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Midtown Homeland Set to Undergo Long Requested Makeover

The only full-size grocery store in the greater downtown area is about to undergo an extensive renovation.

The Homeland at the corner of NW 18 and Classen was built in 1974 when the store was part of the Safeway chain. Safeway, however, operated a store at the corner since 1929 when the chain first opened operations in the city.

The store survived dark times when Midtown was littered with boarded up buildings and flop houses in the 1980s through the 1990s. Neighboring Mesta Park itself was in shape when I started covering the area in the early 1990s.

Mesta Park is now one of the city’s top historic neighborhoods, Midtown is thriving, development is taking place all along Classen Boulevard … and the Homeland has remained unchanged. Neighbors have long pleaded with Homeland to improve the store. A few years ago, the company approached Oklahoma City about providing incentives – the deal went nowhere.

Years passed, and I repeatedly heard from downtown residents who said they are traveling further out of their area to shop at Walmart at Belle Isle. A clean, modern Homeland, they’ve told me, would likely get them to shop closer to home.

And so it goes that Homeland is finally about to do just that. 

Building permit applications filed with the city show the renovation, costing at least $800,000, will include adding a kitchen, restrooms, a new meat prep area, extensive interior changes, and a new façade and signage. Even the ugly west tilt-up concrete wall will be given a modern look that will include glass block windows.

The remodeled Homeland won’t quite match the supermarkets of the 21st century – the building itself is 22,106 square feet and the property doesn’t provide much room for building expansion. Modern grocery stores generally range between 40,000 and 60,000 square feet. But after closing stores throughout the metro over the past few years, Homeland is taking the first steps in bringing one of its 10 remain Oklahoma City stores back to life.

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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›