi-family options for those people, such as apartments, townhomes, or walk-up garden-style units.

Rodalyn Abode, a community member of North Tulsa for 20 years, was at the event and said she's excited for this opportunity in her neighborhood.

All these different developments it’s kind of all over Tulsa we need that same type of investment here. So we’re excited to see it, but we’re also excited that we’re not pricing people out of the neighborhood
phoenix 36n affordable housing north tulsa
A concept design for the four-story Phoenix @ 36N, which is set to be located on the SE Corner of 36th Street N & Peoria Ave.

The June 27 groundbreaking is for Phase I of the project, a four-story building called Phoenix @ 36N that will have 100 units and up to 5,000 square feet of commercial space. Its construction is expected to be completed in 2025, according to a January 2023 stakeholder update.

The next phases focus on other areas of community development. Since 36N is a Choice Neighborhood, the project must be completed in six years.

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