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Shawnee invests in development to keep local shoppers at home

The city of Shawnee and Pottawatomie County provide $5 million in incentives for Shawnee Marketplace, an $18 million retail development.
by Brianna Bailey Modified: May 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: May 21, 2014

The development is being built on 23 acres of land previously held by the Oklahoma School Land Trust. Hunt Properties secured the land by trading a 41,000-square-foot office building it owned in Oklahoma City that houses the Oklahoma Department of Labor and other offices, as well as a 2-acre parcel of land that is set for retail development off the John Kilpatrick Turnpike near MacArthur Boulevard.

State law allows properties in the land trust to be exchanged for real estate of equal or greater value. The exchange of the Shawnee land for marketable commercial real estate in Oklahoma City will create hundreds of thousands of dollars in new annual revenues for the Land Trust from lease agreements and rents that will be put back into Oklahoma schools, said Harry Birdwell, secretary for the Commissioners of the Land Office, which oversees the Trust.

“As we improve benefits to schools in the state, on (the) other side of coin we have utilized what resources we have available to stimulate economic growth in Shawnee,” Birdwell said.

The land exchange was from about two years of research and negotiations, Birdwell said.

“This has been a complex project to navigate,” Williams said, “but everyone we encountered and worked with at the CLO (Commissioners of the Land Office), City of Shawnee and Pottawatomie County were eager to help get this thing across the finish line.”

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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