If all goes well, Academy, Petsmart, Five Below, Party City and other chains will come to a new shopping center in Ardmore.
The Ardmore Board of Commissioners voted to rezone a 29 acre plot north of the intersection of Commerce Street and 12th Avenue NW, designating it for commercial development. The spot will be home to a new shopping center, which has been in the works for roughly two years.
“It’s been a long road getting here,” Burk Collins, CEO of Burk Collins & Company, said. “It’s probably taken me longer to get this center together than any center I’ve ever developed.”
Collins, whose company also developed Ardmore Commons and The Shops at Ardmore, said economic factors like a nationwide retail slump and navigating regulations drew the process out.
During the commission meeting, Collins said he received letters of intent from Petsmart, Party City, Five Below and Shoe Carnival, which were all contingent on Academy coming to the shopping center as well.
“They’ve been sitting there for two years with [letters of intent],” Collins said. “Now that we’ve got the Academy deal done, we’ve got to go back and shore up those [letters of intent].”
 Collins said construction on the new shopping center will begin while his company goes through the process of converting letters of intent to leases.
“I’m pretty confident that most of them will still be there,” Collins said. They all want to be here.”
Construction on the Academy building and the parking lot should start in early February.
“Once we start construction, activity will pick up,” Collins said.