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BUSINESS |By Nehemiah Frank
Morton Reserve Community Update
Greenwood, Okla. – As the debate on the proliferation of dollar stores in North Tulsa continues, citizens of Greenwood and the Dunbar neighborhood have something positive to look forward too.
Michael Smith, President and Managing Director of Pine Place Development, presented updates on the Morton’s Reserve project yesterday evening at the Rudisill Library. The event was sponsored by Greenwood Experience, Coalescent Community Development Corporation, and Pine Place Development.
Mr. Smith boasts a team of African-American architects, engineers, and bankers all involved in making the Dunbar project a promising endeavor. One that rebuilds and memorializes the old Morton hospital as well as erecting a mixed used development site of restaurants, coffee shops, a bank, a business incubator, and as well as luxury apartments.
The site will also feature a Black Wall Street Memorial Museum and a reflection pool. The museum will pay homage to our ancestors who either died or lived through the 1921 Tulsa Massacre.
Mr. Smith is a man of integrity. Smith said the best conversation he had was with a group of community board members from the Dunbar Neighbor Association who had concerns regarding the new Morton Reserve Project’s close-proximity to their homes.
Some Dunbar residents stated in the meeting that the apartment building’s parking garage would be an eye sore. The project initially included 96 apartment units; however, to satisfy the desire of the historic Dunbar community, and its members, Smith had his architects downsized those units to just 64, pulling the edifice inward and away from nearby single family homes.
Furthermore, Mr. Smith said there would be plenty of landscaping and space to divide the building and its parking garage from the residents. Residents were also worried about the increase in traffic to the area; fortunately for the inhabitants across from the Morton, fewer units means less traffic and Smith’s project will more than likely raise the property value of the neighborhood.
Smith envisions a 60ft Christmas Tree with a lighting ceremony just after the Thanksgiving holidays on site.
Wow! Imagine driving down pine or coming up Greenwood and seeing a 60ft Christmas tree in our own community’s business district.
Furthermore, lamp post with banners that will be changed seasonally will be the cherry on top of a new vibrant Dunbar neighborhood.
Although the project is amazing, some North Tulsans have concerns that the retail space and apartment rentals will be unaffordable for north Tulsa residents. Mr. Smith reassured the community that space and apartment units will be competitive with area apartments like the Edge and the View, but more competitive in drawing millennial’s and single African-American professionals to the new development.
Mr. Smith explained that many of the young African-American professionals choose not to live in North Tulsa because there aren’t any high-end apartment buildings like in other parts of the city and this project will attract them back North and back home.
OSU Expansion into North Tulsa
With the enlargement of the OSU Tulsa campus to Pine and Martin Luther King, the Morton project, and its businesses look forward to capitalizing on the project.
“Come on home, North Tulsa; it’s time to return home,” Micheal Smith said to the crowd of mostly African-American residents.
Developer Micheal Smith’s Morton project is truly a dream come true for the community.