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Tulsa Planning Office submits application for east Tulsa to become a Main Street program

Posted at 6:51 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 13:43:24-05

TULSA, Okla. — Improvements could be coming soon to the 21st Street and Garnett area in east Tulsa to help revitalize it and stimulate the local economy.

The Tulsa Planning Office at INCOG has submitted an application for the Oklahoma Main Street program that would provide one-on-one opportunities with consultants, a community analysis retail report, access to resources and grant opportunities. The program is part of Main Street America, which has a network of more than 1,600 communities across the U.S. The program aims at revitalizing older and historic commercial districts.

"One of the things we've talked a lot about is identity and branding for the area," explained Luisa Krug, the destinations districts manager at the Tulsa Planning Office. "What is the identity and how do you make sure when people are here they recognize that?"

Krug said the goal is to restore the 21st St. and Garnett area and support small business owners. Other ways to improve the area is by getting new signage, removing graffiti and planning future community events.

One of the small shop owners inside Plaza Santa Cecilia on 21st St. and Garnett said the indoor shopping center could benefit from the Main Street Project program by improving its building maintenance to attract more visitors.

Agueda Navarro, who co-owns 2000HNC with her husband, said they have had success for the past 20 years thanks to the relationship and trust they have built with their customers. However, this isn't the case for other businesses inside the plaza that have been forced to close down over the years.

If you walk around Plaza Santa Cecilia, you will notice some empty retail spaces on the east side of the mall, while the west side is bustling with restaurants and clothing stores.

Navarro hopes if the Main Street Program is approved, leaders will consider funding some projects at the plaza.

Meanwhile, Krug said the City of Tulsa has already allocated $75,000 for the program.

She said some of the next steps are to identify stakeholders and create a strategic vision for the next three to five years.

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