The new year is likely to bring new retail to the Oklahoma City market.
Shoppers clamor for new shops and have shown support with their wallets at many of the big additions in recent years — Whole Foods Market and The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City, both of which opened in 2011. Dick's Sporting Goods made a major impression when it opened four stores simultaneously this fall, two in Oklahoma City and one each in Moore and Midwest City.
But 2013 could be the year for new names — like Trader Joe's, LA Fitness, HomeGoods and Von Maur — as well as new shopping centers, since Oklahoma City's retail space is nearly 95 percent occupied, said Jim Parrack, senior vice president of retail at Price Edwards & Co. commercial real estate firm.
He predicts we'll see additions to University North Park in Norman and Fritts Farm in Moore, as well as a new ground-up development somewhere along Memorial Road.
Sears' departure from Quail Springs Mall presents a huge opportunity to secure a new department store like Von Maur, an Iowa-based upscale department store that has shown interest in our market.
“If they're able to cut a deal with Von Maur, I think it would be very good for the mall. They're not here, and I consider (Von Maur) a step above Dillard's and a huge step above Sears. It would strengthen the mall,” Parrack said.
General Growth Properties, which owns Quail Springs Mall, intends to continue to upgrade the property with upscale retail so it can better compete with Penn Square Mall, said Roy Williams, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. The company also owns several sites surrounding the mall and is looking to add freestanding retail that compliments the mall.
The Sears store is expected to close in late January. Earlier this year, General Growth Properties announced it was buying 11 Sears stores nationwide for $270 million.
Mall officials this week declined to comment on potential developments at the north Oklahoma City mall.
Owners of Crossroads Mall, a sore spot in the Oklahoma City retail market, are expected to make a big announcement in 2013 about the direction of the property at Interstates 35 and 240, both Parrack and Williams said.
In September 2011, Raptor Properties LLC, which consists of two local investors, purchased Crossroads Mall, which still contains about two dozen retailers, including Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works and Journeys.
They intend to keep it open as a mall, despite the departure of surrounding retailers like Best Buy, which relocated to the I-240 Penn Park shopping center at I-240 and Pennsylvania Avenue. Williams said Crossroads Mall's owners want to redevelop the property with an emphasis on family entertainment.