Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Study Helps Tulsa Officials Pursue Major Retailers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Study Helps Tulsa Officials Pursue Major Retailers

Article excerpt

With its sales tax base under siege from growing suburbs, Tulsa officials are preparing plans to pursue major retailers for targeted developments in the city.

Armed with a $60,000 study from the Buxton Group that goes into excruciating detail about the spending patterns of Tulsans, the city plans to reach out to some 21 major retailers. The city says it is going after unique, regional attractions, instead of repeat retailers that will drain market share from existing stores.

The retailers identified as potential targets are national-brand clothing and apparel, food and restaurant establishments, niche stores like those that cater to pre-teen girls, home furnishing establishments, upscale professional clothing stores, and even a specialty science-related store that sells toys and gadgets.

City officials have refused to discuss the identities of the retailers.

The city's Economic Development Commission has agreed to implement the suggestions in the Buxton study and spend $35,000 to hire a project manager to put together promotion materials and contact the retailers directly.

City officials believe Tulsa is in the position to attract some major stores.

What I was surprised at is, on the list, there are so many retailers that match our psychographics that are not in this market, said Steve Gilbert, the city of Tulsa's outgoing director of economic and work force development. We have a big opportunity to draw retailers here who aren't in this market but are a great fit for this market.

Buxton identified four sites as potentially attractive to retailers:

* 71st Street South and Highway 75.

* The interchange of interstates 44 and 244.

* The Highway 75 corridor north of Tulsa.

* Unspecified areas west of downtown.

Buxton said the 71st Street/Highway 75 area was the most promising.

However, about 140 acres of land near the intersection is already being eyed for development by Sooner Investment of Oklahoma City, which plans a massive shopping center with anchor stores dubbed Tulsa Hills. …

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