The River Parks Authority board of trustees Thursday will consider a loan to purchase land near Turkey Mountain. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

The River Parks Authority board of trustees this morning agreed to accept a $5.6 million loan from QuikTrip and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

The funds will be used to accelerate the purchase of land near Turkey Mountain.

Board member Phil Frohlic told the board that the land purchase could include as many as 150 acres but did not identify any potential sites for purchase.

The land purchases are not expected to take place before the Vision 2025 renewal vote on April 5, Frohlic said after the meeting.

The agreement calls for River Parks to pay an annual interest rate of 2.5 percent.

River Parks would pay a maximum of $430,000 over the life of the loan, River Parks officials said.

The $5.6 million loan is equal to what River Parks has asked the city to provide in Vision 2025 sales tax funding for the same purpose.

“This is just a way to make that the best (River Parks) proposal that can be,” Frohlic said.

“We are just positioning ourselves to acquire some property; we can’t wait for Vision to pass,” River Parks Executive Director Matt Meyer said earlier this week.

The intent is, if Vision money is used to repay this loan for certain parcels of land, this would become River Parks property with the intent of preserving it.

If voters reject the Vision 2025 sales tax package, QuikTrip and GKFF would continue to own the land, Meyer said.

Meyer declined to say what properties would be purchased with the loan, but acknowledged that one potential site is the 52-acre lot along Highway 75 that was originally supposed to be a Simon Premium Outlet Mall.

The mall was scheduled to be built on the northeast corner of 61st Street and Highway 75, but strong opposition from Turkey Mountain enthusiasts and some city councilors killed the deal.

Simon eventually decided to build the project in Jenks.

River Parks requested the $5.6 million in Vision 2025 funds to acquire enough land to “secure contiguous recreational properties from the (Arkansas) river to Highway 75, north of 61st Street,” according to a handout presented to city councilors.

That would include the former outlet mall site, Meyer told councilors.

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The former mall site is owned by Beeline Sixty-One Properties.

The land directly east of the Beeline property and north of 61st Street is owned either by the city of Tulsa or the George Kaiser Family Foundation, or partially owned by GKFF.

The Kaiser Foundation has said previously that it does not intend to develop the land it owns.

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River Parks provided this handout to city councilors earlier this year explaining their proposal to purchase land near Turkey Mountain. COURTESY