By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6
BROKEN ARROW, OK -- Despite the recession, business is booming in Broken Arrow.
A half-dozen retailers will open new stores by the beginning of summer.
The new Target store in Broken Arrow has been for only one week, but the fact that these customers are packing away the plastic bags is good news for city leaders.
"We rely on sales tax and on revenues, and so it's huge for us to have this here," Broken Arrow spokeswoman Stephanie Higgins said.
Broken Arrow has averaged a 3 percent sales tax growth over the past three years. But this year, that growth has flatlined.
"There is definitely concern there, because with the economy the way it is, people aren't spending their money," Higgins said.
The Target is a sign of bigger things ahead. Several other big-box chains are set to open their doors soon.
"If they do want to spend their money, they need to do it here," Higgins said.
And it's not just retailers setting their sights on Broken Arrow this spring. Olive Garden will open near Marshalls, and Charleston's Steakhouse will be next to Bass Pro.
Real Estate planner Mike Parrish says despite the downturn, Broken Arrow is able to churn up new development.
"The restaurant demand is still good," Parrish said. "Broken Arrow is just now getting the restaurants that a city of 100,000 deserves."
Six chains will open their doors over the next two months. If customers are happy with the new stores, the city will be happy, too.
In addition to stores like Wal-Mart and Marshalls opening, Broken Arrow is also building a new movie theatre near Kenosha Street.
Most of the chain stores will have their grand openings by the end of May.