Plans for Tulsa Club include hotel, restaurant
Tulsa-based Ross Group has laid out plans for a $24 million conversion of the long-empty and historic Tulsa Club building into a boutique hotel plus restaurant and retail space, documents show.
The proposal for the building, 115 E. Fifth St., is pending the approval of incentives that include a six-year tax abatement totaling roughly $1.693 million, according to the Tulsa Development Authority. The TDA recently issued a resolution in support of the tax abatement application under provisions of the Tulsa County Local Development Act, which can grant tax relief in certain areas to stimulate reinvestment.
The project calls for the structure to be historically renovated to house 98 boutique hotel rooms on floors 1 through 8, restaurant and retail on the first floor (6,800 square feet), and restaurant and bar space on the 11th floor (5,400 square feet), documents show.
The hotel rooms would be managed by Promise Hotels under Hilton's Curio brand. Under the renovation, the ballroom on the ninth floor also would be restored.
Federal and state historic tax credits are being sought for the renovation, records indicate.
Reached via email, Ross Group President and CEO Warren Ross told the Tulsa World, "It is premature to make a statement regarding the potential development."
Ross Group purchased the building, which has sat vacant for 22 years, for $1.5 million in September.
- RHETT MORGAN, World Business Writer
Report: Enterprise Products wanted Williams
Citing anonymous sources, a Reuters article published Thursday says that Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners LP approached Williams Cos. earlier this summer about acquiring the Tulsa-based midstream firm.
According to the source, Williams never made an official response to the approach and Enterprise Products Partners has not pursued the matter further.
Enterprise Products Partners LP is a natural gas and crude oil pipeline company that provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals. Functions include natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation and storage.
A spokesman for Williams was not immediately available for comment. Rick Rainey, a spokesman for Enterprise Products Partners, said that it is the company's policy not to comment on market rumors or speculation.
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity terminated its merger agreement with Williams Cos. in late June.
- CASEY SMITH, World Business Writer
World Market offers new future for Midtown Village
Midtown Village has had a Best Buy and a Bed Bath & Beyond since it opened in 2005. And not much else.
Now, there's a Cost Plus World Market bound for the shopping center - one of the most sought-after retailers to come to Tulsa in some time.
Besides two anchor tenants and an IBC Bank branch, Midtown Village is vacant. A long row of storefronts attached to Bed Bath & Beyond and a building near Best Buy sit empty. A grassy field in the middle of the shopping center will be transformed into the Cost Plus World Market.
Shoppers who spoke with the World noted how long the retail center at 5200 E. Skelly Drive has sat mostly vacant.
Bob Klunder said, "It was gonna fill up when the freeway work was done. It hasn't."
Pam Proctor said she thinks the shopping center is a viable one, especially with the contingent of Tulsans who don't like to go south of 41st Street.
At first glance, it may appear an odd location for such a coveted retailer. The store's line of eclectic furniture and home decor at affordable prices made it part of the TYPros' Bring It to Tulsa list earlier this year.
But World Market is moving next to Bed Bath & Beyond.
"It makes sense that they would co-locate next to their sister company," said Caitlin Boewe of commercial real estate firm CBRE.
- SAMUEL HARDIMAN, World Business Writer
Electronics big part of back-to-school shopping
When it comes to electronics and back-to-school spending, two buzzwords come to mind.
"There is a big difference between going very, very expensive for a computer and going mid-range," said Shayne Brazelton, a computing expert at Best Buy, 7308 S. Olympia Ave. "It's all about the longevity. Our main job is to explain the difference between the PCs and kind of let their own budget and ideas direct them."
Families with children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade plan to spend an average of $674 this year on back-to-school shopping, of which 65 percent will be spent on apparel and electronics, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.
For families with children in college, that number rises to an average of about $888. Total spending for K-12 and college is expected to reach $75.8 billion, up from last year's $68 billion.
- RHETT MORGAN, World Business Writer
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