Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Area Retail Market Competitive Nationally / Stronger Than Tulsa

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Area Retail Market Competitive Nationally / Stronger Than Tulsa

Article excerpt

Statistical information on effective buying income and retail sales indicates the market in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area is competitive nationally and much stronger than Tulsa's metropolitan market, Paul Strasbaugh, executive vice-president of the Oklahoma City Economic Development Foundation, said Wednesday.

Strasbaugh, speaking to the board of commissioners of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, noted that the disappointing experience of some retailers recently in Tulsa is not necessarily indicative of retail conditions in Oklahoma as a whole.

The Economic Development Foundation received a $27,000 contract from the urban renewal authority to help market the OKC Festival Retail Center to attract a junior department store for an anchor tenant. The foundation has since spent more than $50,000 in its efforts, Strasbaugh reported.

Forest City Enterprises of Cleveland, Ohio, is the designated redeveloper of the festival retail site. Phase I of the project is expected to cost $33 million and will encompass 185,000 square feet.

A junior department store is needed to secure private financing with Ameritrust of Cleveland. Once private financing has been obtained, an application for a $7.46 million Urban Development Action Grant can be completed.

Strasbaugh said the recent decision by Sakowitz to pull out of the Tulsa market has caused other retailers to be wary of the entire state. Representatives of Oklahoma City were confronted with that attitude during a trip to Las Vegas for the International Shopping Center Council trade show, Strasbaugh said.

According to the "Sales and Marketing Management Survey of Buying Power, 1987," annual retail sales per household in the Oklahoma City metropolitan statistical area were higher than the national average for the following categories:

- Food - $3,607 spent annually per household in Oklahoma City metropolitan area, compared with $3,371 nationally.

- Automotive - $4,750 spent annually per household in Oklahoma City metro area, compared with $3,763 nationally. …

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