Homeland cancels plans for new headquarters
Homeland is proceeding with plans to build a new grocery in northeast Oklahoma City but the project will no longer include a new headquarters.
The project cut was announced Monday during a presentation to the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust, which was told the requested tax increment financing was being reduced from $4.5 million to $3.5 million.
The headquarters would have been built alongside the new grocery and a MAPS 3 senior wellness center at the northeast corner of NE 36 and Lincoln Boulevard and would have spanned 35,000 square feet.
The current headquarters across the street at 390 NE 36 is 27,130 square feet was built in 1968 and was previously home to Fleming Foods.
Cathy O’Connor, president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, told the trust the deal calls for Homeland’s corporate parent, HAC Inc., to pay a minimum of $30,000 a year in ad valorem taxes and the city will collect sales taxes generated by the store to pay back the $3 million in tax increment financing.
Northeast Oklahoma City is recognized as a food desert by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Lynn Institute. The area’s last full-size supermarket, best known as Buy For Less, closed last year. The chain has not followed up on plans to reopen in the former Sav-A-Lot at NE 36 and Kelley.
The new 30,000-square-foot store will employ 75 people and is located along an EMBARK bus route. If built, it will be the first built-from-scratch new grocery to be opened by Homeland since it became an employee-owned company in 2011.
Marc Jones, HAC CEO, said plans for the store layout are completed and construction is set to start this summer with an opening by fall 2021. He said the company decided they didn't need to move their headquarters "200 feet to across the street."
“We are still excited about the store,” Jones said.
“This is about numbers going back and forth that we were working with the city on what a headquarters would look like and the costs associated with that,” Jones said. “We’re an old fashioned retailer and decided we don’t need to spend our money on something that doesn’t interface with customers.”