SHAWNEE — Shawnee Marketplace, an $18 million retail development under construction along Interstate 40, will benefit from $5 million in economic incentives from the city and Pottawatomie County in a bid to keep local shoppers from spending their money elsewhere.
“When we lose sales tax dollars to the west, that affects the quality of life for our residents,” said Tim Burg, executive director for the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation. “We’d like to keep some of those sales tax dollars at home.”
Architectural elevations for the project show national retailers including Hobby Lobby, PetSmart, Ulta and Staples as tenants in the new development, which is being built on the southwest corner of Interstate 40 and Kickapoo Street in Shawnee.
Shawnee Marketplace will generate an annual economic impact of $35 million in retail sales in Shawnee, and create about 500 new retail jobs in the first five years, according to a study commissioned by the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation. The study estimated the development will generate an estimated $900,000 in new, annual sales tax revenue for Shawnee.
The City of Shawnee has inked a sales tax rebate deal with Dallas-based developer Hunt Properties Inc. to help offset development costs from Shawnee Marketplace.
Hunt will recoup up to $3.75 million in new sales tax revenue from the city generated by retailers in Shawnee Marketplace as part of the deal. Hunt has struck a similar deal for economic development incentives with Pottawatomie County for up to $1.25 million that will help to offset construction costs.
“City and county incentives were vital to making the project financially feasible,” Hunt Properties President Jeff Williams said.
Construction began last week on the first, 150,000-square-foot phase of Shawnee Marketplace, and the first retailers are expected to open in spring 2015, Williams said.
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.”