The developer behind Oklahoma City's outlet mall says they are one step away from breaking ground in East Tulsa.
It's a part of Tulsa that hasn't received major retail development in three decades. “We need the anchor, basically, to get the development and the growth started out there,” says Tulsa City Councilor Connie Dodson.
Dodson says the 400,000 square foot, art deco-inspired outlet mall is exactly what East Tulsa needs.
It would create 1,200 permanent jobs, and bring in millions in sales tax revenue. It would also mean more restaurants, office space and hotels.
It could be ready by 2017.
The proposal even suggests a summer concert series and a farmers market. "The site does have challenges, just like any of them do,” stated Dodson. “However, a lot of the main infrastructure is here, such as highways and approach, and that's already covered. It's already taken care of."
So taken care of that Horizon Group Properties Senior Vice President Thomas Rumptz says he only needs some city financial backing (TIF) to break ground.
"We build a mall that's large. It's going to support the marketplace, [and] have the critical mass to keep people coming here all the time and make it permanently successful," explained Rumptz.
Horizon won't say whether it has already secured retailers.
However, the outlet would include a hundred shops, and Horizon often partners with Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Coach, Brooks Brothers and more.
That's music to East Tulsa business owner Mary Hill's ears. "It's shovel ready, let's go,” said Hill. “If we don't do it, I think we're going to miss a huge opportunity for East Tulsa."
Some residents also think the mall could boost the value of their property. "I think there's a chance it'll bring more value to my property, being this close. I mean, I got family that will come to shop at an outlet mall," said Tulsa resident Tara Taylor.
But, there is competition. The Cherokee Nation and Simon Properties are also proposing outlet malls, one at Turkey Mountain.
Dodson says those developers are pulling back and haven't even started the planning and zoning process.
People believe this would be a regional hub, and would prevent people from traveling to the Oklahoma City outlet or Allen outlets to shop.