$10 million reinvestment in downtown Jenks brings new businesses

JENKS, Okla. — The largest reinvestment in the history of Jenks’ downtown core district was unveiled on Thursday morning. In 2023 the block of 121 East Main Street will be transformed.

The $10 to $12 million dollar development project will work with the existing structure, which dates back to 1914, and construct a new building in the vacant lot right next to it.

When complete, it will offer retail and restaurant space in the heart of the downtown.

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Jenks Mayor Cory Box joined developer Josh McFarland at the unveiling of the new 30,000 square foot development project on Main Street.

“The balloon’s been popped,” McFarland remarked after a ceremonial popping of a large balloon, “now it’s ready to go, downtown is going to happen.”

McFarland has joined forces with businessmen Bart Boatright and State House Representative Elect Mark Tedford, CEO of Tedford Insurance, to form an LLC to bring the development project to fruition.

Construction is expected to get underway by late June with a completion date in 2023.

“It will look pretty much like what you see now,” Tedford noted, “it does need some work on the outside so we’ll freshen it up, probably repaint the brick, add some new awnings.”

Tedford, whose insurance company will occupy the space upstairs, said a new building will be constructed west of the current building.

“It will be a three-story building,” he noted, “it will be the same styled architecture as what these buildings are but we’re not going to try to make them look identical, it’s going to be its own look.

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One of the two restaurant tenants that will go in the new building will be Sheila Anne Pies.

“The concept is an Oklahoma European pie company with a southern twist,” said Sheila Dills.

Dills, a state representative, who is not seeking re-election this year, will be putting her culinary skills to the test in her new role.

“With this project I think it is the catalyst for future growth on Main Street,” she remarked, “and I think in ten years we’ll turn around and say wow.”

The other restaurant will be a steak house/chop house concept run by the McNellie’s group.

McFarland said ideally he’d like to see retail go in the remaining space on the front part of the existing building that offers a tenant about 33-hundred square feet of space.

There’s also space on the back side of the development that will be available for lease.

The new pie company hopes to add as many as 15 jobs while the chop house will add another 40 to 60 jobs. Those numbers don’t include the staff who will working for Tedford Insurance.