Land swap deal between city and TU is off

Mar 29, 2012

The University of Tulsa is backing out a proposed land swap between it and the city of Tulsa. TU—the owners of KWGS/KWTU—made the announcement today.

The city wanted university land near Highway 169 and 56th Street North for its intermodal facility. In exchange, TU would get land next to the Gilcrease Museum which it manages for the city. Some City Councilors questioned the wisdom of the deal, since the TU land is worth less than the near-Gilcrease property.

In backing out of the deal University President Steadman Upham said “We do not wish to be a source of contention”.

The full text of the statement is below:

“Over the course of the past three years, The University of Tulsa has been invited by two City of Tulsa administrations to consider exchanging university-owned property near the Tulsa International Airport for city-owned property adjacent to Gilcrease Museum.

“Throughout this time, we have worked diligently with the City and the City Council to develop an agreement for the land exchange. Our property was identified as a key acquisition for the development of an Intermodal Transportation Facility given its proximity to the airport, the Port of Catoosa and Highway 169, and it would have been acquired at no cost to the taxpayer. These discussions recently have become a source of discord within the City Council, and, as a result, we have chosen to disengage from these negotiations with the City. We do not wish to be a source of contention in our community.

“We still believe in the economic potential associated with the development of the Intermodal Transportation Facility for Tulsa and the surrounding region. TU remains willing to be an active partner with the City, the Airport Authority, and the Port of Catoosa for any such efforts in the future.”