An Ulta Beauty store will be among other retailers on the Academy Sports and Outdoors property, city officials revealed after an Enid City Commission vote Thursday to increase an incentive.
An addendum to a memorandum of understanding — involving a $2.85 million incentive package for GBT Realty Corp., unanimously approved in November 2015 — was approved 5-0. Mayor Bill Shewey and Ward 4 Commissioner Rodney Timm were absent from the special meeting.
Through the addendum, the size of the retail development at the old Walmart store site on West Garriott will be expanded by 25,000 square feet.
The additional space came about through re-engineering of the existing space, he said.
“Our agreement with GBT Realty will become very real when demolition of the old Walmart building begins in the next 30 days, and Academy and Ulta begin to take shape,” Ward 6 Commissioner David Vanhooser said. “The addition of 100,000 feet of new retail to our community, I strongly believe, is the tipping point for future retail development. We have taken a very hard stand on this project, and this retail philosophy will carry over to our current and future projects. Eleventh hour attempts to extract more money from your city council was soundly rejected.
“The arrangement, which was approved at tonight’s special council meeting, represents an excellent business arrangement. It provides a minimal level of incentive, in exchange for a remarkable new retail project. Going forward, we believe that even less direct financial incentives will be needed to attract the next round of quality retail to our community.”
GBT Realty has told city officials it already has signed leases for Academy and Ulta, Gilbert said.
When the Academy store was announced, it was stated other retail outlets would join it, but no announcements on other tenants had been made prior to Thursday. Through the addendum, there will be an additional two to three retailers on the property, he said.
Ward 3 Commissioner Ben Ezzell said the other retailers have yet to be announced.
“It’s a really good deal, a really great growth for this particular retail development,” he said.
Last year, Enid Regional Development Alliance Executive Director Brent Kisling said the incentive money will change hands when the certificate of occupancy is provided to GBT Realty, who will lease the property to Academy Sports and Outdoors.
“It’s a performance-based incentive where they’ve got to deliver before the funds are expended,” he said.
When it comes to other development in the community, Vanhooser said the city has placed a final deadline of May 31 on the current developer for Oakwood Mall.
“We have been drug along for more than two years, and this council has had enough of broken promises. If they do not close on that project by May 31st, we have advised them the $5 million TIF incentive, which is currently on the table, will become null and void,” he said. “Furthermore, Hunt Properties, with whom we had an arrangement for the Lahoma Courts property, has been given a pass out of town, and we are in the process of negotiating a much better deal for our community.
“Enid has a lot to offer, and this council is committed to closing deals and moving forward. I am proud to have been a small part of this latest retail success and welcome Academy and Ulta to our community.”
Story by: Enid News & Eagle