Major retail development under way in Lawton

Lawton Town Center will include many national retailers plus a hotel and convention center.
BY JENNIFER PALMER jpalmer@opubco.com Published: April 7, 2011
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Construction began this week on a much-anticipated shopping center and redevelopment project in downtown Lawton.

Kohl's will anchor the Lawton Town Center shopping center, according to the developer's marketing package, and 30 to 50 other retailers will participate.

Negotiations are under way with retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond, Shoe Carnival, Dress Barn, Famous Footwear and Petco.

Originally, the shopping center was to open this fall, but construction delays have pushed it later in the year or early 2012, said Steve Scott, project developer with Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Co. in Des Moines.

A Main Street district is planned to attract boutiques, public art will be displayed throughout and a 176-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel with an adjacent 25,000-square-foot convention center will allow the city to host conferences and events.

“We want to create a regional shopping destination for southwest Oklahoma,” Scott said. “Most of the country is still in the throes of the worst recession we've seen. But because of Fort Sill, and growth in the defense contractor industry in Lawton, lots of great things are happening here.”