Wood said the coalition has been designing and planning the project for three years. They've applied for a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and are expecting to be notified by Friday.
Retail thriving, too
Expanding University North Park beyond retail is perfect to attract those businesses, Wood added.
A new portion of the shopping center is getting ready to open on the east side of 24th Avenue NW; tenants include Starbucks, Chipotle, EarthFruits Yogurt, GNC and Weight Watchers, said Brad Goodwin, development partner with Sooner Investment Realty, which handles development of the center.
DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) and HomeGoods are planning new stores next to Academy Sports + Outdoors, he said. It will be the first Oklahoma store for HomeGoods, a furniture and home decor retailer owned by The TJX Companies, which also operates T.J. Maxx and Marshall's.
Two new hotels are in the works across from the Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center, Goodwin said. One is Holiday Inn Express.
City crews also are completing street improvements that will pave the way for Legacy Park, a seven-acre park that is expected to be the focal point of the area.
Construction of the public park, which will feature a small, man-made lake, amphitheater, public art, walks and an area for restaurants around the lake, should begin early next year.
MORE FROM NEWSOK
Coming to Norman
• DSW (University North Park)
• HomeGoods (University North Park)
• Starbucks (University North Park)
• Chipotle (University North Park)
• EarthFruits Yogurt (University North Park)
• White House Black Market (Brookhaven Village)
• Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (corner of Main Street and 24th Avenue NW)