Pharmacy, hotel may open at RiverWest site in Sand Springs

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. - New businesses could move into the RiverWest development, which is located at Highway 97 and Morrow Road.

Sand Springs City Manager Rocky Rogers said the developer is in talks to bring a CVS pharmacy to the site.

He said an upscale hotel group has also expressed interest, though no deals are finalized.

The city used its Vision 2025 funding to purchase the land for $14.5 million in 2005.

Connecting downtown Sand Springs to the Arkansas River is a long-held vision of city leaders.

"The ultimate goal is to have a retail project that's built there that will provide sales tax for the city and also increase the property values in that area," said Rogers.

Aside from a couple of businesses, the 30 acres have remained empty.

Sand Springs resident Aeron Jacobs remembers hearing talk about major retailers moving in.

"It was supposed to happen five, six years ago," said Jacobs. "Only thing they've actually built is this IHOP and that O'Reilly's."

Rogers understand the frustration that many residents feel.

"It's moving a little slower than we thought, but there's always some sort of problem or challenge that comes up and creates some delay," said Rogers, noting that the project is moving forward.

Tapp Development, the site's developer, said when the recession hit a few years ago, retailers no longer seemed interested.

Now that the economy has picked up, so has the interest.

Project developer Jim Tapp said several restaurants have expressed interest in Sand Springs.

"We're working out the details and pushing forward with an exciting mix of tenants at RiverWest and it's going to change this regional marketplace in a very positive way," Tapp said in a press release.

Road construction through the site will start within 90 days.

Several multi-tenant retail buildings are also planned.

Jacobs is looking forward to having more shopping outlets in Sand Springs.

"Something nicer instead of having to go all the way to Tulsa," he said.

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