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State of Downtown Tulsa Report Reveals Changing Work Dynamics and Office Market

TULSA, OKLA. (May 2, 2023) — Downtown Tulsa Partnership unveiled the organization’s first State of Downtown report to Tulsa's business community on Tuesday, May 2, at Santa Fe Square (SFS), a development nearing completion in the Blue Dome District.

The event kicked off with remarks from SFS developer Elliot Nelson, founder of McNellie’s Group, and Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith, who are both members of the DTP Board of Directors, as well as comments from Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.

The State of Downtown report is an in-depth, data-rich snapshot of Downtown Tulsa development and economic growth. DTP President & CEO Brian Kurtz presented key findings from the report, including:

  • Changing work dynamics: While Downtown Tulsa’s post-pandemic return-to-work rate fares better than many downtowns at roughly 70%, our average weekday employee visits are still over 10,000 employees short from 2019, and growth is happening at a slow pace.
  • Office market showing need to evolve: Downtown's flood of over 400,000 square feet of new Class A office space in the past 16 months has shifted the market significantly. Many organizations are opting for the newer, higher-quality product, highlighting the need for creativity and innovation with our increasingly vacant Class B and C properties.
  • Residential market in high demand: Downtown’s population is over 4,900 residents, up 25% since 2010. Significantly more multi-family and owner-occupied units are needed to meet rising demand.
  • Retail and small business energy is high: 33 food and beverage establishments opened Downtown since 2019. Retail vacancy rates seem relatively unphased by the pandemic, holding at a tight 4-4.8%.
  • Tourism and visitors at nearly pre-pandemic numbers: Downtown closed 2022 at 1.9 million unique visitors compared to 2.1 million in 2019, positively impacting ticket sales at Downtown venues. Average room rates at Downtown hotels are increasing while occupancy rates hold around 55%.

Moderated by Meagan Farley of Dewberry, a panel of stakeholders including Venita Cooper, owner of Silhouette Sneakers & Art, and Kian Kamas, Executive Director of PartnerTulsa, as well as Kurtz and Nelson, who discussed various topics related to the future of Downtown Tulsa.

Access the digital version of the State of Downtown report, as well as ongoing data and statistics from Downtown Tulsa Partnership, at