Stillwater News Press

Local News

June 15, 2011

TJMaxx, Jo-Ann Fabrics stores coming to Stillwater

STILLWATER, Okla. — Developer Bill Morris says he has successfully filled the void that split Bradford Plaza in half since Goody’s clothing store closed in 2009.

Clothing outlet TJMaxx and craft store Jo-Ann Fabrics signed agreements this week to open shops on North Main Street — pending successful lease negotations, according to Morris, partner in Morris Capital Partners, which bought the retail shopping center late last year.

It is a gratifying moment, Morris said, to secure new tenants for the building after months of negotiations.

“It’s been a longer road than I would have thought, but in this economy it just takes a long time,” he said. “So, it is nice to pass the test and get these well-known national tenants.”

TJMaxx is a national department store that sells discounted designer and brand name clothing. Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts is a fabric and crafts retailer with stores nationwide.

Josh McKim, director of economic development for the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, said it will be good for the community to fill the former Goody’s location after a vacancy of more than two years.

“It is a great location that is very visible to the community, and we want to make sure we have our best face forward — but having a big vacancy there is not the way we want to show off,” he said. “So to see that filled with top-notch tenants is really exciting.”

Remodeling is not likely to begin until sometime this fall, Morris said, with doors opening to both stores by early next year.

Old Navy also recently signed a long-term agreement to remain in Bradford Plaza, he said, although that store may change location within the shopping strip.

As part of final negotiatons to ensure TJMaxx and Jo-Ann Fabrics come to Stillwater, Morris said he is working with the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce to identify possible financial incentives to further improve the plaza.

Such a public-private partnership is common, McKim said, especially for retail projects this size. There are a couple different funding resources in this case, he said, that could suit the project. It’s too soon to identify the exact program this project qualifies under, he said, but he anticipates a deal will be reached.

The property has already been heavily marketed and invested, McKim said.

“You get really excited about a few of them,” he said, “and this is one I get excited about.”

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