Evans-Fintube Community Meeting Questions & Comments
On June 14, PartnerTulsa hosted a Community Update Meeting for the redevelopment of the Evans-Fintube site. Here are the questions and comments submitted by the community and PartnerTulsa’s responses.
Building and Structure
Has the structural integrity of the building been evaluated? Any concerns?
The structural integrity of the building has not been evaluated by PartnerTulsa or the City of Tulsa. Based on the building’s age and years of vacancy there are significant concerns of deterioration.
Will it be required for the developers to preserve the steel building?
No, the preservation of the building is not a requirement.
Process Selection & Support
Was Be Good Development Partners treated differently than other developers?
From the beginning of the process the Mayor encouraged the participation of Black and minority developers and following the selection of Team Alchemy/Be Good Development Partners, PartnerTulsa sought to facilitate a successful project by a Black-led development team. Team Alchemy/Be Good Development Partners were offered the maximum amount of public incentives with fewer restrictions than developers typically receive for redevelopment projects. The PartnerTulsa staff also devoted far more internal resources and moved at a quicker pace than is typical for redevelopment negotiations. In many ways the treatment was more favorable than typically afforded to other developers.
Is there any path for Be Good Development to re-engage with the city on this project? Is this locked in stone? If they have a developer and someone who wants to bring finances, can the negotiations be re-opened?
The team asked for 60 – 90 days to identify a potential new partner, they were given 120 days to find a suitable replacement that meets the minimum requirements and was unable to do so. It is our intent to spend the next 6-9 months evaluating our approach and developing a revised RFP to re-issue; we encourage and anticipate that Be Good Development Partners would submit a proposal in response to this RFP.
A lot of people in our community never heard of this project is there a reason this was never broadcasted on a grander scale?
The project was covered by all of the major media outlets in the Tulsa market at the time of developer selection in May, 2022. PartnerTulsa held several community outreach meetings during the RFP process, in which hundreds of residents were engaged.
Was the steering committee not provided an opportunity to vote on the termination of negotiations with the developer?
The Mayor appointed a selection committee, made up of community members, to select a developer. Once the developer was selected, the Selection Committee’s role ended.
Where is the proof that you gave them the RFP?
The minimum requirements of the RFP have been publicly available to all respondents since September 8, 2021. The selection of Team Alchemy was communicated to the team both verbally and via email. A letter confirming selection as the preferred Master Developer, and documenting negotiation activities and other pre-development efforts was sent to the team in October 2022.
Why did the city fail to provide what lenders require?
There was no failure to provide.
Why are the loopholes being obscured = tied the developers’ hands & said they couldn’t meet requirements? Why could the city not stand arm in arm with Alchemy to ensure that they are able to secure the needs to meet the criteria? Regardless of regular business, knowing the history of Greenwood, why could an exception not be made in a situation like this that more than warrants it
The minimum requirements of the RFP have been publicly available to all respondents since September 8, 2021. If the applicants do not meet the minimum requirements of the RFP then they would not continue in the process. Other applicants did not meet the minimum requirements in the application phase and were not able to move forward.
Do you have any specific examples where other developers were allowed to deviate from standard contract requirements?
No. Any deviation from requirements could potentially subject the City and Partner Tulsa or the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity to additional liability.
What are the negative impacts of extending the timeline for capacity partners?
Extending the timeline only creates further delays. Be Good Development has given no indication that they will be able to find a new partner.
Did the City of Tulsa or Partner Tulsa provide any type of support to the developer? If so, please provide detail. What specifically has partner done to partner with Team Alchemy?
The following support was provided:
- Hosted regular, bi-weekly meetings with the Team to advance negotiations towards final Development Agreements; scheduling of these meetings was initiated one week following the announcement of the selection of Team Alchemy
- Attempted to profile project partners in PartnerTulsa social media and newsletter to build awareness of the project
- Facilitated meetings with key stakeholders and partners such as OSU-Tulsa
- Negotiated draft contracts of public incentives to support the project
- Offered free technical assistance from an incentive expert to support refining their financial models and incentive projections (declined by their Team)
What is the legitimacy of Partner Tulsa, the history behind you? Do any members live in Greenwood?
PartnerTulsa is the Economic Development organization for the City of Tulsa. PartnerTulsa oversees the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity and the Tulsa Development Authority. Both Boards are public bodies which host Regular Meetings, and whose Board members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. The City of Tulsa owns the Evans Fintube site.
Why are you filtering questions instead of allowing people to simply raise their hands?
PartnerTulsa committed to posting answers to all questions online to ensure all questions were able to be asked and answered. Utilizing question cards is an approach that was utilized in past community update events, including those related to the Kirkpatrick Heights-Greenwood Master Plan.
Is it true that JE Dunn were never a co-development partner but Build Partners who are still in a relationship with Be Good?
No. In the Team’s written submission, subsequent interviews, and throughout negotiations JE Dunn Capital Partners Development was represented as a co-developer with Be Good Development. It was the development experience, expertise, history and financial strength of JE Dunn Capital Partners that allowed the team to meet the minimum criteria in the RFP. Be Good Development alone did not and does not meet those criteria. The construction arm of JE Dunn (JE Dunn Construction) is a general contractor, which is a separate entity from JE Dunn Capital Partners; they are still in a relationship with Be Good.
Greyson Capital—What was the reason given for them to pull out of the project as a development partner? Why did JE Dunn Capital Partners & Greyson Capital sever ties? Are you aware of why the co-development partners withdrew from the team? It was suggested that the lack of receipt of the agreement created uncertainty among partners.
Based on our understanding, the parties were not able to agree on financial terms, project oversight and decision-making roles related to the partnership. In direct discussions with the former partners, neither has indicated to PartnerTulsa that the draft state of the Development Agreement was the reason for their withdrawal.
Is it true that a member of Partner Tulsa made comments telling Franchell they didn’t believe she was capable of a project of this size?
PartnerTulsa staff has communicated to Be Good Development Partners and Franchell Abdalla that the resume provided within the RFP response itself confirms that Be Good Development Partners does not meet the minimum requirements of the RFP. Neither Be Good nor Franchell has completed a development project, or a project of $40 million or more in value.
Why was a redevelopment agreement not provided to Be Good Development Partners? Why was Be Good Development not allowed to have a redevelopment agreement in order to attract new partners? It was mentioned that Team Alchemy needed a contract to secure another partner & the city did not provide it. Can you provide context of this request and why it was not provided by the city?
A Redevelopment Agreement was in the process of negotiations when PartnerTulsa was informed of the breakup of the co-development partners. Redevelopment Agreements take an average of 13.5 months to negotiate amongst the parties and their attorneys. Team Alchemy’s attorneys were provided by JE Dunn Capital Partners and Greyson Capital. PartnerTulsa and Team Alchemy were in the 5th month of negotiations when PartnerTulsa was notified of the breakup of the partners.
Each team that made it to the final selection process by responding to the RFP was required to assemble a qualified team prior to submission. All submissions and initial team formations were completed without a redevelopment agreement. A Redevelopment Agreement is not required to attract and secure new partners.
Promoting Equitable Development
Will the City of Tulsa better support developments that have equitable ownership elements like this one did? Community land trusts & community-owned developments seem to be more than appropriate given the history of the city.
PartnerTulsa and the City of Tulsa welcomes innovative approaches to equitable and community ownership and involvement. The RFP provides flexibility for development teams to propose varying solutions to delivering equitable outcomes and benefits.
Why was accessibility and attainability of the site to small and black developers not centered initially instead of after this years-long process? This is a better urban design practice, so why attempt a major development that occupies so much land?
All the finalists in the selection process were led by Black development entities. Additionally, the process considered small and black developers partnering and sub-contracting with experienced national firms. A new process will consider how to make development opportunities for local developers more accessible.
Will a black-led developer group be prioritized in any new search? Is the City of Tulsa committed to ensuring that a black developer & the community plans & develop this project? Or will you give it to the “good ol boys”? Where do we go from here to make the development move forward with black Tulsa community input and black ownership of the completed project?
The City of Tulsa and PartnerTulsa remain committed to redevelopment of the site and are evaluating development options that support the capacity building efforts for new, small, and Black development firms. The vision and values to support the redevelopment efforts, which guided this initial RFP will continue to guide future efforts. Our evaluation in the coming months will focus on assessing how our structural approach supports or limits opportunities for small and Black developers.
Why doesn’t “next steps” include continuing negotiations with Team Alchemy/Be Good? Why stop if you are committed to propping up black developers and finishing the project with the team as awarded?
Be Good Development on its own does not meet the minimum requirements set out in the RFP. The team was given an additional 120 days to find a suitable replacement that meets the minimum requirements and was unable to do so.
Define minority, we are black, and want black statistics. Answer the questions with truth, no one believes you without proof. 15. Will the city of Tulsa ever do anything to actually help black people succeed beyond endless talks and studies? Nothing is geared towards progress or success. Just talk.
PartnerTulsa’s current breakdown of work with Black developers and residents is as follows:
- 8 of 11 (72.7%) single-family home development projects currently underway on property previously owned by and as a result of PartnerTulsa’s work are led by minority developers (7 of which are Black).
- 2 of 6 (33.3%) multi-family or commercial projects currently underway on property previously owned by and as a result of PartnerTulsa’s work are led by minority developers (1 is led by a Black executive, in the second project a Black developer is serving on the project team).
- 3 of 6 (50%) housing development projects funded by the Affordable Housing Trust Fund are led by minority developers (1 of which is Black).
- PartnerTulsa and the City created a Tax Increment Finance District at 36th Street North and MLK to support the proposed Al Fresco project, which is led by a local Black developer.
- The City approved the Peoria Mohawk TIF, which will provide $32 million in housing assistance in the neighborhoods surrounding 36th Street North and Peoria.
- In early 2023, the City and Tulsa Housing Authority announced a $50 million federal grant to support the housing redevelopment on the former site of Comanche Park. Included within this grant is funding to support commercial businesses in the area, which is expected to be provided via grants and loans.
- PartnerTulsa is actively assisting two (2) potential projects in Downtown Tulsa led by Black business owners and developers.
Additionally, PartnerTulsa has appropriated approximately $800,000 to support down payment assistance for homeownership programs in North Tulsa, which includes programs led by MetCares and Fitting Back In.
Any new process will have to include a developer academic, including mentors willing to lend expertise. What is the plan to cultivate developers of color?
PartnerTulsa currently works with developers to provide concierge permitting support. We are actively evaluating additional opportunities to support developers at four key levels:
- Providing introductory-level education and training opportunities to build awareness and understanding among individuals who have an interest in development, but who are not yet engaged in real estate development.
- Providing more intensive support to existing, more experienced small developers with defined projects as they seek to grow their experience by providing enhanced technical support through permitting processes.
- Providing direct assistance to incentives, public finance tools, and real estate finance instruction.
- Identifying and developing a more comprehensive approach to new developers as they seek to develop and execute initial and early projects from concept to completion.
Zoning, Site Preparation
Instead of waiting for a developer or project why doesn’t the city make the project shovel-ready, so it can speed up the project and have a completely clean site?
As a part of our evaluation of next steps, PartnerTulsa and the City of Tulsa will actively evaluate site preparation efforts needed to achieve redevelopment goals.
With the property being re-zoned and the project not being completed, does the new zoning still apply?
Yes, the new zoning is in place.
Since this project focuses on wealth creation, when something is approved and completed how will it be protected from redistricting zip codes?
PartnerTulsa does not play any role in redistricting or determining zip codes.
Taking the approach of breaking down the project: is it possible to take the approach of creating housing first and then commercial?
Yes, addressing housing first is possible.
Why were requests for site control ignored?
Requests for site control were not ignored. PartnerTulsa was actively involved in negotiating the Redevelopment Agreement, which provides formal site control to a developer.
Will the site now prioritize sports development? Have the other developers continued to work on the project? Does the city wish to put a soccer stadium here?
No. No other developers are working on the project. The City does not wish to put a soccer stadium on the site.
BMX was supposed to develop this site originally. Why did they pull out and swap the site with District 1 city councilor?
BMX developed the site to the north of this parcel.
Is pre-development financing you’ve required from Franchell standard?
PartnerTulsa does not require pre-development financing. However, a project of any size requires a developer to have money in order to cover pre-development expenses. The RFP required that all respondents provide evidence of committed capital, which includes pre-development financing. It is standard practice for developers to be required to demonstrate sufficient experience and access to capital to cover pre-development and other expenses.
Will any project raise property taxes for homeowners?
No project at this site will raise property taxes.
In order to enhance City & Ebony Tulsa relationships, do the following: 1. Allow Team Alchemy to lead the project and have the City secure the funding since it has been determined this is what the community wants! Why can’t this be done? 2. What caused the funders to withdraw?
The City and PartneTulsa will provide funding through any future project through support from a Tax Increment Finance District. is unable to secure funding for a private project outside of the Tax Increment Financing already in place. Based on our understanding, the development partners that were initially a part of Team Alchemy were not able to agree on financial terms, project oversight and decision-making roles related to the partnership.