Nick Ian Emenhiser
January 27, 2010
The long-rumored Best Buy has finally broken ground as of last week, in the Lakeview Pointe shopping center on Perkins and Lakeview Road. Located in the former Linens ‘N Things space, work recently began with gutting the interior and renovating the facade.
This store will be a smaller Best Buy concept, said Jason Teagle, manager at the Belk located in Lakeview Pointe.
“Linens ‘N Things was around 40-45,000 square feet, which will be smaller than us, which is around 60,000 square feet,” Teagle said.
Teagle also chairs the Chamber of Commerce’s committee on retail. Both Teagle and Aspen Coffee owner Matt Johnston, also at Lakeview Pointe, anticipate a boom in business from getting Best Buy.
“I have no doubt that it will increase business, that’s a niche we definitely needed that will continue to bring in shoppers from surrounding areas instead of going to Tulsa or Oklahoma City,” Teagle said.
Johnston said he anticipates “a huge impact.”
“Our shopping center is the so-called mall of Stillwater. Until development west of town gets going, (Lakeview Pointe) is the de facto area at this point,” Johnston said.
Teagle hesitated from making the same claim, reiterating that there are lots of retail developments in Stillwater, as well as Downtown Stillwater.
Chamber of Commerce President Larry Brown said he has been trying to get Best Buy to come to Stillwater for a while.
“A wish list of people in the community always includes Olive Garden, Target and Best Buy,” Brown said. “Looking at the marketplace and the customer base, and lack of an electronics store, Best Buy makes logical sense.”
Brown said Best Buy was originally discussed as a possible anchor in the development of Country Club Crossing, a large shopping project off of Highway 51, west of town. Country Club Crossing will include a Target.
“I think Best Buy independently recognized the opportunity when the space became available and acted on their own,” Brown said, who also said he doesn’t think Best Buy going in on Perkins complicates the plans for Country Club Crossing.
“Direct Development (the group behind the project) has a number of anchor retailers that they work with besides just Target and Best Buy,” Brown said. “The key will just be reaching 50,000 residents in the 2010 census.”
Construction on Country Club Crossing has been going forward with basic site work as well as decorative entrances, but development of the retail component has been rescheduled due to the national recession.
“Stillwater is a very viable retail market, and we’re still doing very well all things considered, it’s just unfortunate that projects like this are affected by national indicators,” Brown said.
Best Buy’s opening in Stillwater is planned for the Fall of 2010, Johnston said.