Dozens of retail stores sit empty in Tulsa, city does not track vacant retailers

Posted at 9:36 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 00:31:30-04

TULSA— As new retail developments go up all around the city, dozens of existing retail spaces are sitting empty all over the city, many for several years.

2 Works for You wanted to know what the city is doing to track the empty retail stores what role the city plays in filling them.  We found the city does not track the number of empty retailers in Tulsa. The head of Mayor's Office of Economic Development says the don’t have the staff or resources to track it.

“It is very difficult to track keep up with to keep up with that, in a lot of cases what are we going to do?  That's where the private sector and that's what people need to understand, you got the private sector, you have brokers, you’ve got the property owner, if they get the vacant space they're trying to get it leased back up,” Bird said.

From the city's standpoint, it's a balance between bringing in new retailers and filling existing spaces.

“We don't want to see those become a drag on the rest of the area so whatever we can do to assist in that within the resources we have I think we are to be trying to actively pursue both of those,” said Clay Bird with the MOED.

Relator Doug Bauer with Bauer and Associates tracks the retail and commercial markets in Tulsa.

“There still demand, I mean every day we get calls for some kind of space we try to match people and property,” Bauer said.

The economic development arm for the city works with existing retailers to help keep them in business and helps to bring in destination retail—stores that aren’t currently in Tulsa.

Bird says his office helps businesses stay come to Tulsa and stay-- but they have a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce-- and the chamber does a lot of the work recruiting of businesses to the city.


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