Bad Economy Slows Jenks Development

Monday, June 29th 2009, 10:23 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

JENKS, OK -- The economy is slowing some river projects in Jenks.  Developers still have big plans for the city, but are they banking on an economic base that's just not there?  One retailer in the process of closing her shop's doors says something's got to give.

At Azure Couture in the Jenks RiverWalk Crossing business is slow, so slow the store's owner has decided to close.

"I've been here for four years, and I'm not making as much money as I hoped to. So, I think it's time to move on," said owner Dara Dupler.

Dupler says she had high hopes for her shop in the beginning. But, she says developers had high expectations for the RiverWalk Crossing.

"When I first signed my lease, you know, I was told that there would be some nationally recognized companies coming in, you know maybe a Gap, Bath and Body Works or Bed Bath and Beyond and it would be open for business in spring/summer of 2007," said Azure Couture owner Dara Dupler.

But she says, instead of national chains next door, there are empty retail spaces and that is bad for business.

"Well, I mean you hate to see anyone closing and the present economic situation, even though it hasn't hit us as hard here, it still hit us," said Jenks Mayor Vic Vreeland.

Jenks Mayor Vic Vreeland says money is tight for developers, but they're still finding ways to move things along.

Phase Two of RiverWalk Crossing is well on its way.  Another new development called the Village is in the works, but the huge billion dollar development called the River District has been restructured because of money.

"I'm not for sure where you'd go today to borrow a billion dollars, except the White House. I mean, I don't know where you'd go and if you go to talk to the banks they're kind of laughing at you. So, they're actually going to build that project in phases now," said Jenks Mayor Vic Vreeland.

According to the mayor, River District developers hope to have the first two buildings of phase one started by the end of this year.