Spring Creek Plaza up for sale, additional Edmond upscale shopping proposed
EDMOND — Poag Shopping Centers of Memphis has a contract to purchase Spring Creek Plaza at 15th Street and Bryant Avenue and wants to buy the 26 acres to the north to expand the area into a lifestyle center.
There would be additional upscale shopping, restaurants, a grocery store, theater with six to eight screens and up to 400 residential units above the retail level.
Randel Shadid, Poag's attorney, said the one-level retail portion would cost between $80 million and $90 million. The high-end one- and two-bedroom units will be another $10 million to $20 million.
The housing would be for empty nesters or the young professionals, Shadid said.
“It will be some of the highest rent in Edmond,” Shadid said. “It will be more than $1,000 a month.”
A lifestyle center is a specialized center that has upscale national-chain specialty stores with dining and entertainment in an outdoor setting, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Poag representatives have been in the Edmond area for the last two years looking for property to build a new lifestyle center, Shadid said.
This is one of the first new lifestyle centers proposed for construction since 2008 when the economy downturn was experienced, he said.
“It will be fabulous,” Shadid said.” It is a great opportunity for new retail for the Edmond and Oklahoma City market. It is an unique site.
“This will be a destination place.”
What critics said
Not everyone is sold on the idea of the proposed development.
Neighbors and Edmond Neighborhood Alliance members at a recent planning commission meeting voiced concerns about the additional traffic, added water runoff, the number of housing units and the impact on E.C. Hafer Park and the public schools.
Laura Fentem, who lives in Walnut Cove housing addition, questioned the parking with 400 apartments in the middle of town.
“We have three or four grocery stores in a three- or four-mile area,” Fentem said. “I worry about the impact on the walkability in Hafer Park.”
A bridge for pedestrians is proposed to connect the 260,000-square-foot center to Hafer Park to the north.
Wendy Joseph, who lives in Chimney Hill housing addition, said she wished she had a checklist of everything that bothers her about the project. Traffic was one of her concerns.
“Regardless how attractive the builders make this development, when is enough enough?” Joseph said. “How many grocery stores do we need? How many storage units do we need? How many movie theaters do we need?
“Increased building does not mean an increased quality of life. I think we need to start considering that.”
Despite the opposition, planning commissioners with a 4-1 vote recommended approval of rezoning the property to a mixed use commercial and multiple-family planned unit development.
Planning commissioners also recommended with a 4-1 vote amending the city zoning code to allow for this type of development.
Chairman Barry Moore voted no on both requests.
Site is controversial
City council members will make a final decision on the applications from Shops at Spring Creek LLC on Oct. 24.
Not everyone is against the planned lifestyle center.
Tyler Maune, who lives in Thornbrooke housing addition, told planning commissioners he lived in a lifestyle center in Plano, Texas, in 2003 and 2004. He called it a great experience.
“I think this kind of development would benefit Edmond,” Maune said. “It would keep the dollars here in Edmond as opposed to Oklahoma City. I think it would be a great asset to the community.”
This property has been a controversial site for decades.
The Bridges of Spring Creek, an earlier project proposed on the 25 acres, was met with strong opposition by neighboring homeowners, and a special election over rezoning the property was called in November 2006.
Council members were forced to call the election after opponents of the proposed Bridges at Spring Creek successfully circulated referendum petitions.
Voters upheld the city council's June 2006 decision to rezone the 30 acres adjacent to Hafer Park as commercial to make way for another upscale shopping center.
Land was cleared and some work on the infrastructure was started, but no buildings were constructed.
Site plans and plats were approved with a detailed list of requirements for the development.
Lydia Lee, a former planning commissioner and Bridges of Spring Creek opponent, told planning commissioners this week a number of promises were made to the neighbors.
“This is going to be a horrendous development when you add 400 apartments on top of retail,” Lee said. “If it was just the retail, we probably would agree to most of these issues.
“But it is the 400 apartments that really change the nature of this development and affect this area forever and make it an inappropriate development for this area, particularly given the history of this piece of property.”
City Attorney Steve Murdock said the first- approved site plan, with all the promises, approved 10 years ago is not the same as the project before the planning commissioners now.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of attorney Randel Shadid. We regret the error.