Turn­ing on the lights

Tulsa World - - Work&money - By Rhett Mor­gan Rhett Mor­gan 918-581-8395 rhett.mor­gan @tul­saworld.com Twit­ter: @Rhet­tMor­ganTW

The hue of the Blue Dome Dis­trict has been en­hanced. Work­ers last month com­pleted the $1.09 mil­lion re­place­ment and ad­di­tion of 150 blue-hooded lights through­out the dis­trict.

“It's great,” said O.C. Walker, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Tulsa Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity. “What it re­ally does is bring an iden­tity to the area.

“It makes some syn­ergy and gives it a sense of ar­rival.”

Af­ter hear­ing from stake­hold­ers who wanted to en­cour­age devel­op­ment and walk­a­bil­ity in the area, TDA first ap­proved the use of pub­lic funds for the lights in 2013.

“They were look­ing at ev­ery­thing that was hap­pen­ing in the Brady Dis­trict and it was like, `How can we build some mo­men­tum over here?' ”

The city of Tulsa con­tracted Cross­land Heavy Con­trac­tors to do the work, which re­placed the acorn-style street lamps. The job was funded through the Blue Dome Tax In­cre­ment Fi­nanc­ing Dis­trict, which was cre­ated in 2003 to stim­u­late devel­op­ment in a nine-block area.

TIF dis­tricts use sales tax gen­er­ated in a spe­cific area to con­struct im­prove­ment projects.

The Blue Dome Dis­trict, named for the 1924 Blue Dome Build­ing at Sec­ond Street and El­gin Av­enue, is known for its wa­ter­ing holes and restau­rants, in­clud­ing McNel­lie's, Dilly Diner, Fassler Hall, Al­bert G's and Arnie's.

The area's new­est ad­di­tion is the $20 mil­lion Ho­tel Indigo, which opened this week. Lo­cated on El­gin Av­enue be­tween First and Sec­ond streets, the 93-room bou­tique ho­tel con­tains art and ar­ti­facts that pay homage to blue-col­lar and oil-field work­ers who fre­quented the Blue Dome Dis­trict about a cen­tury ago.

Peace­maker Lob­ster & Crab Co., 313 E. Sec­ond St., opened in Septem­ber in the Blue Dome Dis­trict.

MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

New street­lights mod­eled af­ter the Blue Dome build­ing at Sec­ond Street and El­gin Av­enue have been in­stalled in the Blue Dome Dis­trict in down­town Tulsa.

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