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Thread: Nichols Hills Plaza

  1. #126

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Here's the full article:



    Work starts on store at Nichols Hills Plaza

    By Brianna Bailey
    Oklahoma City reporter. Contact: 405-278-2847, brianna.bailey@journalrecord.com, @briannabailey80.
    Posted: 07:13 PM Friday, August 31, 2012

    NICHOLS HILLS – Plans are moving ahead for a Chesapeake Energy-run grocery store at Nichols Hills Plaza, but it remains unclear when the new market might open.

    Chesapeake Energy promised the city of Nichols Hills last year that a new grocery store would be open in Nichols Hills Plaza by fall 2012 after the long-running Crescent Market closed its doors there. In preparation, demolition work recently began on the now-vacant space that Crescent once inhabited at the Chesapeake-owned plaza.

    Kelly Hurley, a building inspector for Nichols Hills, said a contractor for the new grocery store told him that formal plans and building permit applications should be submitted to the city in about six weeks.

    Nichols Hills Mayor Peter Hoffman said the city is pleased Chesapeake has continued with its plans for the store. The company has been a good neighbor to the city, he said.

    Chesapeake has invested money in numerous improvements at Nichols Hills Plaza over the past several months, including new landscaping, parking and security lighting, and is actively recruiting new tenants for empty storefronts there, Hoffman said. However, the city has not been told when the store might open.

    “Chesapeake is continuing to develop the concept so that it will ultimately be the best possible store for Nichols Hills and the surrounding area,” Hoffman said.

    Two to three Chesapeake employees hired to run the store work in an office in an upstairs corridor at the plaza, but declined to comment on an opening date. Jim Gipson, a spokesman for Chesapeake, said, there is no firm timeline.


    Jay Black, owner of Nichols Hills Drug, which was once supposed to be relocated inside the new grocery store, said his drugstore is no longer included in Chesapeake’s plans.
    A soda fountain that had been in operation at Nichols Hills Drug since 1963 closed at Nichols Hills Plaza last year when the drugstore had to move to a new, smaller storefront in the plaza to accommodate construction plans.

    The gourmet food retailer Crescent Market closed its doors at the end of October, leaving a vacant storefront that used to generate sales tax revenue for the small city, which only encompasses a few square miles.

  2. Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    That is just weird.

  3. #128

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    The whole thing is beyond bizarre.

    Chesapeake already spent a lot of money to lure Whole Foods, then forcibly chased out Crescent and closed down the drug store's soda fountain.

    Now, they've hired in-house employees to open and operate a new grocery store and soda fountain??


    I wouldn't be surprised if the new CHK chairman and board intercede once they realize this completely ancillary project is going to cost millions. Grocery stores are very expensive to operate.

  4. Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    I am betting that the guys sitting on site are doing nothing. They are probably sitting around waiting for word on what to do next.

  5. #130

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Nichols Hills Market Takes Shape

    We are all curious about the future Nichols Hills Market. After hearing lots of rumors I decided to go to the source and was able to sit down with Tom Sladek, Assistant Store Director, to get the inside scoop. He moved to Nichols Hills from Kalispell, Montana to help bring Nichols Hills Market to life.

    His excitement about the store is infectious. His office is papered with labels from all kinds of foods and display options. I could immediately see what the main challenge of the store will be. “With 12,000 square feet, we will have to pick our items very carefully,” Sladek says. “We will try to offer the things everybody wants, but may not be able to stock every size in every item.” For now, they anticipate offering at least 50% traditional grocery store items and the rest new and specialty items. Tom is very health conscious and is excited about many of the lines they will offer that will make meal planning nutritious and delicious. He invited me to sample a Kize nutrition bar. They are made in Oklahoma, really yummy, and healthy unless you eat a whole bag of them!

    I asked what will set Nichols Hills Market apart from other area stores. “Service!,” Sladek answered quickly. They intend to be very responsive to customers’ special requests. They hope to offer delivery service and charge accounts.

    Customers will be able to watch the on-site chef prepare foods, and recipes and ingredients will be available for those who would like to try cooking for themselves. And there will be prepared meals for those who need something quick to go - HMR, Home Meal Replacement, is a popular category.

    The highly anticipated counter service will be part of the market, and features increased seating and expanded service. The counter will be open for breakfast and lunch, and will include the traditional hamburgers, malts and other favorites.

    Tom’s business partner is from Seattle. They each have over 32 years of grocery experience. They understand the tradition we have in Nichols Hills and are eager to preserve the traditions and introduce some new features. They are currently planning a May 5th, 2013 opening. I predict Nichols Hills citizens will be very impressed with Nichols Hills Market and will grow to love it.

    Sody McCampbell Clements
    City Councilman

  6. #131

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Sounds promising but I still don't get it.

    This sounds a lot like Whole Foods and they already had a soda fountain.


    However, I'm sure it will be very, very nice.

  7. #132

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Even with more specifics it doesn't make any more sense to me. They won't pick up Crescent Market's customer base because they've already scattered to the winds. I don't see enough differentiation between Nichols Hills Market and Whole Foods to drive customers to them. And I don't believe that this area can support three specialty grocers (including Sprouts), especially with notoriously thin industry margins. I fear that it will pit three specialty grocers against each other, with not enough business to keep them all alive. Whole Foods is the best-capitalized, best-known of the three, so I'd put my money on them.

    And if I were Whole Foods, I'd feel betrayed by Aubrey for not only allowing a competitor to open within a few hundred feet in one of his buildings, but one that he is part or sole owner of. That could make it personal for Whole Foods.

  8. Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Can Cheasapeak ever build anything without the completion date being a year away. How long has it been since they shut down the market?

  9. #134

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Crescent Market closed in November of 2011, so there will be about a 1.5 year gap between the two grocery stores.

  10. #135

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    I am all for nicer grocery stores in OKC, but will having two so close together work? I could understand this if it was being built a good distance away from Whole Foods but being so close can both survive? Little Rock supports Fresh Market and Whole Foods very close to each other, but then again Arkansas allows wine sales in grocery stores so they have a greater profit margin.

  11. #136

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Pete, do you think we ever see the housing built that was rumored to exist in the plans for NH Plaza or has that ship sailed?

  12. #137

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Quote Originally Posted by OnlyOne View Post
    Pete, do you think we ever see the housing built that was rumored to exist in the plans for NH Plaza or has that ship sailed?
    It's very hard to say.

    CHK has stopped acquiring condos to the west of NH Plaza, after purchasing all the units in Kings Court on 63rd (now razed) and most the units in three other projects along Grand and Sherwood. This stop seemed to happen after the City of NH threw cold water on their plan to tear down the southern section of the plaza and expand in all directions.

    They bought NH Plaza in 2006 and most the condos in 2007/08, so lots of time has passed. I know they are still hoping to purchase NH City Hall.

    I believe their plan was to replace the existing condos to the west with new, upscale housing but it seems that plan has completely stalled.

  13. #138

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    if LR can do it with, then OKC should be able to do it without. You think?

    Nothing wrong with a bit of competition and options.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  14. #139

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    I too wonder how Nichols Hills Market will fare against the proximity to Whole Foods. However, I have done some reading about Fresh Market and learned that there is a location at 81st and Yale in Tulsa. Then I found out that family members in NW Arkansas like the Fresh Market located in Rogers. I am kind of surprised that Fresh Market has not looked for a location in OKC or Edmond. I think it would work well here.

    Hopefully the Nichols Hills Market will make an equally successful and unique place for itself when it opens.

  15. #140

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Maybe NH Market will cater to the folks who don't want to mix with the "riff raff" at Whole Foods.


  16. #141

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    If I were competing with Whole Foods, I'd have carryout and perhaps even grocery delivery. The people who really liked Crescent were the elderly, who'd grown up with it, but who also really liked having their groceries carried out. That and a smaller parking lot are about the only niche available to a smaller market.

  17. #142

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    I'm hearing that Chesapeake has backed off the idea of trying to run this grocery store itself and is now looking for an operator. It seems the new board is starting to rein Aubrey in a bit.

    These photos are from last week and if you compare the first one to those I took in June, almost nothing has been done to the interior of the old Crescent Market space. They have been working on the facade but they are doing that across the board in the southern section of this center, along with completely redoing the parking lot and landscaping.






















  18. #143

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    I heard a rumor a month or two back from people in Nichols Hills that Chesapeake also had plans for a liquor store or a wine shop next to Nichols Hills Market, but I was never able to confirm that with anybody. Just a rumor. However, I did heard it from multiple people. Perhaps, if true, this has stalled now as well.

  19. #144

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    By far the biggest loser in all this is the City of Nichols Hills.

    Chesapeake chased out the two biggest sales-tax generators and promised to promptly replace them, but it's been over a year now and they are not close to opening a grocery or lunch counter, if that even happens at all.

  20. #145

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Aubrey should concentrate his real estate attention below the surface, not above it.

  21. #146

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Recent photo showing the demolition of two small buildings just south of the NH City Hall; one was formerly a rug shop and both are owned by Chesapeake.

    Remember that CHK was trying to swap NH the abandoned church site for their City Hall properties so their could expand the Plaza. But after the City renewed interest, nothing has happened here and I suspect this is part of the Chesapeake pull-back due to the new board. What may be happening is that CHK has decided to sell these now demolished property to the City so they can expand their facilities.






  22. #147

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Nichols Hills Drug has apparently announced that they are moving from Nichols Hills Plaza to a retail location near Grand Boulevard & May Avenue, SE of the intersection. That's another blow to the City of NH, but it has a greater impact on NH Plaza which - under CHK's ownership - has now lost its grocery store AND pharmacy anchors. And one more...

    Avondale Galleries (formerly near CoolGreens) has also moved. They're now in the strip center west of Penn Square Mall.

    Is Nichols Hills going to have their own Crossroads Mall by the time this is over?

  23. #148

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    The drug store was already reduced to not more than just a pharmacy.

    Sure hope CHK finds tenants soon because half the south section of the plaza is already empty.

  24. #149

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Just learned the drug store is now relocating to May & Grand; evidently they are tired of dealing with Chesapeake Land Co.


    Also, there doesn't seem to be any movement on the proposed market and lunch counter. After failing to find a good operator, Chesapeake hired a couple of full-time employees with the idea of running the market itself, but it seems that is now off the table due to the new board's oversight.

    I'm hearing they've now gone back to trying to find an operator and aren't having much luck.


    So, Chesapeake drove out Crescent Market and now the drug store is completely gone along with the much-loved lunch counter. Not only are those businesses missed, there is now a huge amount of vacancy and the City of NH has lost a big chunk of their income due to diminished sales tax.

    Also, it's commonly known that CHK gave big incentives to the tenants in Classen Curve and NH Plaza. With the new board keeping close watch, it might not be easy for them to fill up some pretty big empty chunks in those properties.

  25. #150

    Default Re: Nichols Hills Plaza

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Just learned the drug store is now relocating to May & Grand; evidently they are tired of dealing with Chesapeake Land Co.


    Also, there doesn't seem to be any movement on the proposed market and lunch counter. After failing to find a good operator, Chesapeake hired a couple of full-time employees with the idea of running the market itself, but it seems that is now off the table due to the new board's oversight.

    I'm hearing they've now gone back to trying to find an operator and aren't having much luck.


    So, Chesapeake drove out Crescent Market and now the drug store is completely gone along with the much-loved lunch counter. Not only are those businesses missed, there is now a huge amount of vacancy and the City of NH has lost a big chunk of their income due to diminished sales tax.

    Also, it's commonly known that CHK gave big incentives to the tenants in Classen Curve and NH Plaza. With the new board keeping close watch, it might not be easy for them to fill up some pretty big empty chunks in those properties.
    Sad.

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