A New Day Dawning for B.A.’s Rose District
By BOB LEWIS
COMING SOON: Mixed-use complex will feature retail, office and living spaces.
Broken Arrow’s Rose District, already one of the region’s most successful and most honored downtown redevelopment projects, will soon be taking on an exciting new face.
It is coming in the form of an $18 million mixed-use facility at a site formerly occupied by the Assembly of God Church in the 300 block of North Main Street. City leaders expect it will help spur additional growth by giving the district a strong northward thrust.
Project Developer Cowen Construction said it expects the facility will take 12 to 14 months to complete.
The largest private development in Rose District history, the four-story building is designed to encompass residential, retail and office space. According to plans detailed when the project was first announced, the 120,000-square-foot structure will house 31,660 square feet of space for retail and offices on the first floor and at least 90 residential units on floors two through four. Dedicated parking is included in the masterplan.
To make way for it, the city paid $600,000 for the vacant church building. It is using Vision 2025 surplus funds to invest $1.5 million in streetscape improvements and $150,000 for utility relocation.
Industry leaders say mixed-use projects are becoming increasingly popular across the nation. A big reason why is pure math.
Asheville, North Carolina, for instance, says it is enjoying an 800 percent increase in revenue on this type of facility on a per-acre basis compared to when ground is broken for a large single-use development.
The thrust that began it all here was a $13.5 million Tax Increment Financing () district that was approved in 2010. Money generated from sales and property taxes are being used to pay it off.
In addition to attracting a raft of shoppers and new businesses, the Rose District is directly responsible for highly coveted “America’s Most Livable City” awards presented to Broken Arrow in recent months by the National Council of Mayors and the Institute for Building Technology and Safety.
In accepting the Council of Mayors award, Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond was quoted as saying, “Not so long ago, Main Street was almost derelict, with very few businesses and zero foot traffic. Today, residents and visitors find a vibrant downtown with unique restaurants, local artisan products, entertainment and cultural experiences that have transformed it into one of the most popular destinations in the region.”
Now, Broken Arrowans can look forward to downtown living options and an expansion of retail attractions.