DEL CITY OKS BONDS FOR SITE
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RCL Development Corp.
510 E. Memorial Road, Suite C-2
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
P :: 405.775.9700
F :: 405.775.9800
OKC DEVELOPER PLANS URBAN, MIXED-USE 'LIFESTYLE CENTER'
'Jump out of the box'?
If Larry Owsley has his way, all you power shoppers out there could soon have your favorite stores right in your own back yard - literally.
Owsley, president and owner of RCL Mortgage, hopes to break ground this summer on Quail Springs Village, a 233-acre "urban mixed-use development" which some call a "lifestyle center."
Quail Springs Village will occupy the vacant land just north of Quail Springs Mall between May and Pennsylvania avenues and NW 150, or 33 Street in Edmond.
"This will be a true destination point," Owsley said of the $600 million-$800 million project.
Owsley's vision includes five to six residential options such as lofts, condos and zero-lot line homes and an entertainment area complete with spas, health clubs, theaters and even a bandstand for outdoor performances. Ancillary services such as dry cleaners, grocery stores and childcare facilities would also be available. A hotel and conference center is part of the plan, as well.
All of this, he said, would feed into a "people friendly" retail/restaurant main street. This venue would be open air, offer pedestrian-friendly access to businesses and feature manicured streetscapes.
"It's urban density surrounded by a suburban area," he said. "Theoretically, you'd never have to leave."
Owsley said he got the idea for Quail Springs Village about three or four years ago when proposals to finance similar developments in other cities started to cross his desk.
"I thought these are really neat. They're unique. Why do we have to drive somewhere to go to these places? Why don't we have this here?" he asked himself.
He noted that he and his family travel to Dallas or Kansas City to visit such developments.
After receiving the results of market feasibility studies he had commissioned, he decided Oklahoma City's time had come.
"Everything pointed to the fact that Oklahoma City is ready for this and wants this," he said. "We're encompassing what we lack in other areas.
Collectively, these do not exist under one roof in Oklahoma, in one compacted area."
Owsley said he feels "fortunate" to have been able to acquire the land, calling the location "absolutely the best choice."
He pointed to the fact that it is adjacent to Quail Springs Mall and its surrounding development. He also noted that the property sits on the border of rapidly growing Edmond, Piedmont and the Deer Creek School District. Another advantage, he said, is the number of new homes being built in the area, including the affluent Gaillardia and Rose Creek developments. And area churches bring 7,000-8,000 people to the vicinity at least once per week.
Owsley said Quail Springs Mall will draw people to the area and complement the shops and restaurants he hopes to attract, not compete with them.
Karleen Krywucki, director of major tenant leasing in the retail area for Price Edwards and company, agreed.
She said traffic, both foot and car, as well as co-tenancy contribute to a shopping center's success.
"It doesn't matter how much traffic you have, if you're not attracting your buyer, forget it," she said.
Krywucki pointed to that fact that Quail Springs Mall stores had "moderate" sales until the power centers and the P.F. Chang's chain restaurant moved in.
And although traditional regional malls are not being constructed these days, Krywucki does not believe well-placed, well-managed malls are "dinosaurs."
She mentioned Penn Square with Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Coach and B.C. Clark attracting the same clientele.
Quail Springs Mall, she said, attracts younger shoppers with its arcade, food court and large theater.
Krywucki believes that now popular lifestyle and power centers are not only more convenient to time-sensitive shoppers, but more cost effective for the retailer. Lower operating costs, she said, translate into more profits and higher stock prices.
Quail Springs Village, Owsley said, will attract a different demographic from Quail Springs Mall, perhaps the parents of mall patrons.
Stores such as Neimann-Marcus, Sak's Fifth Avenue, Crate and Barrel, Whole Foods and H.E.B. Central Market - what Owsley called "upscale retail" - came to mind.
"I think we can create the right environment for these stores," he said. "We can support them from affluence and population numbers."
From an economic development standpoint, Owsley says the center could create 3,000-4,000 new jobs and bolster sales tax revenues.
Traffic concerns, he added, have been addressed.
"We've looked at existing traffic issues," he said. "We want to create new business without creating bigger traffic problems."
He noted there would be seven major access points to the center from the north, east and west.
"Sometimes I think Oklahoma gets overlooked," he said. "This is overdue. You do your due diligence. You do some soul searching. You think outside the box, and then you jump out of the box."