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North Tulsa food desert may see end with new groundbreaking

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Published 06/26/2020 | Reading Time 3 min 51 sec 

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) breaks ground on Oasis Fresh Market, a long-awaited grocery store for the North Tulsa community. The grocery store will greatly increase access for residents to buy higher quality food.

Rose Washington, CEO for TEDC describes what it took to make this vision a reality. “TEDC is beyond ecstatic to move Project Oasis from concept to construction,” adding, “So many partners have been on this quest with us for several years. I am thankful to finally awake from the dream of eliminating food deserts in North Tulsa to witness the fruits of everyone’s labor.”

The new Oasis Fresh Market is being built in a location known as a ‘food desert’, an area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or fresh produce. 

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For District 1 Tulsa City Councilor, Vanessa Hall Harper, this is transformative for her region, “Having a quality grocery store in District 1 has been a four-year journey. I am elated to see construction begin. This has been long overdue for my community,” said Hall Harper. 

The Oasis Fresh Market was made possible with a variety of funding from the City of Tulsa (with U.S. HUD Community Development Block Grant Funding), Tulsa Development Authority, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Zarrow Family Foundation.

“Project Oasis is the result of the relentless pursuit of bringing a grocery store to North Tulsa,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “This long-requested grocery store will meet some of the needs for fresh food options in the area and will bring more opportunities for economic development. With its location near the BRT, it provides access to many residents for fresh produce and healthy options.”

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The $3.9 million building will contain meat, produce, and dairy departments, a demonstration kitchen, a multipurpose room and a walk-in beer and wine cooler. The demonstration kitchen will help educate customers on how to cook affordable, healthy meals. Once open, Eco Alliance Group, LLC, will operate the 16,425-square-foot store.

“Eco Alliance is honored to play a role in eliminating food deserts while also providing jobs to those right here in the community,” said AJ Johnson, Eco Alliance Group Board Member & Public Relations Liaison. “Access to high-quality groceries combined with great customer service will positively impact the lives of so many.”

The grocery store designed by KKT Architects, with planning and schematic concepts by EWC1 Architects, will be constructed by Nabholz and is expected to be completed in Spring 2021. 

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“Nabholz is honored to play a small part in such a significant project for the North Tulsa community. Every individual deserves convenient access to affordable, fresh food. We’re excited to see how Oasis Fresh Market will impact Tulsans and their families,” said Michael Feamster, EVP of Operations, Nabholz-Oklahoma. 

“KKT is proud to be part of the Oasis Fresh Market, and we look forward to the impact and growth it will bring to the Tulsa community,” said Sarah Gould, President and CEO, KKT Architects. 

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