1725 N. Peoria Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74106
For many years, the north Tulsa community has suffered from food insecurity evidenced by enormous disparities in health quality and life expectancy. Most studies reference the USDA’s research atlas which provides both precise and poignant data on the target area, identifying seventeen north Tulsa census tracts as food deserts. Additionally, a past report of the Regional Food Bank indicated that one in six Oklahomans struggles with hunger. Data suggests this statistic may be double in north Tulsa due to the interrelated issues of food access, hunger, and economic instability.
Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) is a catalyst for economic prosperity in Tulsa’s under-resourced communities. While TEDC’s primary focus is providing progressive lending to promising businesses that create job opportunities for low-and-moderate income Tulsans, the organization launched a new priority in 2020, known as Project Oasis Fresh Market, a public-private collaboration designed to reduce the footprint of food deserts in one of Tulsa’s most important communities.
Oasis Fresh Market is located in an extended area of Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District. Known in the early 20th century as “Black Wall Street”, the area was once one of the most affluent and commercially viable predominately African-American areas in the country. The district was burned to the ground during the race massacre of 1921, as 300 black residents were murdered, hundreds more were injured, and 5,000 people were rendered homeless. The area has been a primary focus of redevelopment for decades, and though development has happened slowly, the racial equity component of the development has had minimal minority investment or inclusion.
In September, 2021, CGC and TEDC closed on a $7M NMTC financing to complete the Oasis Fresh Market building, utilizing NMTC allocation provided by Hampton Roads Ventures and US Bank Community Development. The new 16,425 sf grocery store will create 21 new FTE’s.