Simon Property Group Formally Announces New Outlet Mall on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain

What many of us feared might happen has inched a little closer this week. Real estate giant Simon Property Group formally revealed plans to build a 400,000 square feet outlet mall on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. They have a few more hurdles to jump over but it looks like it is going to happen.


I cannot imagine a worse place for an outlet mall. Turkey Mountain is an urban wilderness used by thousands of Tulsans for hiking, biking, running, and just a generally getting away from it all.

A family of hikers on Tulsa's Turkey Mountain

It is huge, huge enough that by the time you get a half mile away from the parking lot you are pretty much on your own. It is hard to find solitude like that in a city.


The basic problem is that only about a third of the mountain (very very roughly speaking), the eastern third closest to the Arkansas River is public land. The next third to the west is owned by the George Kaiser Family Foundation who have announced that they are not selling their land for development. The western third is private property. It is unfenced and unposted and all sorts of people, including me use it like we do the rest of the mountain. We really cannot expect private landowners to provide us free public parks. The city or some other public entity needs to step up and buy the various properties. Where is the money to come from? I don’t know.


On the other hand Simon Property Group is expecting the city to step up and provide free  enhanced road access and other infrastructure. I am totally against that. Why is that we are totally against welfare to poor people but trip all over ourselves to give money to companies worth billions of dollars?


So I’ve already emailed by brand new city councilor telling her my feelings on the issue and asking what her position is. If you are a Tulsa citizen then contact your councilor and let them know how you feel about this mall. In fact email Simon Property Group and politely let them know also.


The dirty little secret about shopping malls is that they are declining. Tulsa has several shopping malls that are in severe decline. Maybe Simon could rebuild an out mall in such a location and leave a wilderness alone.


One thing for sure is that if we don’t do anything we’ll lose a big chunk of Turkey Mountain.


I don’t know about you.


But that is unacceptable to me. If it is built I’ll still have a place to live.


Not everybody is that fortunate.


Proactive Outside

No Mall by Turkey Mountain Facebook site

Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition Web Site

Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition Facebook Site

Trail Zombie blog post about the mall

A Statement from the Developer – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – |

Linking to Our World Tuesday


16 thoughts on “Simon Property Group Formally Announces New Outlet Mall on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain

  1. DeniseinVA

    This is sad, sad news. Shopping malls are in decline, they should seek one of those places to breath new life into them as you said. So sorry to hear this but maybe a miracle will happen.

  2. apaley

    One must hope that you and others can, some how, change the minds of the powers that be in this shocking proposition. Worldwide, big companies are building on sites that should be left alone. Why???
    Good on you to stand up and be counted.

  3. Jenn Jilks

    It truly is shameful! We’ve found the same sort of bizarre plans, where you abandon downtown, to build something new and destroy beautiful territory and natural habitat.
    Good luck on your fight.
    And you are right. Governments prop up businesses, claiming they’ll give back to the economy, while failing to give a hand up to those who need it.

  4. DrillerAA

    I have to admit, I am terribly disappointed that the natural beauty of Turkey Mountain will become an outlet mall and parking lot. That is just sad. Critters will be displaced, geocaches will be destroyed, and the opportunity for thousands of Tulsans to enjoy a special outdoor experience will be lost forever. Enjoy it while you can Yogi. I know you will.

  5. Birdman

    Sad to say, sounds like real turkeys are running the show. I think you have discovered a ’cause’ to rally around. Your photos should be Exhibit A. They are wonderful.

  6. Barb

    A good post, Yogi. Better to object than just complain. I hope enough citizens feel as you do. What a great photo of the possum. I always enjoy your shots of Turkey Mountain.

  7. Joyful

    Losing vast acres of wonderful nature is so devastating to the animals and to the people who enjoy the land. I’m sorry to hear what is happening there. Sadly it happens every where. I don’t know why they want to build a mall when that is not where people are shopping these days. I hope your citizens can rally enough political support for saving the mountain from development. Best of luck.

  8. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti

    Oh no! I know how much Turkey Mountain means to you! Here, on the Front Range of Colorado, development is rampant, but ,thankfully ,many counties are buying up land to preserve them as “Open Space” for the use as parks and trails and just to be kept wilderness. I hope the council people in Tulsa will have enough sense to see the value of leaving ope space available for the use of the public there. I’m glad you begun a letter writing campaign. How about an organized petition? That is lots of work but worth it!

  9. Arija

    Another blatant land-grab where there are other alternatives for these corporatios’ money grubbing activities. Can you get up a petition on the internet in time to stop this. I am sure more Tulsans would sign it that you think. It would be a great pity to loose this wilderness.

  10. fun60

    That is terrible news. Open spaces like that need protecting. I hope local people feel like you and protest against this development.

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