Downtown Destination: Downtown alleyway to receive extensive makeover to turn it into a pedestrian-friendly destination

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One of the proposed catalyst projects of the recently approved final draft of the Downtown Master Plan, part of the 2020 GO Bond that passed in January of last year, is the redevelopment of the alley between Park and Water Streets, from Dewey Avenue south to Lee Avenue. 

At the June 21st City Council meeting, consultants Taylor Plummer and Ken Boone from Ochsner Hare & Hare explained that “the existing northern half of the alley…should be closed to vehicular traffic, creating a pedestrian zone.” This encompasses the space between CTX Coffee to the west and the Kante Group’s building to the east, the first floor of which currently houses offices for the Group, but is expected to be converted to a restaurant in the future. 

OHH further stated that “the alley should be paved with brick” and have “lighting installed in the form of street lamps and festoon lights between the buildings. Landscaping in the form of street trees and concrete planters will help to define and soften the space…The alley space could be further enlivened with signage, murals, and artwork. The southern end of this pedestrian zone should have bollards or concrete planter barricades to protect pedestrians from vehicles.”

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Boone said, “We’ve talked a lot about getting people [downtown].” That involves “creating something unique,” like “micro-retailing, pop-ups…outdoor dining…We need to treat it as an amenity instead of an alley…[There’s] a chance to put lights overhead at night for that glowing quality we don’t have now, a chance for people to mix and mingle without the road traffic.”

Of the utmost importance to the overall Downtown Master Plan project is showing potential investors that the City is creating this “destination downtown…that says, ‘Look, we’re investing…’ This is a really important project for leverage. Whatever dollars we can spend, we want to leverage private investment dollars—those are crucial. Projects like this are what allow us to do that. It shows [the City] is making an investment,” said Boone. 

City Councilor and CED Committee Member Hugo Naifeh told Sapulpa Times that he is “looking forward to [the plan’s implementation, as] no one else [nearby] has anything like it.”

The next step for this piece is choosing a firm to create the design of the project, which is still under consideration by City staff. The hope is for the design to be complete around the beginning of next year, and the redevelopment itself to be finished in spring or early summer.