It's one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Oklahoma City. Midtown is booming with new business. But, it comes at a price for some long-time mom and pops. The century old Swanson’s Tire shop opened in 1909, but it sits on prime real estate and the owner received an offer he couldn't refuse.
For 106 years, Swanson’s Tires has worked on hundreds of thousands of car over the years, replacing and repairing tires and even changing oil. But Friday is a bittersweet day as they work on the last of their customers’ cars before they close the doors for good.
“When I first started working here in 1986, Midtown was waste land. I mean people were moving out as fast as they could get out,” said owner Mike Crouse.
More than 70 years after moving into the neighborhood, Midtown's landscape has drastically changed. It is a change Crouse was happy to see develop around him, but now he says it's time to become part of the growth.
“We knew it was coming. Midtown has just been going straight up for the last half decade or so. We knew this was likely to happen at some point,” he said.
Realtors attribute Midtown's recent boom of revitalization to the city's MAPS projects, an increase in housing, and shops and restaurants opening drawing crowds to the area.
“The property market got hot enough that at some point you just stop saying no to perspective suitors,” said Crouse.
On its last day open to the public, business carried on as though it was any other day.
This time, when keys were turned over to their owners, Crouse was met with heartfelt goodbyes from longtime customers.
The new property owner plans to keep the five buildings already on site and remodel them into office space, a restaurant and a bar. Construction will begin at the start of next year.