A guide to executive suites and office space to rent in Tulsa as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in Tulsa.
History & Geography
Tulsa is the second largest city in the Midwestern state of Oklahoma and is located in the northeastern corner of the state. It lies approximately 160 kilometers northeast of Oklahoma City between the Ozarks and the Great Plains. Tulsa sites on the eastern border of the strip of land called the Cross Timbers, made up mostly of prairie, savannah and grassland. The area around Tulsa was first inhabited by the Creek Indians who named their settlement ‘Tallasi’, meaning ‘old town’. From this term the city’s current name was eventually derived. The town eventually became known as ‘Tulsey Town’ and grew to be a prosperous trading post and cattle town. Tulsa became incorporated as a city in 1898. In the early part of the 20th century a large pool of oil, dubbed the Glenn Pool was discovered in the vicinity, leading to a rush of investors and entrepreneurs to the area. The city’s population promptly grew significantly and the town earned the moniker the ‘Oil Capital of the World’. During the Great Depression Tulsa didn’t suffer as badly as other Midwestern towns due to its oil industry. The town continued to grow off the back of a construction boom fuelled by oil money. In 1921 Tulsa experienced what is considered one of the worst race riots in the history of the US, leaving over 10,000 people homeless. The construction of the famous Route 66 between Chicago and California was an important development for Tulsa, which became an important rest stop on the route. In the 1980s however Tulsa’s economy went into decline due to a rapid fall in gas prices. The economy had recovered by the early 1990s, but the city’s bosses realized that it was dangerous to be so dependent on one industry and kicked off efforts to diversify the city’s economy. Recently efforts have also been made to develop the city’s tourism industry and promote Tulsa as a destination for major events.
Tulsa has traditionally relied on its oil industry as the bulwark of the city’s economy, though in the last few decades it has succeeded in diversifying and today has a fairly varied economy. Among the important industries in the city are aerospace, telecommunications, high tech, manufacturing and financial services. Tulsa’s gross product is usually among the top one third of all city’s in the US and recently stood at USD 30 billion. Tulsa has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the best cities in the US to do business with and Tulsa’s income growth is the second highest in the US. Among the corporations headquartered in the city are BOK Financial Corporation, QuikTrip and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. Many energy companies are also headquartered in the city, among them SemGroup, Semtroleum, ONEOK and Samson and Excel Energy. After a recession in the early part of this century Tulsa instituted Vision 2025, involving infrastructure improvement, tourism development, riverfront retail development and urban revitalization. Along with this the city is also continuing in its efforts to diversify the economy.
Tourism & Culture
Tulsa is certainly not among the leading cities in the US for tourism, though on the backs of major efforts made recently by the city visitor numbers are growing. Among the attractions of the city are its parks, of which there are more than 140 spread around the city. The largest is Woodward Park located in the midtown area of the city, which is known for its botanical garden. Tulsa River Parks is another popular destination and runs adjacent to the nearby Arkansas River. The Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum was recently voted America’s Favourite Zoo and has over 1,500 animals and over 400 different species. Among the events which draw the most tourists and visitors is the Tulsa State Fair, which annually sees over a million visitors. Tulsa’s Oktoberfest festival is generally considered one of the best in the country as is its Mayfest arts and crafts festival. Tulsa also has a range of museums which are among the finest in the region, the foremost of which is the Philbrook Museum, considered in the top 50 fine art museums in the US. The city has a burgeoning restaurant and bar culture as well and its downtown area is usually a lively scene on the weekends.
The city is home to the Tulsa International Airport which sees over three million passengers every year. The airport recently completed an ambitious expansion project which includes larger terminals as well as more shops and restaurants. Tulsa itself is served by an extensive network of busses operated by Tulsa Transit. Tulsa doesn’t have an Amtrak station, though operates a Greyhound Bus service to several nearby cities which are served by Amtrak. Tulsa is known for its low gas prices, which are generally in the five lowest city’s in the nation.
Currently the overall vacancy rate in Tulsa for Class A office space is 9.3 percent and in the CBD overall it stands at approximately 22 percent. Other submarkets such as the Broken Arrow district and Midtown have significantly lower rates at eight and ten percent respectively. Troubled assets have not seen any relief in the past year and financing new projects still remains difficult. A lack of transactions in the past year or so has also negatively affected the market. However there is cautious optimism the next year or so as activity is gradually increasing.