I’m old enough to remember when downtown Tulsa was empty at night and conflicts between various populations were a little scarier.
It’s been thrilling to see the transformation of downtown Tulsa just in the years since I moved back in 2006 (I started my career in Tulsa in 2001, lived in Phoenix for two years and moved back).
I first learned about the controversy surrounding the Davenport Lofts from this interesting article in The Tulsa Voice.
I’ll admit I was scratching my head looking at the artist’s renderings of this development and trying to picture it blending in next to Soundpony and Cain’s.
It does not blend. It seems like an odd place to park this project.
I saw some comments online that if the goal is to create walkable neighborhoods, there really should be some retail mixed in on the ground floor with the project. That’s an excellent point.
Are upscale condos geared toward well-to-do empty nesters what I pictured going in the space next to Soundpony where the Lone Wolf Truck used to park? Not at all.
I can see why there’s some backlash. This is a very expensive square peg in round hole.
However: Maybe it’s because I’m facing turning another year older myself this weekend, but I don’t love the tinge of ageism behind this petition to stop the Davenport lofts from moving into Main Street.
“We ask the Development Group how its residents will deal with the drone of live music being played next door at The Soundpony Bar and Yeti, and across the street at The Inner Circle Vodka Bar; and how its residents will react to the hundreds who congregate on the bars’ patios…” is one of the concerns raised by the petition’s backers.
There’s a snotty sentence before that one could interpret as: “Do you EVEN concert, Bro?”
Let’s get this out of the way first: There is no universe in which I would buy one of these lofts or move into this development, for several reasons:
- $450,000 is WAY out of my price range and will very likely always be.
- I have two dogs and a lovely backyard. I lived in an apartment for years with my first dog and the headache of having to leash up your dog in every kind of weather for potty breaks is something I don’t wish to relive anytime soon.
- My entire life, I have always been a morning person. It is a running joke among my friends and family. I am rarely awake past 10:30 p.m. My friends know if they text me late at night, they are not likely to get any response until bright and early in the morning. I only stay out late for special occasions with friends or if it’s a band I REALLY want to hear. So moving to a condo next to lively downtown bars is something I would NEVER do, because that would be dumb and I would be cranky all the time.
But listen, outraged young citizens: It’s not like the developers didn’t know there were bars and a major concert venue right there. I’m pretty sure they made a note of that.
From what I’ve seen, this is hardly a “retirement village.” And let’s assume that people willing to drop that kind of coin on a new loft downtown will put some serious thought into whether they want to live it up on the local music scene.
If everyone plays nicely, maybe the Davenport developers will put a covenant into their sale contracts that prevents residents from whining about the nearby concert noise?
I’m still trying to figure out who wants to drop that much money to live so close to the county jail and the freeway.
But let’s stop assuming that anyone over 50 is going to be shouting from their balcony, shaking a rake at the 20-somethings spilling out of Soundpony: “You kids get off my lawn!”
I am fortunate to have some awesome friends who are in their 40s, 50s and 60s who stay out late and go to concerts all the time (and no, I don’t mean just Eagles and Billy Joel shows, guys).
These friends put me to shame with their partying ways. My dad, in his 60s, is a musician in Texas and goes to concerts all the time.
I’ve cracked up at seeing some of the Baby Boomers’ responses on Facebook and other sites, pointing out to the outraged young Tulsa hipsters that, HEY KIDS: WE INVENTED MUSIC FESTIVALS AND OUTRAGE.
It’s amusing that some of the young petitioners think counterculture is their thing and old people will ruin the party.
It’s perfectly fair to ask questions about whether this project is a good fit for that block. I don’t know whether that will stop it from happening.
But let’s ditch the ageist overtones and assumptions in this debate, please.