By Joy Hampton
The Moore American
MOORE — Moore is exploding with business growth and municipal growth and amenities. The city’s business boom has continued, even through some rocky economic years and new growth is exploding.
“We continue to be thrilled with the development that happens here and the continued growth,” City Manager Stephen Eddy said. “Housing growth has picked back up again which is what we need people here in town to shop at all these places.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods is so new to Moore that the sales tax hasn’t made it back to city coffers yet, but the impact is expected to be strong considering Dick’s regional draw. It’s not alone, the Warren IMAX Theater brings people from across a wide area. Those people come early or stay late and eat or shop.
“We don’t know for sure, but we estimate at least 50 percent of our sales tax comes from outside of the community,” Eddy said.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard in Moore is a top producers for Oklahoma and Texas franchise owner, Bob Rasberry. The Moore location opened in 2006 before the theater located there and the theater’s impact has been felt.
“Moore is consistently one of our top stores in terms of sales and operational excellence,” Rasberry said.
New businesses seem to open monthly.
The Fitness One under construction at 647 SW 19th St.—19th Street and Telephone Road— will be far larger than the next closest location. The new facility will be 40,000 square feet with 24 hour access, a three lane lap pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and child care. Members will be able to utilize other Fitness One locations including nearby Norman. Company officials said the plan is to open sometime in February.
“You can tell its going to be incredible,” Eddy said.
Oklahoma Fidelity Bank at Interstate 35 and South 19th Street is also under construction.
“Oklahoma Fidelity Bank is a new bank for us here in town,” Eddy said.
Oklahoma Fidelity is a division of Fidelity Bank out of Wichita, Kan. Other locations include Oklahoma City and Edmond.
“There are several buildings around town under construction and quite a bit of commercial development occurring,” Eddy said. “And there are a couple of big projects that are going to start construction soon. Hemispheres Furniture is going to build a new building. That’s new business. It’s a part of the Hobby Lobby group.
“Life Church is going to build a huge church on the Interstate near Gordmans. That’s a huge building that will bring a lot of folks to town,” he said.
In addition to commercial development, the city is expanding its public safety and community facilities.
The new Moore Public Safety Center, on the northeast corner of Main Street and Broadway in Old Town is currently under construction. The Public Safety Center will house a new police station, emergency operations center and municipal court.
“We’re shooting for Aug. 2013 to be complete,” Eddy said. “It’s getting paid for with general revenue using a loan the city got a few years ago. The loan will be repaid with general revenue funds.”
Eddy said the total cost including engineering and design will run around $12 million for the approximately 50,500 square foot facility.
The current police facility is housed in the old health department. This will give Moore Police three times the amount of space,” Eddy said.
In November, Moore voters authorized $25.1 million in general obligation bonds to fund a major destination park.
This park will be home to a new aquatic facility, a new community/recreation center, a farmer’s market/ multi-purpose building, an outdoor amphitheater/stage, and a 2-mile multi-purpose trail in central Moore. The first bond will be issued in early 2013.
Moore voters also approved a quarter-cent, temporary sales tax to run from April 1, 2013 to March 30, 2017. That temporary sales tax is designated for improvements to existing parks.
The projects will make major upgrades and improvements to existing parks, build a wall of honor to recognize veterans, create gathering spots for families to enjoy time together, offer new health and wellness opportunities for Moore residents and create a positive economic impact from special events and new destination facilities, according to the Master Parks plan and city staff notes.