View Full Version : Memorial Road development to cool, Moore to pick up

12-29-2005, 10:46 AM
Memorial Road development to cool, Moore to pick up
by Brandice J. Armstrong
The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY - In the next five years, experts predict development in north Oklahoma City's Memorial corridor will shift west and Moore's Interstate 35 and S. 19th Street will become the next retail hot spot.

Retail business in the Memorial corridor is expected to stay strong, even if development slows, experts said. As new development plateaus, Moore's retail corridor at I-35 and 19th Street will gain popularity.

The Memorial area's 3 million square feet of retail, office and restaurant business generates approximately $800 million in sales annually.

"I don't think we'll see real dramatic changes," said Mark Inman, first vice president of retail services for CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma. "It's the most popular retail corridor we have. Quail Springs (Mall) is the hottest spot in the metro for the past five years. I don't think (retail) sales will plateau; I think development will."

If there are new developments to come, they will likely be behind Memorial Road businesses or off one of the intersecting streets such as Pennsylvania Avenue or May Avenue, Inman said.

Darren Currin, vice president and research director for OKC Property Research, agreed.

"I do think we will start to see a shift from retail to office development along Memorial Road, especially west of Hefner Parkway. The Gaillardia area is prime for new office development and will most likely be the hot spot for new multi-tenant office construction in the coming years."

Much of the corridor's sustaining power has been attributed to the nearby residential areas Gaillardia, Deer Creek and south Edmond.

"A big selling point of our three communities in Edmond - Marble Leaf, Seminole Point and Valencia - is the proximity to Quail Springs Mall and all the restaurants," said Steve Shoemaker, director of marketing for Ideal Homes. "That's one of the things we're always sure to point out."

Houses in the three communities range from $94,000 to nearly $300,000. Several area housing additions have prices that reach the millions.

As the Memorial Road corridor development begins to slow and shift west, Interstate 35 and S. 19th Street in Moore could become the next hot spot.

"I-35 and 19th (Street) is definitely becoming a dominant corridor due to the large amount of construction underway," Currin said. "This area also has the demographics to support new construction with Moore, Norman and south Oklahoma City having a combined population that's very strong. Furthermore, this area has been underserved by retail for many years so now we are seeing supply catch up with demand."

Like the Memorial corridor which has about 130,300 passing through it each day, this sector has approximately 90,000 vehicles traveling on I-35 each day and more than 30,000 cars on S. 19th Street.

That count was prior to S. 19th Street becoming a four-lane road, Home Depot moving in, and before neighboring housing additions were developed, said Deidre Ebrey, director of economic development for the city of Moore.

There are more than 1,500 businesses in Moore, with a majority of them near the S. 19th Street exit. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, about 824,000 square feet of land was developed along the I-35 corridor. Approximately 985,000 square feet of development was estimated for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, according the Moore Report to Citizens.

In 2004, sales tax revenue was $12.7 million. This year, it reached $13.5 million, which is an increase of 6 percent. City officials are aiming for a 10-percent increase in sales tax collection each year, Ebrey said, "10 percent is lofty."

Since fiscal year 1998, the sales tax revenue has increased steadily.

Moore city officials are making strides to improve traffic on a S. 19th Street overpass by widening the bridge to allow for more cars and by adding another turn lane from the exit ramp of I-35 southbound to S. 19th Street. If Moore is to become the next retail Mecca in the metro, officials said they want the corridor to be driver friendly.

"We have no doubt that we'll see traffic increase monumentally," Ebrey said. "As the city grows and the retail sector grows, we want to get (shoppers) in here."

12-29-2005, 11:01 AM
Good, maybe some of the traffic will head that way... but I'll still take Quail Springs any day - traffic or not. I live about 5 minutes away so that would be a looonngg drive to Moore.

12-29-2005, 11:43 AM
The unfortunate thing is that Moore will probably develop the same way, with the same services. It's nice for them, but it's really just more sprawl and development that further spreads our communties out rather than bringing them together. The Warren theater sounds nice, but I don't see myself going to Moore to see a movie, whereas I will still go downtown to see, because it's a nice experience.

12-29-2005, 04:47 PM
I agree....development in both of these areas is just sprawl. Keep the enthusiasm downtown. There's nothing special about the developments on Memorial Rd. and in Moore. Just chain junk, if you ask me.

12-29-2005, 07:11 PM
how is a building boom on 19th street in moore sprawl? they need it, and its good they are getting it.

12-30-2005, 12:04 AM
how is it not sprawl?

It just accomodates spreading the communties out more and more. Lots of black top parking, little to no public transit, and in the end nothing new is really created, just more of the same farther and farther away from the city core and more space is used for parking than really anything else, causing density to be low. IMO, that's sprawl.

I realize that's not going to stop in OK and that many don't see anything wrong with it. I guess some do see Wal-Marts, Home Depots, 7-11s, and the latest incarnation of Chili's or TGIFs as somethning to look forward to, but it's seems we got it everywhere and this is just more of the same. I just can't get fired up about the next empty big box.

01-03-2006, 01:24 PM
Any hot development that draws business to the burbs is sprawl. Just ask Tulsans how big of an impact sprawl has on their city.

01-04-2006, 01:57 PM
I can only hope that future development is not the same old stuff. I went to Colorado Springs this last week and we went to a theatre at this enormous shopping village development which is far better planned than anything in the OKC metro. Even though it was suburban, it would be a vast improvement on Lower Bricktown, for example. Even Wichita has better shopping village-type developments than we do. But it's not just the planning and design, it's the strores we don't have like Dick's Sporting Goods (far better than anything we have here, including Bass Pro), Wild Oats, Restoration Hardware, etc. I know they're chains, but at least they are things we don't have. I just hope we can get things like that and not just another Applebees, Best Buy, Texas Roadhouse, WAL-MART:mad:, etc. IMO the brightest spot of Memorial Road development is the Bravo Cucina, Red Robin, and PF Changs all set around a classy fountain plaza. We need more like that, whether it be small or large, but still I prefer to focus on downtown.