Broken Arrow gets land for road near Bass Pro Shops in $1.7 million settlement
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
12/19/12 at 7:50 AM
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BROKEN ARROW - The city will acquire rights to extend an important highway frontage road near Bass Pro Shops and improve the area's infrastructure when it pays $1.7 million to settle a condemnation case against the store's developer, documents show.
The city, which filed the case in 2010 to acquire a street in the Bass Pro Shops parking lot from Roland Investments Ltd., will pay court arbitrators' suggested cost for that property and will receive a strip of the developer's land to extend Hillside Drive, the City Council voted Tuesday.
The Coweta-based company will also donate a vacant lot between two nearby restaurants for public parking and additional nearby land for stormwater detention, according to the settlement contract.
City officials previously sought a trial to reduce the arbitrators' suggested price, but that would have cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, City Attorney Beth Anne Wilkening said in a written report to city councilors.
The $1.7 million will be paid from the city's sinking fund and property tax revenue over three years.
The deal is "very good for taxpayers because it resolves a number of safety and connectivity issues as well as saves significant legal fees and costs," city spokeswoman Stephanie Higgins said.
The settlement effectively reduces the cost of Roland Investments' street from $15.04 per square foot under the arbitrator's proposal to $11 per square foot, given the donated properties' estimated value, Wilkening's report says.
That street, Bass Pro Drive, was built by the developer as part of the Stone Wood Hills development, which includes Bass Pro Shops, Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina, and Charleston's Restaurant.
It runs between Albany Street (61st Street) and the entrance of the development's anchor tenant.
Wilkening said the city must own the street to ensure that tractor-trailer rigs delivering to Bass Pro Shops have access to the store. Roland Investments donated most of Stone Wood Hills to the city when it was built. Businesses there pay the city rent.
Officials moved to condemn the street after negotiations with the developer broke down, but Wilkening said the parties have been negotiating for several months on an alternative.
A key provision of the settlement - the donation of the right of way for the Hillside Drive extension - is a major victory in the city's effort to connect Stone Wood Hills to a larger shopping area east of Lynn Lane Road (177th East Avenue).
Stone Wood Hills is served by a western leg of Hillside that extends from Albany Street to a 23.75-acre parcel owned by Roland Investments just east of Bass Pro Shops. A separate leg serves areas east of Lynn Lane.
The city is still negotiating with Tulsa billboard developer Shawn Whistler to extend the western leg through a 6.42-acre parcel he owns just south of the Roland Investments property, Higgins said.
Acquiring that stretch would open 27 acres to development and create a nearly 2-mile contiguous shopping corridor fronting the north side of the Broken Arrow Expressway.
The settlement also will allow the city to ease "significant" parking problems in Stone Wood Hills, Wilkening said. Cars routinely park on the streets near those businesses, hindering traffic flow and emergency lanes, she said.
Original Print Headline: Deal gets BA land for road
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486