It was Neaco Padillow's dream to renovate a dilapidated Tulsa shopping center into a thriving retail development for his neighborhood. But he never got to see it happen. Padillow was shot and killed in his car as he waited to pick up his niece at school.
Thursday, a year later, Padillow's brother and other developers broke ground on the new Zion Plaza.
Greg Hawkins hopes to attract a national grocery store and a national restaurant chain as anchor tenants.
From there, he says the center should be able to support smaller local tenants, which was Padillow's hope. He says it wasn't that long ago, when he was a child, that it was a thriving area. â€œThere was an OTASCO, a CR Anthonyâ€™s, an IGA, a candy store, cleaners, laundromats, everything, it was a thriving business, and there was a lot of traffic, a lot of people."
Hawkins says construction will begin a couple of weeks. Padillow's killer has never been caught.