New retail development in Jenks

Sunday, August 15th 2004, 5:37 pm
By: News On 6

A riverside expansion in Jenks. Planners expect the new retail and office development along the Arkansas River to open by the end of this year.

City officials say the project will bring millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to the city's economy. Good news for new businesses, but what about the ones already there? News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says the development will include restaurants along the river, office spaces and a possible movie theater.

Chamber of Commerce director Ruth Littlefield says the plans for the $30-million project came from the success of the Oklahoma Aquarium. An 82 room hotel is already being built next to the aquarium along with a new walking trail. Littlefield expects the new retail and hotel development will attract thousands of tourists to Jenks and introduce them to their historic downtown area as well. "We know that to make the aquarium successful we need more things around it- the entertainment capital also."

Littlefield says a few businesses have closed along Jenks’ Main Street in recent months due to the economy and a number of other reasons. But she says the downtown area is still thriving and there are plans to develop the main street in order to attract new businesses there.