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FY2017 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant

Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa & City of Tulsa Eugene Field Neighborhood

Project Overview

The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa and the City of Tulsa have been awarded a $30 million FY2017 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant for the Eugene Field Neighborhood. While located in a potentially desirable area, isolating physical barriers, years of disinvestment, and an over-concentration of distressed, subsidized housing have hindered the neighborhood’s possibilities. Despite these obstacles, the Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa, the City of Tulsa, and the community used a FY 2010 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant to create a collective vision that has begun to transform their neighborhood. The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant and significant private and public leverage will accelerate their progress. With these resources, Tulsa will replace the distressed River Park Apartments and Brightwater Apartments with high quality mixed-income housing; dramatically improve children’s educational out-comes, open new employment opportunities, and increase health care access; and implement catalytic neighborhood improvements that will build upon Eugene Field’s assets.

Key Partners 

McCormack Baron Salazar | Urban Strategies, Inc. | Tulsa Public Schools | Eugene Field Community Advisory Council | Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation | CAP Tulsa | Center for Employment Opportunities | Children’s Museum Discovery Lab | City Year | College Summit | Community Health Connection | Community Service Council | DaySpring Community Services | Foundation for Tulsa Schools | George Kaiser Family Foundation | Global Gardens | Goodwill Tulsa | Harvest Community Church | Landa Mo- bile Systems | Oklahoma State University | Reading Partners | RiverParks Authority | Route 66 Mainstreet | Salvation Army | Talent Development Secondary | Tulsa Community College | Tulsa’s Table | US Bank | West Tulsa United Methodist Church | Workforce Tulsa | YMCA committed LEVERAGE (self-reported) 

Housing Leverage Committed: $65.8 millionPeople Leverage Committed: $36.5 millionNeighborhood Leverage Committed: $95.4 million

Neighborhood Background & Vision 

The Eugene Field neighborhood’s location possesses much to envy — with a magnificent view of the Tulsa skyline, connections to downtown Tulsa, and a border on the Arkansas River waterfront. Yet the neighborhood’s location is on the“less-traveled side” of the river and can feel isolated, with the riverfront, a highway, and a refinery at its edges serving more like barriers than gateways.


The neighborhood also suffers from an over-concentration of subsidized housing, making up 45 percent of the neighborhood’s housing units. The distressed target housing sites, River Park Apartments and Brightwater Apartments, along with a third subsidized development, are concentrated in super blocks along one of the neighborhood’s key corridors, 23rd Street. This “front door” does not present the most favorable impression for the 16,000 passengers driving down 23rd St. every day. Additionally, years of disinvestment in the neighborhood have contributed to high crime rates, intergenerational poverty, low educational attainment, and poor health outcomes.

But, the Eugene Field neighborhood is also resilient. Sev- eral years ago, a FY2010 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant began an inclusive, consensus-building process that brought together residents, community stakeholders, the City, and institutional partners to develop a Transformation Plan for Eugene Field. This collaborative work was instru- mental in creating an ambitious shared vision that has been unfolding incrementally in the years since. The neighborhood has attracted two new major neighborhood investments, namely the development of a $45 million Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and the renovation of the River West Festival Park along the Arkansas River. A new bank and convenience store have begun to expand the neighborhood’s commercial amenities. Partnerships formed out of the planning process have continued to grow, such as a strong group of community partners dedicated to working with the Eugene Field Elementary School and neighborhood families to bolster student outcomes.


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Pictured: The boundaries of the Eugene Field Neighborhood.


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Pictured: Housing at Brightwaters Apartments is isolated from the surrounding community.


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A rendering for new mixed-use development  along Southwest Boulevard (Rt. 66) creates an appropriate civic edge. The design is anchored by two two-story mixed-use buildings that feature apartments over ground-floor management, community, and commercial space.

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West Tulsa Park is underutilized a park in the Eugene Field neighborhood. At the center of the revitalized neighborhood will be a park for residents and the broader community to enjoy.

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A rendering of a new West Tulsa Park shows how this space will provide a central location to recreate, socialize and get to know neighborhoods. Safety is built-in by orienting new units to ensure “eyes-on-the-park.”

The award of the $30 million FY2017 Implementation Grant and significant additional leverage will accelerate and achieve the community’s vision for Eugene Field’s transformation. With these resources, the housing authority, the City, and their development partner, McCormack Baron Salazar Inc. will replace 390 units of distressed public and HUD-assisted housing with 460 units of high quality mixed-income housing. The redevelopment will break up these concentrated super blocks, creating townhomes and garden style apartments with pedestrian friendly streets, greenspaces, and commercial amenities.

The City of Tulsa will also lead a set of catalytic neighbor- hood improvements that will build upon Eugene Field’s assets. The City will bring in a mixed-use development and hotel to attract visitors from a premier destination site just across the river that will be connected to the neighborhood by a new pedestrian bridge. The City and its partners will also redevelop a park at the center of the revitalized hous- ing. This former hot spot for criminal activity will be re- made into an attractive, well-programed space for families and nearby University students. 

Tulsa’s plans will also create a grocery store and a community center, addressing the neighborhood’s food desert status and need for centrally located services.

Urban Strategies, Tulsa’s People Implementation Entity, and a network of partners will address the needs and aspirations of residents who live in the target housing. They will provide comprehensive case management that will connect families to an array of leveraged services and supports. This programming will help residents achieve their employment and income goals, as well as improve access to regular health care. Tulsa Public Schools and partners, such as CAP Tulsa and Community in Schools, will also aim to dramatically change children’s educational outcomes by providing high-quality early education slots, education-focused case management for all target housing children, evidence-based math tutoring, and rigorous school-based improvements to strengthen curriculum, support professional learning, and foster a college and career-ready culture.

Click the link for more information about the FY2017 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant

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