Moving Dirt

plaza2It’s a big week in Claremore— a week that might produce a new owner of the dirt between Walmart and Lowe’s. A prime selection of dirt with a long, drawn-out history.

In 2008, a developer swooped into town making a big splash with promises of a lifestyle center named Claremore Plaza. The thought of this type of development in Claremore— shopping, waterfront dining, condos and hotels— not only piqued the interest of the locals, it shocked the development community.

The following year came with many unexpected challenges. On a personal note, the developer experienced a divorce while facing a floundering economy. Unexpectedly, he passed away in 2010.

Late in 2010, the property went through a spell of legal processes before arriving in the hands of the bank that financed the property’s original purchase. The bank partnered with a new developer who negotiated with the City of Claremore to complete infrastructure improvements to the site. This second developer walked away from the project for personal reasons.

Once again the property was left with the bank. In 2013, the bank was ordered to liquidate all excess property. They sold two sections of the dirt to both the Hampton Inn currently under construction and the recently opened St. John Urgent Care facility. By the end of 2014, the remaining property, approximately 116 acres, was appraised and set for auction.

This Thursday, February 26, 2015, the retail development site and the accompanying acreage will be auctioned in potentially three tracts: 1. Commercial Tract (the dirt we all drive by everyday) 2. Multi-family Tract (behind Deer Run Apartments) 3. Residential Tract (approximately 55 acres that aligns with the turnpike).

What certainty does the future hold for this property?

This property will develop. It’s prime property between two large retail anchors on a well-traveled highway sitting in a community with a unique trade area and plenty of retail opportunity.

We’re all anxious to see what this week will produce.

So, if you’ve been through the Plaza on a road with no name, rest assured there is hope that one day you can shop, stay or dine in the most prime development opportunity Claremore has to offer.

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