EDMOND — Interstate 35 has gotten most of the attention lately, but Edmond also has other especially bright spots, especially for retail.
First, an I-35 recap.
• Integris Health Edmond opened last fall on the east side of the highway north of 15th Street, and another hospital, with Mercy Health System, is under construction cattycorner south of 15th on the west side.
• North of the Mercy Health site, Fox Lake Plaza and Shoppes at Fox Lake, with retail and office space — and a wellness park and trail planned to extend to Arcadia Lake — are under way by Tapp Development Corp.
• To the north, retail, office and a new Francis Tuttle Technology Center are in the works at Covell Road.
Those projects do command people's attention, said Jeff Norman, president of JAH Realty, one of several developers and property brokers presenting information at the recent Edmond Economic Preview. But before long, a few spots west of the interstate will attract the spotlight.
Two spots, one about as old as Edmond itself, the other not that long ago still ranch land, will get to Edmond's heart through its stomach: Sunflower Farmers Market at Second Street and Littler Avenue, just southeast of downtown, and Uptown Grocery Co., southwest of Kelly Avenue and Covell Road.
Boulder, Colo.-based Sunflower is bullish on the Oklahoma City metro area, said Norman, whose company leases the space for the first area Sunflower market at NW 63 and May Avenue, and “they felt like Edmond was the next place to go.”
The Edmond store is going into a long-troubled space that people are glad to see put to good use, said Janet Yowell, executive director of the
Uptown Grocery, Norman said, “is stunning.” The 50,000-square-foot store, with a red brick exterior and big windows resembling an old-time warehouse, is nearing completion by Hank Binkowski, owner and president of Uptown and of the Buy For Less grocery chain. Binkowski has called it a cross between Whole Foods Market and the Texas H-E-B grocery chain.
Norman said north Edmond has needed a grocery for a long time.
“Folks at Oak Tree (addition) have lived there for 30 years and have never had a grocery store. Think about that,” he said, guessing that a nearby Walgreens probably sells a lot of bread, milk and other basics.
Norman said fully developed Coffee Creek addition, north of Covell just east of Kelly; Cheyenne Middle School, west of Kelly; and the planned widening of Covell to a four-lane boulevard all bode well for more stores in the area.
“It's what retailers are looking for,” he said.