Discarded Material Brings New Life to Tulsa Development

Tulsa Master Recyclers Association

UPCYCLED SUCCESS: Casey Stowe with Nelson+Stowe Development stands next to his idea-come-to-life of upcycling shipping containers into retail and entertainment space for a unique downtown experience, and it’s filling up fast with local business entrepreneurs such as Sole Massage and Rose Rock Microcreamery. 

BETH TURNER for GTR Newspapers

In our search for success, we often try to think outside the box. Local business partners Elliot Nelson and Casey Stowe of Nelson+Stowe Development have a new downtown venture with the actual box in mind. “I saw something similar to this in London, UK, and thought it was so cool, I had to bring the idea back to Tulsa,” said Stowe.

It’s called Boxyard and is made from 39 upcycled shipping containers.

“Shipping containers are generally used for no more than 10 years. But as you can see, these are solid structures made of steel,” said Stowe, as we stood gazing at the build site. “So, it’s pretty exciting to know that these have been over many oceans, and now will retire right here in landlocked Tulsa for an entirely new life.“

Boxyard will house up to 20 shops, restaurants and hot spots, including Sole Massage, great for runners by the way, hometown favorites such as Dwelling Spaces, and cell, which I can’t wait to check out!

The development will also offer outdoor roof settings for enjoying our beautiful Tulsa skyline.

“We replaced the original doors with glass and took off the lock bars, then utilized both of those discards to create the upstairs outdoor railing. It’s great material for safety – solid steel – and we really like how it’s coming together aesthetically,” said Stowe.

See the progression for yourself at the corner of 3rd Street and South Frankfort Avenue near Fassler Hall in downtown Tulsa.

Local Voting
The presidential race takes center stage nationally, but local races and proposals need our attention, too. One that caught my eco-eye is State Question 777. The language of the question makes you think you’d be doing farming a favor, which you would, but not necessarily to the benefit of Oklahoma.

Supporters say this proposal allows farmers to defend themselves against unjust laws.

Opponents say we need reasonable regulations regarding food and water quality.
Oklahomans have fought hard to clean up the Illinois River from poultry pollution, and the regulations now in place have given us back this beautiful landscape and weekend getaway.

To better follow this issue as well as current and future politics and policies facing Oklahomans, visit OklahomaPolicy.org. This independent, non-partisan organization’s mission is to promote “adequate, fair, and fiscally-responsible funding of public services and expanded opportunity for all Oklahomans by providing timely and credible information, analysis, and ideas.”

Whatever your stance is on issues, I hope you, too, revel in your right to vote. I grew up around election commissions and have studied the hard work of our forefathers and mothers who created solidarity in our communities through empowering each of us in the voting booth. So as any good recycler, I don’t waste the opportunity to provide my opinion at the polls!

Join In the Future
To get more engaged with sustainability here in our urban community, there are two great options that also give you a great excuse to enjoy some locally owned locales.
Tulsa Young Professionals, or ros, invites you to join them each fourth Thursday of the month. The meetings start at 6 p.m. at Elote Restaurant.
Sustainable Tulsa offers a lunch option called 1st Thursdays. The first Thursday of each month, you can enjoy Foolish Things Coffee Company. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m., and the monthly presentation runs from 12 –1 p.m.

Seasonal Eco Tip
There are almost enough submissions for a roundup of the best holiday recycling ideas. So, send in your favorite recycled, upcycled, sustainable ideas and practices today! Share your thoughts at bethturner@me.com, or tweet @TrashTalkTulsa.

Updated 10-24-2016

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