The Frontier

Plans are in the works to turn the old Arby’s building on the corner of Fourth and Main streets into a mixed-use development that would include 58 apartments, records show.
The 70,000-square-foot structure is owned by World Media Enterprises, owner of the Tulsa World newspaper. The project would include 43 one-bedroom apartments and 15 two-bedroom apartments.
At least 20 percent of the apartments would be reserved for low-income residents.
The apartments will be built on floors two through nine and range from 500 square feet to 1,000 square feet, records show.
The project also calls for constructing a 6,600-square-foot building above the Tulsa World’s guest parking lot directly west of the Arby’s building. The facility would be used to house newsprint.
Tulsa County commissioners on Tuesday approved six-year tax property abatements for the projects. The tax abatements take effect Jan. 1 of the first calendar year following the completion of the building renovation.
Under the tax-abatement program, taxing entities — such as Tulsa Public Schools, the Tulsa City-County Library system and Tulsa County — that would typically receive tax revenue from a property are asked to forego that revenue for the life of the abatement.
The abatements are expected to amount to $1.2 million over the six years, according to the project plan presented to taxing entities.
The projects are estimated to cost a total of approximately $13.5 million. World Media Enterprises will fund about $7.3 million of the work, with tax credits accounting for the rest.
The tax abatements approved by commissioners Monday pertain only to the increase in the value of the properties after improvements are made. BH Media will still pay property taxes on the value of the property at the time renovations begin.
The building’s fair market value is listed at $500,000, according to Tulsa County Assessor’s records.
The Excalibur Building, as it has been commonly known, was built in 1917.
The building formerly housed an Arby’s restaurant, that has since moved to another downtown location. For years the building was home to Palace Clothiers.
The Tulsa World reported in 2012 that an earthquake “likely caused the structural damage” that led to the closure of the building in 2011.
The engineer’s report stated that the most serious damage from the earthquake “was to the supporting columns in the Excalibur Building’s basement,” the World reported.
The engineer who wrote the report, William Dashiell of Norfolk, Va., told the World that the damage needed to be dealt with in a timely fashion. The engineer was hired to examine the building after exterior masonry and precast concrete fell from the building, according to the World.