Developers look to attract a new retail operation to a prime Midtown Oklahoma City location

Published Thursday, June 1, 2017
by Jack Money

Talk about a pop-up opportunity.

One just recently came up for anyone who might have a good business idea, or who already has a business and would like to try an urban Oklahoma City location.

Developers have set aside 800 square feet of space for that use in the ultracool Midtown development that had been the home of Swanson's Tire Shop at NW 9 and Hudson Avenue for more than 70 years.

They are taking applications as part of a contest from everyone who's interested in occupying the space. The selected winner will get up to $2,500 to help pay their startup costs and their first 12 weeks of rent for free.

The location is part of the development's prime retail space fronting Hudson, a spot that ensures the business will get potential customers from the street, plus others coming into the project to visit its other interesting offerings.

The deadline to enter the contest is June 11.

Contest caps project

Work to redevelop a collection of four different buildings that made up the tire shop involves an extensive ownership group that acquired the land shortly after the tire business closed in October 2015.

Developers for the property's south half include Jeff Johnson, Andy Burnett, David Wanzer, Ben Sellers, Jonathan Dodson and A Good Egg Dining Group owner Keith Paul.

They developed the original tire shop, where cars were lifted to have their tires replaced, into a Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes operated by Paul's Good Egg group.

A building on the property's southeast corner is the new home for Gardner Architects, which was hired to design the overall project. The firm will be moving in within the next couple of weeks.

Owners Rohan Gupta and Aman Aggarwal, of GFO Cos., meanwhile, are developing the project's north half.

This includes the tire shop's showroom building and offices, which fronts Hudson and includes several vacant retail spaces, including the one involved in the contest.

It also includes retail space that will be new home of Citizens Bank of Edmond's Midtown location, which is expected to open later this year.

Other tenants in the building, which can be accessed through an outside corridor leading into the project, include 405 Yoga, which opened less than two weeks ago, Baker Street Escapes, which also just recently opened, and some office space where a tenant still is being sought.

Behind that building is another where tires were retreaded, and that's been turned into The Hall's Pizza Kitchen.

The Hall's Pizza Kitchen is unique, Gupta said, because before opening there, it only had operated out of a food truck.

Other tenants also seem happy to be there.

“It's been awesome,” said Meredith Vansant, 405 Yoga's owner. “We love it here."

Vansant said she already feels like the neighborhood is home.

“We are getting regulars, and kind of cross-pollinating across all the spots” in the project, Vansant said. “In some ways, we still feel like we are dusting off the Sheetrock, but our classes are getting slammed.”

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