The Frontier

City representatives met with Simon Property Group recently to discuss possible alternate locations for an outlet mall, including several large properties along U.S. 75 south of 61st Street, City Manager Jim Twombly said Tuesday.

“They obviously wanted to be on 75, probably in close proximity both to Tulsa Hills (mall) and Interstate 44,” Twombly said. “There is lots of land out there for sale and they are aware of that. So we are working with them to provide whatever information (they need) about land generally in that area.”

Twombly declined to say which city officials met with Simon or what specific parcels of land were identified, but land records show at least three properties that could potentially accommodate the mall:

  • 53 acres owned by Siegfried Companies Inc. on the southeast corner of U.S. 75 and 61st Street (for this property to work, a separately owned 1.13-acre lot would likely have to be part of the project.)
  • Approximately 40 acres just south of the Siegfried property owned by McGehee, Leone C. & First National Bank and Trust, OKC (the same entities own about 50 acres across U.S. 75 to the west)
  • 38.3 acres on the west side of U.S. 75 owned by ONEOK.

Simon announced plans last year to build Premium Outlet Mall on 48 acres of private property on the northeast corner of U.S. 75 and 61st Street near Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area.


The retail giant has since backed away from the project after an outcry from Turkey Mountain enthusiasts who argued that the development would damage the popular wilderness area. City Council support for the project has been tepid at best, with several councilors on the record as opposing the mall at its original site.

City officials have consistently said that it is not their place to dictate whether or where a mall is built in Tulsa. At the same time, they have made it clear that they would assist Simon in any way possible to find a suitable location.

The city’s effort to keep the outlet mall in Tulsa intensified last month after Jenks officials announced that the developer had decided to move the project south to land across the Creek Turnpike from the Oklahoma Aquarium.

Simon has not confirmed the move, and the company has not withdrawn its zoning application for the Tulsa site.
Twombly said Tuesday that the city’s recent efforts to keep the mall in Tulsa have included a face-to-face meeting with officials from Simon.

“We are basically talking with Simon on a weekly basis,” he added.

Another alternative Tulsa site that has been discussed for the outlet mall is Bales Park, a city-owned property at 5801 S. Union Ave. The park is across U.S. 75 from the original mall site and includes four baseball diamonds.

Under the plan, Simon would purchase the 61st Street and U.S. 75 property and swap it for the park land.
Twombly said city officials remain excited about an outlet mall planned for east Tulsa.

Michigan-based Horizon Group Properties announced plans last year to construct The Outlet Shoppes at Tulsa. The 95-store retail development is to be built at 129th East Avenue and Interstate 44.

Project plans call for about 350,000 square feet of leasable land for restaurants, hotels and additional retail operations.

“We’re having weekly discussions with them as well,” Twombly said.

The mall could provide 1,200 permanent jobs and $130 million in annual sales, according to Horizon officials.
It is scheduled to be completed in 2017.