For more than four generations, Tulsa, Oklahoma has struggled with how to bring about positive change where deep historical sociological scars and broad regional economic shifts have left low income commercial, residential and industrial areas without much hope. Tallgrass Community Development (TCD) has been created specifically to address these issues with targeted investments that nurture entrepreneurship, stimulate economic development and directly support new job creation. Further, TCD is committed to address core community development issues with direct investments in early childhood education, affordable housing and critical risk capital in new businesses.
The magnificent historic architecture in Downtown Tulsa reflects an era when Tulsa was considered the oil capital of the world. Much changed for the worse in subsequent times with a catastrophic race riot that tore the community apart and destroyed one of the most affluent African American communities in the country. The eventual transfer of much of the oil business to the Houston area leaving both downtown and surrounding neighborhoods bereft of jobs and any real sense of community. Over the last ten years a highly targeted effort to change the sociological and economic urban landscape of Tulsa has taken place and the leadership of TCD been integrally involved at the heart of these efforts.
Historic districts were established and many historic structures in the area have now been restored and repurposed. To attract businesses and residents a new minor league baseball stadium was built in a blighted downtown area. A new arena was built that now hosts one of the most successful national and international arts series in the country. An Arts District was established and is now flourishing in an area that was once one of the most challenged census tracts in the country. With a strong belief that future generations are the key to renewal, three new Educare Centers were created to bring both care and learning to the youngest of Tulsa’s children living in poverty. Entrepreneurship incubators have been created to attract and retain a new generation of job creators to Tulsa. Investments in cultural facilities, parks, beautification and urban walking paths have attracted national attention and brought Tulsans of all ages back to their community.
The staff leadership, Board and Advisory Board of TCD bring a highly experienced team to support this effort. Led by Stanton Doyle, the organization has strong community connections and robust financial support. TCD is a controlled entity of the George Kaiser Family Foundation which has committed to providing up to ten million dollars for critical gap equity exclusively for TCD projects as well as an additional thirty million dollars in long term, low cost gap financing to make highly challenging projects possible.
The TCD team brings extensive community development experience and through its Advisory Board, close community connections throughout the targeted low income areas. TCD leadership has successfully advanced more than a dozen projects totaling nearly three hundred and fifty million dollars in community development project costs. Utilizing a combination of sophisticated leveraged equity tools including NMTC, State and Federal HTC, LIHTC and TIF the team has brought dramatic and impactful change to the Tulsa area creating jobs, revitalizing communities and helping to make Tulsa a great place to live and work.