Vacant land in the city-owned Centennial Retail/Industrial Park is attracting businesses.
‘Things are going crazy’ in the Centennial Retail/Industrial Park
Land negotiations and swaps in Centennial Retail and Industrial Park seem to be peaking, with announcments expected soon.
So far, though, City Administrator Carl Francis is only at liberty to state publicly that S&J Processing, on Stadium Drive, will build a new meat processing facility in the park with a store in front.
He’s still sworn to secrecy on the name of the full-size family restaurant with plans to build in the park.
Francis says the company wants to make its own announcement and has specifically asked him not to beat them to it, “even though everybody in town knows what it is.”
Besides that, he says he has tentative deals with another restaurant (a breakfast diner), a grocery chain and a manufacturing plant.
“We’re getting real close to getting these across the dotted line,” says Francis.
He did disclose that the manufacturing plant will initially employ 20 people to make mattresses. There will be a store in front to sell the mattresses and after the first year of operation the number of employees would increase to 50.
Mayor Lynn Ragsdale regularly comments that there will be a time when Francis isn’t as involved in real estate. The number of lots the city owns in the park north of the roundabout is limited.
Francis attributes the interest to increased traffic coming down East Street from Oronogo and being in sight from the Highway 249 bridges. Attwods drew attention to the park, and now the Sleep Inn & Suites is a landmark. Next to Sleep Inn will be Wes Barnum’s convention center, and next to it will be the full-size family restaurant.
Moreover, Francis says he is also helping land owners on Madison Street describe their properties to prospective businesses.
Francis informs the council of land-deal specifics during closed session. In open session Monday, the council:
– For Terry Quarles to use a barn at 1169 1/2 Prairie Flower Road for family-friendly entertainment (axe throwing).
– For Lavonna Preble to continue operating Reflexology and More at 406 N. Webb St.
– For Mark and Cheryl Johnson to continue operating C&M Machining at 905 W. Broadway.
– Six tasers and accessories – $9,203.
– Equipment for three new vehicles – $21,793.