Building in Tulsa: Meet Housing Developers, LaShan & Terrell Ellison
Tulsa is a city that is undergoing a remarkable transformation, with new developments, businesses and opportunities emerging every day. However, Tulsa also faces ongoing housing challenges, with a shortage of nearly 13,000 units that need to be built in the next decade to meet the demand of its growing and diverse population.
In our new Building in Tulsa series, we’re connecting with the developers who are laying the foundation for both new housing and a brighter future for Tulsa.
Our first featured developers are LaShan & Terrell Ellison, the founders of Ellison Investment Group (EIG) and EIG Home Builders, a housing development company that is committed to creating quality, affordable and diverse housing options for the Tulsa community.
You’ve completed a few single-family home projects that have been developed on land from the City of Tulsa and PartnerTulsa. Can you tell us more about the completed homes and how you are working to serve the rapidly growing Tulsa community?
We’ve been intentional about building homes that provide the look, comfort and appeal the market demands. Our residential home plans boast 3-4 bedrooms, 2-3 baths, separate office spaces, open living spaces, completely tiled, granite on all countertops and over-sized covered backyard patios for an elevated outdoor living experience. We have started a growing trend in the North Tulsa area to level up housing options. We couldn’t be developing in Tulsa at a better time. This season of progression aligns with our mission to develop communities in a way that evokes advancement, inspires momentum and uplifts those who dwell in the communities we serve.
Can you provide a brief overview of your upcoming single-family project at 1632 Norfolk? What aspect of your development are you most excited about?
This project is very special to us. EIG will construct a 2-story, 4-unit townhouse complex with upgraded amenities. Each unit will be 3/3/2 with a total square feet under the roof of 8,540. We’re excited to bring an affordable gated community to North Tulsa with the development of this lot.
An independent study of Tulsa’s housing demand found that over the next ten years, Tulsa must develop nearly 13,000 new housing units to meet housing demand. How does it feel it be part of addressing Tulsa’s housing needs?
It’s truly an honor. We started this development company somewhat on a whim. The opportunity to purchase a small lot from a friend in North Tulsa, an area where builders overlooked potential. My vision was clear. We made it our business to build two homes that would honor the legacy of the neighborhood with construction that exudes excellence, boldness and craftsmanship. After quickly selling these two homes, we had the fever! To be in a position to meet the demands of Tulsa’s residential housing shortage is a blessing that we don’t take for granted. With the same spirit of excellence, boldness and commitment to craftsmanship, we plan to close the gap in our city’s housing shortage one single-family residence at a time. We also hope to join in on multi-family development projects soon.
According to a study by the Grove Impact, Black and Hispanic real estate developers together make up less than 1 percent of their industry. What does it mean to you to be a part of that group?
Being one amongst a few in this industry gives us a sense of pride and obligation. Pride in knowing that despite the challenges that come with being a part of a minority group, we boldly forge ahead, not allowing any obstacles that are inherent to being a minority stop us.
It’s our obligation to stand up and create a precedent to pave the way for others like us. Diversity in developing communities is essential to the overall advancement of a city.
PartnerTulsa has been partnering with private developers to help increase housing affordability throughout the city. Can you share a little bit about the programs you plan to utilize to provide affordable housing and what that means for the community?
EIG plans to build two additional quadplexes. One would be designated for affordable housing. As described above, we look forward to the upcoming projects with PartnerTulsa and welcome any opportunities to build on a larger scale such as a 20-30 unit development. EIG would also like to develop a strategic partnership with the Tulsa Development Authority to be educated in City/State programs that provide economic support to minority developers.