January 21, 2010

Midwest City center offers buyers variety

Near Full Occupancy, Town Center Plaza Still Can Grow, Officials Say

January 21, 2010 - by Jennifer Palmer
NewsOK.com, powered by the Oklahoman

MIDWEST CITY – Town Center Plaza, this city’s newest and largest retail area, is nearly at full occupancy. That’s fortunate, some say, as most national retailers have halted expansion while the economy recovers.

"We expect some new retailers to come to Midwest City in the next 18 months, but we’re just not in a hyper-expansion mode right now. I don’t think anybody is,” said David Burnett, economic development director for the Midwest City Chamber of Commerce.

From sushi to chicken wings and home improvement to specialty clothing, the retail mix is keeping shoppers happy, he said. Big retailers such as Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Target, BestBuy, Marshalls and J.C. Penney are featured at the center, as well as smaller retail shopsincluding Catherine’s, ULTA and J’s Hallmark. Restaurants include Wingstop, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe and Panera Bread.


Negotiations are under way for The Children’s Place to replace a mattress store that closed, and a Jack in the Box restaurant will open soon, City Manager Guy Henson said.

Additional pad sites are being developed at Town Center Plaza, and the city is looking for new tenants, he said. A movie theater, major sporting goods store or specialty clothing store could fill gaps in the city’s retail market. Current retailers, big and small, "like the energy that has been created down there,” Henson said.

The city of Midwest City in 1998 began redeveloping the 83-acre tract of land just north of Interstate 40 between S Air Depot Boulevard and S Midwest Boulevard. Dilapidated residential and commercial structures were cleared in the area to make room for new retail.

According to a 2009 retail market summary by Price Edwards & Co., the success of Town Center Plaza indicates a significant demand for new retail in the area. The center boasts a vacancy rate of just more than 1 percent.

Burnett noted that Tinker Air Force Base’s $3 billion economic impact acts an insulator to Midwest City’s economy. The area also draws shoppers from cities outside the metro area, such as Seminole and Tecumseh, who prefer not to travel into Oklahoma City.


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