City officials have been talking about growth for years, and while many projects have been announced, questions remained. What will the new family center be named? Citizens were promised new businesses, but what exactly will they be?
Mayor Martin Dyer sent shockwaves through everyone at the Ardmore Community Forum Monday when he finally answered these questions.
During his speech about growth, Dyer let the crowd know that the family center will now be dubbed The Clubhouse. Officials hope The Clubhouse at Regional Park will open sometime next year, but construction has yet to begin. It’s unclear exactly what the facility will have in store for the community, but citizens can infer from the logo that there will be go-carts, zip-lines and golf.
“Isn’t Ardmore a great place to live?” Dyer asked the crowd. “There are two billion people in the world and only 25,000 get this luxury.”
Dyer also told everyone at the forum that the city of Ardmore will soon see a Popeye’s Chicken, Schlotzsky’s, Swadley’s Bar-B-Q, a Five Guys Burgers and Fries and a Chuck E. Cheese.
“We’re sorry, but no Red Lobster,” Dyer said.
City officials said the restaurants won’t all go in on 12th Ave. or Rockford Road either. The Popeye’s location is set to be on Commerce Street in the parking lot in front of the Shops at Ardmore. Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright said that Swadley’s was set to go in on Holiday Drive, but fell through. He added that the establishment is now exploring other locations.
“It’s very exciting because a lot of retail are looking at the opportunity to come here,” Boatright said.
Dyer also announced that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will soon start repaving parts of Washington Street, before they relinquish the jurisdiction to the city. Currently, Washington Street is part of ODOT’s catalogue of state highways and as the state legislature slowly trims away at ODOT’s budget, they’re eager to shrink the area they’re responsible for maintaining.
“Everything from the interstate to downtown will be ours now,” City Manager J.D. Spohn said.
Around 100 people attended the forum, which included a lunch and the ability for citizens to ask city officials questions after the mayor’s presentation. By the end, one thing was for sure, the city has another busy year ahead.
“The timeline for all that … don’t ask me please,” Dyer joked.