Where retail growth might have once sprung from a mall, progress now may be heralded by a health care facility, as shown in recent developments in both Yukon and Shawnee, according to the Journal Record newspaper.
West of Oklahoma City, the town of Yukon is building a new interchange for traffic leaving Interstate 40 at Frisco Road, and no small amount of that traffic is to Canadian Valley Hospital, which is off Garth Brooks Boulevard.
According to the Journal’s recent coverage, the Yukon hospital led to 380 jobs, increased enrollment in local schools, and now the city is eyeing a 750,000-square-foot commercial real estate development near the hospital.
“It draws people from all over western Oklahoma. They schedule a couple of doctor’s appointments, they have lunch, they do a little shopping…it makes it a gateway to the metro area,” said Adam Brooks, Journal Record’s managing editor.
Similarly, a development in Shawnee is having the same effect, according to the Journal Record’s Molly M. Fleming in a story dated August 26.
The city has long had a hospital, but St. Anthony’s plan to expand its footprint and the opening of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital South seems to correlate with the announcement of the new Shawnee Marketplace retail center.
The newspaper reports that Shawnee Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Tim Burg considers the hospital expansion to be an obvious economic boon to the area because of increased traffic to the area by out-of-towners seeking treatment, but that synergy is created by other institutions as well.
“We’re a regional destination for retail, entertainment, employment, education, health care,” he said. “When there’s no competition of any size between yourself and the eastern border, you might want to consider marketing to that area because they have to travel somewhere.”
The Business Intelligence Report is a collaborative news project between KGOU and the Journal Record.
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