Uptown Grocery Co. will build a new 55,000-square-foot store on N May Avenue near Britton Road on the site of a long-vacant car dealership with the help of incentives from The Village.
The Village has created a 12-year tax increment financing district for the vacant lot where the new retail development will be built to help developer Esperanza Real Estate with construction costs for the new grocer.
Esperanza, the property division of Oklahoma City-based Buy For Less, which also owns the Uptown Grocery brand, will reap $350,000 in incentives from The Village TIF district to offset land acquisitions costs for the project. The developer will also get 25 percent of the new sales tax revenues generated from the development for up to 12 years thereafter, said Bruce Stone, city manager for The Village.
The Village projects the new development will generate as much as $750,000 a year in new tax revenue for the city.
City officials moved to have the area declared an urban renewal zone several years ago, giving them the opportunity to offer incentives to redevelop the area.
This store will be the second Uptown Grocery in the metro. Uptown, a division of Oklahoma City-based Buy For Less, opened its first store in Edmond in 2012.
“We could not have gotten a better business than a grocery store, because (it’s) got to be one of (the) highest generators of sales tax — and probably this is the last chance to get a grocery store in The Village because there’s just no place to put one,” Stone said. “It will really transform the entire area and help attract other businesses.”
Susan Binkowski, who runs Esperanza Real Estate, said the new Uptown store in The Village will have new features that the Edmond store does not have, including a pharmacy and a mezzanine level where cooking classes will be held. The Village development will also include about 3,500 square feet of additional retail space that will be leased out to smaller shops.
Uptown Grocery hopes to have The Village location open in spring 2015.
With the success of the Edmond Uptown store, other Oklahoma municipalities have expressed interest in bringing the retailer to their cities, Binkowski said.
“The Village has been really entrepreneurial in attracting new development for a municipality,” she said. “They have been really forward thinking in how this can be a win-win for everyone — they really hounded us for a few years.”
An Uptown Grocery will also be the anchor tenant for the $30-million King’s Crossing development at NE 23 and Martin Luther King Avenue. Demolition on the site began this week. The Northeast Oklahoma City Uptown will also benefit from fax increment financing.