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Retailers seek part of Edmond land

Edmond City Council members have been asked to consider moving a proposed hotel and conference center to the west to accommodate major retailers that want to build at Interstate 35 and Covell.
BY STEVE GUST Modified: October 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm •  Published: October 15, 2013

— There may be a new location in store for Edmond's planned hotel and conference center, which is still months away from the start of construction.

City council members gave the OK Monday for city staff members to study a site that would move the center perhaps a quarter-mile west of its current proposed location at Interstate 35 and Covell Road.

Attorney Todd McKinnis said retailers have expressed an interest in part of the 7.13 acres on the northwest corner of the intersection, purchased by the council last year for $2 million.

McKinnis represents Covell I-35 Development, a private group looking at the commercialization of the area. He declined to name the retailers involved, but said the stores would be destination points for metro shoppers.

The city funded the land purchase from a three-quarter-cent capital projects tax approved by voters in 2000.

In addition to retailers wanting the prime real estate, McKinnis made the argument that slightly moving the hotel and conference center would have advantages. Plans call for a 165-room Hilton Garden Inn to be built next to a 20,000-square-foot conference center.

“For outdoor patio activity and receptions, this would cut down on the noise, being away from the interstate,” McKinnis told the council.

Mayor Charles Lamb agreed, and said moving the center “two or three football fields” west of the current site would be positive.

“We're looking at having more amenities with the new site,” he said after the meeting. “This would be closer to walking trails and wooded areas.”

Working out details

There already has been investment in infrastructure in the current location, and the city needs to know what it would cost for more lines and additional paving for the new location. McKinnis said his client is willing to pay for what the council ascertains to be a fair price for fees.

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