Stability and a stronger market during the past several months have aided in a local retail developer’s job to entice a prospect to Owasso.
That stability is referring to how the city of Owasso has recovered from a city council vote this past March and a grand jury investigation this past year.
The retail market also has bounced back from a recession in 2008, with more and more customers being seen and retail outlets expanding.
Rickey Hayes, an economic development consultant, said Owasso still is a prime market for retail expansion.
The owner of Retail Attractions was hired by the city of Owasso to recruit a large retail prospect to the city. He said at least half a dozen prospects are looking at Owasso and may look to open a store in this market.
If that were to happen, Hayes said they would look to be opening stores here in 2015 or 2016. While Hayes didn’t go into specifics, he did say types of stores that are looking seriously are sporting goods and grocery stores.
The recent Grand Jury investigation and lack of indictment also has aided in this sense of good feeling.
There is no doubt the investigation slowed down the process involved with the new retail prospects,
Hayes said. However, momentum is starting to pick up again.
Most of these big box stores are looking at the Tulsa market in threes — a store in the Southwest portion of the market like in Tulsa Hills, a store in the Broken Arrow/South Tulsa area like Woodland Hills area, and a store in the Northern or Northeast portion of the market like Owasso, Hayes said.
For years, Owasso has had this benefit, he said.
Even with that, Hayes said Owasso still has visible lots available to prospective stores.
While sales tax numbers showed a strong holiday season, the city topped $2 million for the first time,
Chelsea Levo, economic development director for the city, said more of that came from those outside
This further aids the theory of the “Funnel Effect” for Owasso. That theory also holds true for what Hayes said about a store looking at Tulsa in threes.
Both Hayes and Levo believe that new stores are on the horizon for Owasso.