Jenks breaks ground on park that some locals comparing to Guthrie Green

Sep 23, 2016

 

Jenks breaks ground on park some compare to Guthrie Green

Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:01 am | Updated: 1:15 am, Wed Sep 21, 2016.

JENKS — Promoting it as a tool for economic development that will help attract young professionals to the suburb, Jenks officially broke ground Tuesday on a new downtown park that some locals have compared to Tulsa’s Guthrie Green.

Like the Brady District’s popular hangout, Jenks’ Downtown Commons will feature a sleek, modern design with green space and a covered stage for concerts and public events. And like the Guthrie Green, the Commons will create a natural destination for pedestrians as they come and go from nearby shops and restaurants.

“Time and again, experts tell us the importance of place in making a decision where a person chooses to live and work,” said Mayor Kelly Dunkerly. “People will choose an urban area that offers a diverse economic base and amenities that contribute to an excellent quality of life.”

The $1.2 million park will replace a parking lot at Second and A streets, across from the Jenks Public Schools administration building. Virtually in the shadow of the Jenks High School football stadium, the location takes up roughly half a square block and will serve as a walkable link between campus and the downtown shopping district.

Together with recent improvements to downtown parking and sidewalks, the new park marks another step in the evolution of central Jenks into a more urban and pedestrian-friendly area, said Tulsa County Commission Chairwoman Karen Keith.

As the whole Tulsa region competes with other cities for investment and tourism, areas like Jenks’ core become important selling points, she said.

“It’s smart,” Keith told Jenks leaders Tuesday. “It’s so smart what you are doing here. You intuitively have made this a really walkable city.”

Funded by the Vision 2025 sales tax package that voters approved in 2003, demolition work on the parking lot began Sept. 6. The park will be completed early next year, officials said.