MIDWEST CITY — Shoppers can meet nearly all their wants and needs at Town Center Plaza, a retail strip just north of Interstate 40. The 750,000-square-foot development is near full occupancy. That’s fortunate, some say, since most national retailers have halted expansion while the economy recovers.
"We expect some new retailers to come to Midwest City in the next 18 months, but we’re just not in a hyper-expansion mode right now. I don’t think anybody is,” said David Burnett, economic development director for the Midwest City Chamber of Commerce. Negotiations are under way for The Children’s Place to replace a mattress store that closed, and a Jack in the Box restaurant will open soon, City Manager Guy Henson said. There is space to accommodate more businesses at Town Center Plaza, and the city is looking for new tenants, he said. A movie theater, major sporting goods store or specialty clothing store could fulfill gaps in the city’s retail market. According to a 2009 retail market summary by Price Edwards & Co., the success of Town Center Plaza indicates a significant demand for new retail in the area. The center boasts a vacancy rate of just more than 1 percent. Burnett noted that Tinker Air Force Base’s $3 billion economic impact acts as an insulator to Midwest City’s economy. And the area also draws shoppers from cities including Seminole and Tecumseh who prefer not to travel into Oklahoma City.