What is next for Edmond's Shops at Spring Creek?
EDMOND — A decision about the future of the proposed Shops at Spring Creek in Edmond might come within the next 30 days, Poag Shopping Centers' Bob Rogers said Wednesday.
"It has been less than 12 hours and a surprise," said Rogers, chief administrative officer and general counsel of the developers in Memphis, Tennessee.
"We have not made any decisions and are considering the results."
The uncertainty about the proposed lifestyle center near 15th Street and Bryant Avenue was created after 64 percent of Edmond voters cast votes opposing the multistory building with up to 325 residential units.
"We don't know if they will go forward without the apartments or if they will walk away," said Sherry Jordan, Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.
The chamber headed the supporters of the referendum election who backed the city council's decisions to amend the land use plan and rezone the property that would have made way for about 50 new retailers, a boutique theater and specialty grocery store.
"I am very disappointed," Jordan said. "The people have spoken. That is why we vote."
People cast 5,960 "no" votes on proposition one, regarding amending of the land use plan, and 6,026 "no" votes on proposition two, the rezoning question. The no votes rescinded the council's actions and blocked the project from moving forward.
The "nos" got 64 percent of total votes cast.
"Yes" votes totaled 3,272 on proposition one and 3,311 on proposition two. People who voted yes, 35 percent, agreed with the council's action for the development to proceed.
The "yes" votes only carried in one of the city's 31 precincts. The vote at Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E Waterloo Road, was 218 "yes" to 178 "no" votes on proposition one, and 227 "yes" to 181 "no" on proposition 2.
The largest "no" vote margin was recorded at First Baptist Church, 1300 SE 33rd St., about a mile from the proposed development.
Other precincts near the proposed development also experienced high "no" vote totals.
"Obviously, the majority didn't change per precinct," said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons.
The two propositions ended up on the ballots as a result of referendum petitions circulated by opponents of the project.
Opponents objected to the development because of the number of proposed apartments, additional traffic, parking and the effects on nearby E.C. Hafer Park.
"Our group of volunteers is very happy with the outcome of this election and relieved that the majority of the voters acted to protect this area of Edmond," said Lydia Lee, an opposition leader. "This four-story development was simply too large and the apartments were unreasonable.
"The referendum process is a democracy at its finest and our grassroots efforts are what made it possible."
The proposed development came with a request from the owners for infrastructure and financial assistance. No agreements had been finalized and no city money had been spent, Commons said.
Janet Yowell, Edmond Economic Development Authority executive director, said she has been working with Poag Shopping Centers for three and a half years about coming to Edmond and finding a location.
"I am disappointed," Yowell said. "We have a lot of good we are working on in Edmond — the new theater, medical activity and four or five projects downtown.
"I am going to focus on the positive."