Kaiser Foundation Plans $30M Renovation For Brady District Building

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TULSA, Oklahoma – At almost 100 years young, another one of Tulsa’s historic buildings will get a new life thanks to a major renovation set to begin next month.
An old warehouse in the heart of the Brady Arts District has sat empty for years. The 72,000 square foot building might not look like much now, but the George Kaiser Family Foundation has big plans for the space.

One of the first tenants announced is a bookstore, but that is just the beginning.

Built in the 1920s, the Archer Building has strong bones, but is in need of a fix-up. The original tin tiles line the walls and the old warehouse doors help tell its story.

But in March, The George Kaiser Family Foundation will start writing the new chapter – a $30 million renovation that will include 35 artist studios and 14 apartments for those involved with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

On the bottom floor, up to ten new restaurants and businesses – one of which will be Magic City Books, supported by the Tulsa Literary Coalition.

Board President Jeff Martin gave News On 6 a tour and history lesson on the ‘Magic City’ term; apparently coined by President Teddy Roosevelt after you could get rich from oil here – like magic.

“We wanted to enforce that our magic time is not over, it is right now, and what is in the future,” Martin said.

Novels will line the walls and there will be event space for things like book clubs.

Martin said, “It’s hard to imagine ’cause its raw right now, but when it comes together it will be beautiful, and special and super cozy like a favorite book store should be.”

And once you’re done reading your books, maybe you’ll be in the market for a unique vinyl. Holy Mountain records will be moving from 11th Street into the Brady District.

Owner Jay Hancock called the opportunity to pair with GKFF, mind blowing, and, at first, hard to believe.

“We’re just little guys. There is no way this is going to come to fruition,” he said.

But it is, and Hancock said not much will change as far as the shop is concerned – except the premiere location in the heart of the Brady Arts District.

Glacier Chocolates will also be opening a second location called the City of Chocolate. It will have everything from the bean to the final product and around 7000 square feet of an educational component.