The resistance has reached a clear and eloquent critical mass, a decided ripening that’s accelerated over the past few months. Simon has twice requested additional time to prepare for its meeting with the Planning Commission, which is now expected to take place June 17.
“There’s enough property all over Tulsa – even abandoned properties – that could be utilized,” Baroni said.
“Why destroy something that we already hold precious, instead of … taking something else that’s not worth anything and making it better?” Reese said. “We’re rotting from the inside; why don’t we fix the rot on the inside before we build more on the outside?”
Robert Alexander – Simon’s senior vice president of mall leasing and the person who made the initial announcement – said, “We have every intention of building the project, but we’re not a hundred percent there yet.
“It’s a little awkward, because we don’t really disclose the status of our active deals until they’re closed, and this deal’s not closed, …” Alexander said. “We’re not ready to close on the land and break ground yet.” Alexander was not familiar with Turkey Mountain or any controversy related to the project. He directed us to Simon spokesperson Les Morris.
Morris said he was familiar with the area – “Turkey Mountain? Turkey Hill?” – and the controversy. He said although the dissenters are determined, “there’s obviously the silent majority … of people who are really in support of this type of project in terms of economic benefit for the city. So I don’t know that I would term it controversial, but yeah, I’m aware of what’s going on.”