Downtown Jenks details expansive development plan

JENKS, Okla. — Downtown Jenks could be getting a big transformation if city leaders get their wish. And they’re keeping optimistic that the city’s newest proposed mixed-use development will work out better than the last one.

The City of Jenks put out a call for developers to submit plans to redevelop a large lot downtown into a destination.

Mayor Cory Box is excited about the idea.

Jenks Mayor announces “Once-in-a-lifetime redevelopment opportunity”

“The opportunity here is immense for us,’ Box said.

He and city leaders are ready to see someone step in and make the empty lot at Main and Birch street downtown into a destination.

“We’re just one of many residents who drive up and down main street and wonder why there’s a big empty field” he said.

And the city is one step closer to getting the ball rolling.

They purchased the 4.2 acre site from the Tulsa-City County library, and now they’re putting out the call.

“Today we are asking local and national developers to review our request for proposal, and share your best ideas,” Box said.

That request for proposal cites Utica Square and Watters Creek in Allen, Texas as other developments that could be a good source of inspiration for this one.

“Our vision for this property includes retail, restaurants, commercial, residential and more. Truly what we call mixed use,” Box said.

The city is accepting proposals now through March. They hope to have a final proposal decided on by June.

Of course this isn’t the first time Jenks has seen an ambitious mixed-use project on the drawing boards.

In recent years work got underway for a new outlet mall developed by Simon Malls.

But if the half-built steel frames and concrete walls at the future site of the mall along the Creek Turnpike are any indication, that project has been put on hold.

“The COVID situation is what caused all this as everybody can understand,” Box said.

Mayor Box says it’s the supply chain issues we’ve seen that have the project on pause, and he’s confident the mall will come eventually.

“What hey have committed to us is that they remain very, very optimistic that they will have shovels in the ground and be doing something in 2022,” he said.

While they’re banking on a developer’s word for that project to happen, city leaders say there’s reason to keep confident in the downtown project.

“The confidence level is high because we have control,” he said.

The city gets to decide what happens to the land and how it happens.