Tennessee-based GBT Realty will continue its retail construction in Oklahoma by building an Academy Sports + Outdoors in Enid.  Enid Regional Development Alliance Executive Director Brent Kisling said he and the city have been recruiting the chain for two years. But it has been difficult to find a prominent site that wasn’t developed. “Now, we’re to the point where we’re redeveloping some lots, and this is one of those spots,” he said.

The former Wal-Mart on Owen K. Garriott Road will be demolished to make way for the 62,000-square-foot store. The Wal-Mart is home to the Atwoods Ranch and Home distribution center. Kisling said Atwoods will expand its existing distribution center in order to move out.  The Enid City Commission approved a $2.8 million incentive package for the project. GBT will receive the money once it has a certificate of occupancy for Academy. Kisling said the store has to maintain $10 million a year in sales until the $2.8 million is returned. Otherwise, the money could be clawed back.  “We expect the performance of the store will be well above the requirements of the city,” said Jeff Pape, GBT Realty shopping center division, management director.

Retail incentive packages are often criticized in Oklahoma City because some people think the business would come without the money. Pape said that’s not the case for Enid.  “We couldn’t have gone there without the incentive,” he said. “The economics didn’t work.”  Academy Sports will be joined by additional retail space, ranging in size from 25,000 to 60,000 square feet. There will likely be a restaurant pad at the front of the center as well. Pape said he thinks the presence of Academy will likely get a high-quality restaurant to look at the market.  Kisling said the new store will be welcomed by the baseball, softball and basketball players who visit the city for tournaments. The Junior College Baseball World Series is held annually in Enid. He said the store will also be popular with people in the surrounding communities. Enid has 50,000 people, but the trade area is 131,000 people, he said.  Demolition will begin in early 2016 and the store will open before Christmas 2016.

In Oklahoma City, GBT Realty is building a $50 million, 450,000-square-foot retail development on 80 acres at the intersection of NW 10th Street, N. Czech Hall Road and Interstate 40 near Yukon. Pape said retail names for that development will be announced soon.

Story by: Molly Fleming with the Journal Record