POSTED ON NOVEMBER 3, 2010:
Trailer for Lease or Rent
Expo leftovers, remnants of baseball past, Driller Stadium is still looking for fair price and reason for being
No Beach, No Mountains. “We’re early in the process, and you know the economy is not the greatest right now, as far as a lot of investment going on,” says County Commissioner Fred Perry.
The leader of a committee charged with soliciting specific business proposals for the site occupied by Drillers Stadium at Expo Square says his group has begun reaching out to area developers in an attempt to generate interest in the property.
County Commissioner Fred Perry, who serves as chairman of the Driller Stadium Property Marketing Committee, said his group began targeting potential developers of the site over the summer with a letter advising them of the availability of the site and continues to send the letter to other developers every week.
"We've sent letters to developers making them aware of our proposal to make the site at 15th and Yale available for development, but we've explained to them it has to be unique, that it couldn't be just a shopping center and a hotel," Perry said.
The 5.5-acre property became available for other uses when the Tulsa Drillers minor-league baseball team moved into its new home at downtown's ONEOK Field in April. The Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority -- which oversees the property at Expo Square, where the stadium is located -- put together the property marketing committee to generate ideas for how the site should be used. Perry, who heads the committee, previously had led a property study committee for the site, as well.
Perry said the first letters to developers went out three months ago, and others have been sent every week since then to both local developers and those throughout the region. He estimated that 100 letters have been sent so far.
"In the letter, we give them the option of getting a package we had professionally done that includes aerial photos of the site, information on Expo Square, other developments in the area, demographic information and Chamber of Commerce contacts," he said, adding that a half dozen developers have followed up with a request for that package.
Perry declined to say if any of those developers had responded with concepts for the property, indicating that potential developers prefer to remain anonymous at this point. But he did talk about what his committee is seeking from anyone interested in the property.
"We want them to give us some idea of what their proposal would entail," he said. "If we get three or four of those, then maybe we would do a request for proposals."
Perry emphasized that his committee is not seeking formal proposals from developers, only a rough idea of what a project might entail in order. He has said previously that this approach ideally would generate a broad range of possible uses for the property.
After that, Perry's committee -- which also includes Expo Square CEO Mark Andrus, commercial real estate broker Mike Parrish, Expo Square marketing director Amanda Blair and Terry Walters, a representative of the surrounding neighborhood -- likely would send out an official request for proposals for the site, a step that would require interested parties to submit a more costly and more fully developed response.
He declined to speculate about when that might happen, but he did say, "Not until we have at least three or four interesting ideas."
Perry previously had said he expected the initial process of soliciting ideas for the site to take several months and indicated his committee was not in a hurry to make a decision about the fate of the property. He sounded a similar tone last week.
"We're early in the process, and you know the economy is not the greatest right now, as far as a lot of investment going on," he said.
County officials have emphasized the property is not for sale, only for lease. The ballpark had been home to the Drillers since its opening in the 1980s.
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