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A topping-out ceremony will be held Monday at the $37 million hotel and conference center under construction near Covell Road and Interstate 35. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]
 

A topping-out ceremony will be held Monday at the $37 million hotel and conference center under construction near Covell Road and Interstate 35. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]

 

Topping-out on Monday

A topping-out ceremony for a $37 million hotel and conference center is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday at the construction site on the northwest corner of Covell Road and Interstate 35.

The ceremony is a celebration of reaching the highest point during the construction of major projects. Flintco Construction notified city officials that builders are ready to put the top beam on the project, which is expected to provide a $5.7 million annual economic impact.

Janet Yowell, Edmond Economic Development Authority executive director, said work is ahead of schedule.

"In a nutshell, we are making good progress and weather is not a factor," City Manager Larry Stevens said. Construction started in May.

Stevens said the Covell Road widening project from Fairfax Lane to I-35 remains on schedule and is to be completed in May.

"That is very good news for these companion projects," Stevens said.

The 100,000-square-foot Hilton Garden Inn and 20,000-square-foot conference center at 2833 Conference Drive is to be completed by the end of the year.

Restaurant, tire store plat recommended

A final plat for new buildings for a Zaxby's restaurant and Firestone Tires across the street from OU Medical Center was recommended for approval this week by the planning commission.

The 2.06-acre property is east of Bryant Avenue and north of Bryant Grove Apartments, on the south side of Medical Center Drive.

Owner Malek Massad requested approval of the plat for property that is zoned neighborhood commercial.

Firestone Tires closed after InvenTrust Properties Corp. started a redevelopment project at its 286,579-square-foot shopping center at Second Street and Bryant Avenue.

Buildings where Firestone and CiCi's Pizza were located will be torn down. A third building north of Famous Footwear also will be destroyed.

CiCi's Pizza moved to the northern section of the shopping center. Torchy's Taco, which has a location in Norman, is expected to open in the Firestone location. Zaxby's restaurant is new to Edmond.

What's going on in Edmond?

The Edmond Economic Development Authority will host a "4o'clock 4cast" event from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. March 23 at Oak Tree Country Club. Janet Yowell, executive director of the authority, will kick off the event with an Edmond update. Treasurer Ken Miller will present the Oklahoma Economic Report with an overview of current economic conditions and projections for the upcoming year. Participants will receive access to trends and projections in the retail, office, residential and multifamily real estate markets; an Edmond demographic overview; city of Edmond information; and profiles from the Edmond Public School District, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Christian University and Francis Tuttle Technology Center. The event is free, but an RSVP is required. To register, go to www.eeda.com or call 340-0116.

Aldi seeks room to expand

Planning commissioners this week recommended approval of a site plan to expand Aldi Food Market, 1001 W Edmond Road. Planning chairman Barry Moore voted against the site plan. Commissioner Kenneth Wohl abstained.

City council members will make a decision Feb. 27 on the request to expand the building by 1,235 square feet on the east side.

Planning Director Randy Entz said expansion of less than 20 percent of the floor space would not require a site plan application.

"However, the store does not meet the required number of parking spaces, which requires a variance and site plan approval," he said.

Mental health help

The Edmond chapter of the National Alliance on Mental illness will hold a talk open to the public on legal options for caregivers who have relatives with mental illness, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 15400 N Western Ave. For more information, call 408-0886 or go to www.namiedmond.org.

What's next

Edmond City Council will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave.

The Edmond Convention and Visitors Bureau and city council will hold a workshop at 4 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave. to discuss relocation of the convention bureau.

Need answers?

Reader Dennis Stokes asked: "We were wondering what the two buildings are that are being built just west of Uptown Grocery?"

Edmond Economic Development Authority Development Executive Director Janet Yowell answered: "One of the buildings is the Garage Restaurant. Three Dog Bakery, Roxy's Ice Cream Social and Pure Barre are planning to be in the second building that is also under construction."

Reader Ann Stewart asked: "We live in the 4600 block of Lil Lane. Last month, a surveyor's post with pink flag was put in our front yard. We are wondering what this is about. It is the only one in the area and our neighbors don't know anything about it either."

Planning Director Randy Entz answered: "There are not any applications to the planning department in the Lil Lane area, so I do not know what the survey flag is in reference to."

Have questions about Edmond, its roadwork, traffic or capital improvements? Email Diana Baldwin at dbaldwin@oklahoman.com.

Follow Diana Baldwin on Twitter @Edmond_Beat.

Related Photos
<p>Edmond is the home of a new $37 million full-service hotel and conference center near Covell Road and Interstate 35. A topping-out ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]</p>
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Edmond is the home of a new $37 million full-service hotel and conference center near Covell Road and Interstate 35. A topping-out ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]  

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3ab828469f9df0cd1e36ba183d0ed21b.jpg" alt="Photo - Edmond is the home of a new $37 million full-service hotel and conference center near Covell Road and Interstate 35. A topping-out ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]   " title=" Edmond is the home of a new $37 million full-service hotel and conference center near Covell Road and Interstate 35. A topping-out ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]   "><figcaption> Edmond is the home of a new $37 million full-service hotel and conference center near Covell Road and Interstate 35. A topping-out ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]   </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-477cf82451a44880ab95bc07e877442d.jpg" alt="Photo - A topping-out ceremony will be held Monday at the $37 million hotel and conference center under construction near Covell Road and Interstate 35. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]   " title=" A topping-out ceremony will be held Monday at the $37 million hotel and conference center under construction near Covell Road and Interstate 35. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]   "><figcaption> A topping-out ceremony will be held Monday at the $37 million hotel and conference center under construction near Covell Road and Interstate 35. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]   </figcaption></figure>
Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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