Route 66 News

Tulsa reviewing proposal for Route 66 museum

The city of Tulsa is reviewing the lone proposal for a long-planned Route 66 museum and commercial complex at Southwest Boulevard (aka Route 66) and Riverside Drive, reported the Tulsa World.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett, during a splashy news conference at another Route 66 site in the city, announced in October the city would request proposals for the site, which would be called The Route 66 Experience.

So it’s been nine months since the request, and the city is still reviewing it. However, City Planning Director Dawn Warrick told the newspaper that length of time isn’t unusual for a public-private project of its size and complexity.

The development could have restaurants, retail space and even a hotel but must include space for a Route 66 interpretive center, officials said.

The city would retain ownership of the property and lease it to the developer. […]

The city plans to spend $6.5 million for the project, including $1.5 million in Vision 2025 funds and $5 million in third-penny sales tax revenue.

Tulsa businesswoman Sharon King Davis, who was among a group of local businesses and professionals who advised the city on the proposal, said the lone submission is “fabulous.”

Tulsa has long desired to have an anchor Route 66 attraction because such travelers frequently bypass the city on the interstates.

The museum complex was part of the Vision 2025 sales-tax package passed by voters in 2003. The city eventually decided to ask for a public-private development because of the municipality’s tight budgets in recent years.

(An artist’s rendering of Tulsa’s Route 66 museum, circa 2003, via Vision 2025)


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