COVID-19 Changes Major Oklahoma City Retail Development


Thursday, August 13th 2020, 6:49 pm
By: Karl Torp


OKLAHOMA CITY -

There are changes coming to a massive retail and residential development near Penn Square Mall.

You may have already seen construction crews hard at work along the southwest corner or Penn and Northwest Expressway.

But that construction is the demolition of only one of the two office buildings.

“We are taking some buildings down, because the neighborhood had some concerns about safety,” said Ryan McNeil with Veritas Development.

McNeil said the 8 homes originally set for demolition will also come down over the next month for safety reasons as well.

But new construction won’t immediately begin due to the pandemic.

“We are almost going back to the drawing board to take a new fresh perspective,” said McNeil.

There’s no timetable on when phase one of Oak will start or how it will look.

It was originally envisioned to be a dense development with restaurants, retail and residential living on 20 acres.

But the pandemic has changed those plans.

“Restaurants were one of the leading edges of the spear for the project and able to pay for the new construction costs,” said McNeil.

Instead of demoing the second office building as originally planned, Veritas Development is signing three-year leases on the property and keeping the building intact for now.

McNeil is hopeful the pandemic will just alter the phasing of the project and not the ultimate end result.