A summer filled with new construction is leading to a fall full of new businesses. Two ongoing projects are now near completion, and more projects will be getting underway in the near future.
Community Development Director Jessica Scott said the first of the new businesses to open will be Panda Express and the new Dollar General on South Commerce will follow soon after.
“Panda Express is going to be opening this week, and right now they are shooting for Friday.” Scott said. “Dollar General hopes to be open by the end of the month. Right now they’ve got their temporary certificate of occupancy and their employees are in there getting the shelves stocked and everything ready to go.”
While these two locations will soon be open, two others will soon be breaking ground. The Oklahoma Blood Institute will break ground for their new location on Merrick Drive on Wednesday and Xpress Wellness Urgent Care recently received its building permit at Market Street.
Scott said while these
places are under construction, the city is busy tearing down condemned homes.
“We’ve been tearing down lots of houses since our fiscal year started on July 1,” Scott said. “So far we’ve done eight and we currently have one out for bid.”
In addition to removing unsightly structures, the Community Development Department is also responsible for code enforcement and making sure tall grass and weeds do not get out of hand. While the city itself does not mow the yards, they do hire the contract labor that does it. Scott said this has proved especially difficult this year.
“The weeds and grass are crazy and we need more contractors. We cannot get enough people who want to mow for the city,” Scott said. “We have so many properties that are in violation, and we would love to have them mowed but we don’t have people bidding on the jobs.”
Scott said the city puts between 70 and 80 properties up for bid each week. Last week they received one bid on three properties. Those interested in bidding must have their own equipment and must have $100,000 in liability insurance.