ENID, Oklahoma— Adding entertainment options and clothing retailers is always a priority for the city’s economic developers.
Board members of the Enid Regional Development Alliance met in executive session on Thursday to talk about “department stores, cinemas and other local expansions in the town of Enid”, according to the meeting agenda. . After leaving the executive session, council members took no action and had no news regarding department stores or movie theaters.
Enid town commissioners also met in executive session on Tuesday to discuss possible cinema plans, before meeting again in open session without taking any action.
The location of a possible movie theater has not been disclosed to the public.
Enid has not had a theater since the start of the year.
AMC Theaters at Oakwood Mall closed in December 2021. It had previously closed for several months following the COVID-19 pandemic before reopening in September 2020.
Plans then fell through in January to build a new theater in The District retail corridor in Cleveland and Garriott, after being long delayed since the COVID pandemic due to rising construction costs and a lack of bank financing options.
In June 2020, city commissioners had approved offering Apex Cinemas an incentive package with a rebate of $3.5 million, to be paid over 15 years, to develop the 7, 5 acres given. The deal was never fully accepted, however, Enid trade officials said.
The closest cinemas to Enid are the 89’er Theater in Kingfisher, the Royal Theater in Fairview, the Hub Entertainment Center in Tonkawa, and AMC Stillwater 10.
The ERDA board also discussed the performance of executive director Lisa Powell and voted to give Powell a 3% raise.
At the end of the ERDA’s fiscal year, board members discussed their 2022-23 “work plan” or priorities as an organization. These priorities include talent attraction/workforce development, business development/entrepreneurship, retail, aviation/aerospace recruitment, site development and housing.
Many of the ERDA’s priorities are not new areas of focus, but may change from year to year.
“The only addition to the list is housing, since we’ll be working on our housing study,” Powell said.
She said workforce development is also known as workforce training. Business expansion is the work the ERDA does with existing businesses, she said, to help with expansion, support and further development.
“As retail grows, the city’s biggest challenge is entertainment for all ages and apparel, footwear and housewares for men, women and children,” Powell said.
Site development involves making sure there are places where businesses can set up shop, without having to wait for major infrastructure items like gas, water and electricity, he said. she declared. Seven mid-sized parcels are available in the Garfield County Industrial Park.
The board spoke at length about the possibility of developing the Easterly Industrial Park, 3 miles east of Enid south of Willow between 66th and 78th. It is approximately 320 acres, with direct access to BNSF railroad tracks and is zoned heavy industrial.
The area has received certification under BNSF Railway’s Site Certification program, which “ensures a site is ready for rapid acquisition and development through a comprehensive assessment of existing and planned infrastructure, standards environmental and geotechnical, utility evaluation, and site availability,” according to BNSF Railroad’s website.
Staff writer Alexander Ewald contributed to this story.