Construction for the historic Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Tulsa project has begun at Riverview Park Apartments. Phase one construction encompasses 74 housing units, including 37 replacement units, 16 tax credit units and 21 market rate units and is projected to take 18 months to complete. The $18 million phase one plan is comprised of townhomes and garden style walk-up units. All units will come with washer and dryers in units, are enterprise green certified, are pre-wired for internet access and include a security system and access to a tornado shelter.
The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa (THA) and the City of Tulsa were awarded a $30 million CNI grant in 2017 by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to launch the transformation of the Eugene Field neighborhood into River West, a mixed-income community. The Choice Tulsa Transformation Plan includes the construction of 460 mixed-income apartments, a renovated West Tulsa Park, a new full-service grocery store, and extensive public infrastructure and stormwater improvements. Project totals are estimated at more than $200 million, representing Tulsa’s largest investment in affordable housing to date.
Along with the CNI grant, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation has committed a $12 million affordable housing grant and the George Kaiser Family Foundation has provided a $3.25 million grant toward to the project. The City of Tulsa has committed $26 million in infrastructure and stormwater improvements. Across all phases, the Oklahoma Housing and Finance Agency (OHFA) has established a Choice Neighborhoods set-aside, providing 9 percent low-income housing tax credit funding, the largest tax credit award in the agency’s history.
“The magnitude of this project and its potential to completely transform the Eugene Field community and the lives of its residents cannot be overstated,” said Aaron Darden, THA president & CEO. “A plan of this scale couldn’t be accomplished or even attempted without the support of the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, OHFA, City of Tulsa leadership and the more than 40 community partners who have come alongside us to make this dream a reality.”
Demolition for phase one began in December 2019 and included 17 buildings, totaling 90 apartment units. Phase one relocation, encompassing 69 total families, began in April 2019. Residents of Riverview Park Apartments and Brightwaters Apartments in good standing will receive resources to support their relocation including a dedicated relocation coordinator and case manager, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers for qualifying families, moving costs assistance and transportation support for students provided by Tulsa Public Schools. Residents in good standing also have first right-to-return to the redeveloped River West community, with 50 percent of the total redevelopment committed to returning residents.
Key Construction is THA’s construction partner, KSQ Design is the project architect and Wallace Engineering is managing project engineering.