The City of Tulsa and Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation (LTFF) unveiled plans recently to make significant infrastructure and beautification improvements to the Tulsa Market District to restore the historic stretch of Route 66.
Planned infrastructure improvements include updates to traffic lights, waterlines, the sewer system and roadways. Beautification projects include the addition of iconic Route 66 signage and lighting, ADA compliant sidewalks and ramps and more than 77 trees and benches.
The project began in July and construction is estimated to take roughly one year to complete.
“One of the greatest investments we’ve made over the past several years has been in Route 66,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “I’m thankful to the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation for its help in accelerating improvements in this area, and I’m eager to see the increased opportunities this project will bring to our beloved Mother Road.”
LTFF is providing advance funding to the City of Tulsa through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to renovate the stretch of Route 66 from just north of East 12th Street to East 10th Street off of Lewis and from South Yorktown Avenue to South Atlanta Avenue off of 11th Street. Funding will be provided at no interest to the city, and LTFF will be paid back up to the amount spent on the project over time by sales taxes generated within the district. The City and LTFF will coordinate infrastructure and beautification projects to enable the full impact of the work to be realized as soon as possible and minimize the interruptions caused by construction.
“We built Mother Road Market to complement a district full of locally-owned businesses,” said Elizabeth Frame Ellison, president and CEO of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. “We are proud to support Tulsa Market District’s goal to be a hub for artisans, artists and makers, while maintaining our vision for the equitable growth of our neighborhood.”
“I’m thankful for the dedicated effort from the City of Tulsa and the private sector to further promote the most famous road in the entire world – Route 66,” Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor. Matt Pinnell said. “The time is now to recapture the popularity of the great American road trip, and the economic impact it will deliver.”
In 2020, LTFF helped launch the Tulsa Market District Business Association to improve the organization and promotion of local businesses. The business association will provide resources and updates to members during road construction.
Founded in 1997 by Bill Lobeck and Kathy Taylor, the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation (LTFF) has grown into a second-generation investment in making Tulsa an innovative, collaborative and thriving city. Under the leadership of CEO Elizabeth Frame Ellison, LTFF aims to decrease the barriers associated with Tulsans achieving their goals. To fulfill this mission, LTFF acts as a Grantmaker, innovator, and convener. LTFF supports the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems in Tulsa through its owned-and-operated programs including Kitchen 66, Mother Road Market, Shops at Mother Road Market and Tulsa StartUp Series, as well as through grants to organizations. For more information about LTFF, visit www.lobecktaylor.com.
About Tulsa Market District:
Back in the heyday of Route 66, as people traveled the highway, they would stop to experience local foods, shops and people. The Tulsa Market District continues this legacy as a hub for artisans, artists and makers. It is a wildly diverse area known for its distinctly Tulsa food, shopping and entrepreneurs.