Broken Arrow considers land purchase for road to connect shopping corridors
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Sunday, October 28, 2012
10/28/12 at 7:59 AM
Read previous stories related to Broken
Arrow and get contact information for
Broken Arrow officials.
BROKEN ARROW - A deal to connect two popular shopping corridors along the Broken Arrow Expressway is within reach, officials said.
The city is looking to buy a 1,200-foot strip of land to extend Hillside Drive east of the Bass Pro Shops- anchored development it serves near the highway's intersection with Elm Place (161st East Avenue).
That would open about 27 acres to development and connect the road to its heavily-developed eastern leg, forming a nearly two-mile contiguous shopping corridor fronting the highway's north side.
"This is an important project for the city," city spokeswoman Stephanie Higgins said. "We're diligently working with the landowners to resolve a variety of issues, and we're hoping to get it done as soon as possible."
Hillside Drive's western portion - extending from 61st (Albany) Street to Charleston's Restaurant east of Bass Pro Shops - would need to cross part of a 23.75-acre parcel owned by Coweta developer Roland Investments Ltd. and then a 6.42-acre parcel farther east owned by Tulsa billboard developer Shawn Whistler.
It could then be linked to a frontage road already under construction at the Lynn Lane Road (177th East Avenue) intersection with Hillside Drive's eastern leg, which serves shopping centers anchored by Target, Lowe's and the Broken Arrow Cinemark movie theater.
Whistler said the city approached him with the idea sometime in 2004, a year before the completion of Bass Pro Shops.
Talks have been "on and off" since then, he said.
"It sounds like this time they're progressively moving forward to find something that's best for all parties involved," he said. "We are optimistic."
Whistler bought the land in 2004 for $400,000, according to Tulsa County property records.
At that time, it was prime billboard space. It now has more value as a retail corridor, he said.
"I think it's a good thing for access and also for developing in that Bass Pro area," he said, adding that a contiguous Hillside Drive would be "best for the city of Broken Arrow, the residents of Broken Arrow and for us as property owners."
He said he expects final talks to begin in the next few weeks, and Higgins said a deal may come within a few months.
Roland Investments' Tulsa attorney, Lawrence D. Taylor, said he also thinks a deal is close, but he added that he was not privy to the latest details.
A real estate representative for the company was not available for comment.
Roland Investments donated the land for Bass Pro Shops, which opened in October 2005, and began developing the nearby Stonewood Hills neighborhood in 2002.
The parcel needed for Hillside Drive was purchased in 2001, according to property records. A sale price was not available, but it was given a fair market value of $127,100 in 2011.
A contiguous Hillside Drive has long been in the city's master plan, partly because of its economic benefits, Higgins said.
The City Council recently approved a small strip mall just south of Louie's Grill and Bar at 1640 N. Lynn Lane Road, where the frontage road is already under construction.
But a bigger motivator might be safety, Higgins said. Police and fire trucks approaching Bass Pro Shops from the east must detour to 61st Street, which has the development's only entrance.
"The connectivity is a big issue," Higgins said. "When we can responsibly provide access to our citizens, that's always a good thing."
Original Print Headline: Land acquisition
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
The western portion of Hillside Drive runs alongside Charleston's restaurant (left), Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina, and Bass Pro Shops in north Broken Arrow. The road ends just east of this section, and the city is trying to purchase land to connect the road to its eastern portion near Lynn Lane Road. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Construction is already under way on a new access road near Hillside Drive and Lynn Lane Road in Broken Arrow. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World