Established in 1975, the women’s clothing boutique Ruth Meyers is one of the few shops still open on the south side of Nichols Hills Plaza, but owner Cindi Shelby hopes that will change now that the shopping center is under new ownership.
The South side of Nichols Hills Plaza is largely vacant since Crescent Market, which had operated at Nichols Hills Plaza since the 1940s, closed its doors in November 2011. Nichols Hills Drug also moved out of the shopping center in 2013 after 49 years of business there.
The exodus of stores from the south end of the shopping center hasn’t affected Ruth Meyers business, Shelby said, but she is eager to see Nichols Hills Plaza full of stores again.
“I am really optimistic about it,” Shelby said of Nichols Hills Plaza’s new ownership. “For us, it can only get better. I want to see them fill up the space with high-end stores again.”
The new owners of Nichols Hills Plaza, which also purchased Classen Curve and the Triangle @ Classen Curve shopping centers along with 12 acres of undeveloped adjacent land from Chesapeake Energy Corp. in March, have given only hints of what plans they have for the retail properties.
Ohio-based Glimcher Realty Trust purchased the shopping centers in a joint venture with Oklahoma City’s Blanton Property Co. for $51.8 million in March.
In a recent conference call with investors and financial analysts, Glimcher Chairman and CEO Michael Glimcher said he envisioned the Oklahoma City properties being developed into something resembling the similar Scottsdale Quarter, a high-end, open air shopping center that Glimcher owns in Scottsdale, Ariz.
With rows of palm trees and fountains, Scottsdale Quarter is home to big-name national retailers that include the Apple Store, Nike and Urban Outfitters. Glimcher has plans for hotels and housing to be developed independently around Scottsdale Quarter’s mix of retail and office space.
2006: Chesapeake Energy Corp. purchases Nichols Hills Plaza for $27.5 million
2010: Classen Curve opens. Whole Foods confirms it will anchor a second shopping center, Triangle @ Classen Curve, that Chesapeake Energy will build just north of Classen Curve.
2011: Crescent Market, the state’s oldest grocery store, and Nichols Hills only grocer, closes its doors at Nichols Hills Plaza.
2013: Chesapeake begins marketing its company-owned shopping centers for sale as part of a broader sell off of its commercial real estate holdings in Oklahoma City.
March 2014: Ohio-based Glimcher Realty Trust and Blanton Property Co. purchase Nichols Hills Plaza, and Triangle @ Classen Curve shopping centers, as well as 12 acres of undeveloped adjacent land for $51.8 million. Glimcher CEO Michael Glimcher hints at plans for further development that could include office buildings, a hotel or housing.
April 2014: Building permits show that home furnishing retailer West Elm, a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma Inc., has plans for a 11,000 square-foot store at The Triangle at Classen Curve.