TULSA- Construction is moving along as planned on Tulsa’s Gathering Place and a large section of Riverside remains closed for the project. Some apartment complex managers in that area say that’s making it hard for them to do business.
The first thing drivers notice when they pull up to that section of Riverside are the “road closed” signs blocking the road. The property managers at two nearby apartment buildings say the Gathering Place will be great for this area and their tenants, but they're having a tough time filling buildings that are typically at capacity.
“It’s noisy and it shakes the ground,” said Chalet Riverside apartments Manager Sharon Bratt.
Bratt isn’t talking about earthquakes. She’s worried about an unnatural disaster, road construction.
“We know it’s for a better good,” Bratt said.
Bratt fears it could get worse for the Chalet Riverside Apartments before the project is complete and the road back open to traffic.
“I’ve got 25 vacant apartments, I’ve never had but 8 at the most so I’m like something is wrong here,” she said.
According to Property Manager Shirley Hunt with Marella Apartments, something is wrong next door, too.
“Our business has been super slow actually for the last couple months and this is really hurting our occupancy right now,” Hunt said.
Hunt says the construction ramped up in January and since then 20 percent of the units at Marella are empty, after being at or near 100 percent capacity for years.
“I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Hunt said.
We reached out to a public relations firm representing the Gathering Place and they say construction is on pace to be finished by the end of 2017. A representative for the city says they hope to open up access along that stretch of Riverside as soon as possible-- but won’t say exactly when that will be.