Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
Q: In July, the Russell Stover candy store closed in the shopping center west of Interstate 35. That's a great location. What's going to fill the spot?
A: It is a fantastic location. Unfortunately for Russell Stover, their concept just didn't work well enough. A bright spot for them was the location and the fact that they had a buyer right away and the value of the property held. The new tenant, Poblano Grill, is currently under construction and will open soon. Next to them will be a free-standing, fine jewelry store, Lewis Jewelers, which is currently under construction and is expected to be complete early this fall.
Q: What other new stores are coming to the area? Can we expect anything new to be open in time for holiday shopping?
A: In the Shops at Moore, anchored by J.C. Penney, there are several new retailers opening this fall including Rue 21, Sally Beauty and Ooh La La (an accessories store.) Hobby Lobby will open in that same development in April. The center is leasing well and an additional 12,000 square feet of small shop space will be ready for occupancy in about 90 days. Stores that have opened there - J.C. Penney, Sephora, Justice, Bed Bath and Beyond, to name a few - are all performing very well. The developers have done a great job and are seeing the fruits of their labor. Discussions with a Mongolian stir fry restaurant, Genghis Grill, have been ongoing and look favorable for a location in this development.
Q: These two shopping centers have weathered the recession well. In your opinion, why is that?
A: It has everything to do with their location in a dynamic, well-populated, higher-than-average income trade area that has gone largely underserved by retail. All of the tenants in these developments have positioned themselves for profit with the merchandise they carry, the store sizes they build and the co-tenants they attract. At a time when enclosed malls are struggling and big box anchored power centers cater to the consumer better, we're lucky to have the latter.