BROKEN ARROW — An upscale movie theater has signed on to anchor a "destination" shopping center in south Broken Arrow, officials said.
Wichita, Kan.-based Warren Theatres is the first tenant of the Shops at Aspen Creek, a 100-acre, $60 million development planned on Tucson (121st) Street just east of the Creek Turnpike’s Aspen (145th East) Avenue interchange, Houston developer Danny Signorelli said.
The company, which has a location in Moore and three in Wichita, bills itself as a luxury alternative and equips its theaters with a restaurant, bar and full-service balconies.
“I would have to call it the Cadillac of theaters,” Signorelli said. “It’s truly a regional draw.”
The Broken Arrow theater will have 14 screens and 90,000 square feet.
Another 200,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants will make the shopping center a regional entertainment, dining and shopping hub, city attorney Beth Anne Wilkening said.
The other tenants will consist of “everything from ... boutique retailers to anchor retailers,” Signorelli said.
They are expected to be announced soon, and construction should begin around April, he said.
The city is offering $7.25 million in incentives to Signorelli Co., including a $3.25 million sales-tax rebate and costs for utility construction, stormwater retention and right-of-way purchases.
The incentives, which would be paid with bond issues from 2008 and 2011, would only apply if Warren Theatres remains open for a period of time, Wilkening said.
“This appears to be a very, very good deal that’s going to do a lot of things for Broken Arrow,” she said.
City leaders touted the development as the most significant for Broken Arrow since Bass Pro Shops opened in 2005.
Warren Theatres alone will generate an estimated $750,000 in annual sales-tax revenue for the city, likely pulling visitors from south Tulsa, Bixby and even surrounding counties, officials said.
“Bass Pro was a really big deal when we did that, and I think this is just as big a deal,” Mayor Craig Thurmond said.
City Councilor Jill Norman, who said she lives “across the street” from the development, complained that the area has been extremely underserved.
Most people in southern Broken Arrow find it easier to take the Creek Turnpike to Tulsa’s 71st Street shopping centers than to drive to Broken Arrow’s major shopping areas along Albany (61st) Street, she said.
The Shops at Aspen Creek has been in the works for years, officials said.
One of the major holdups was a lack of easy transportation to the area. The Aspen Interchange on the Creek Turnpike, completed this year, changed that, officials said.
“Retail like this was the reason the Creek Turnpike was built,” Councilor Johnnie Parks said.
Warren Theatres LLC also owns Palace Movies, which has locations in Wichita and Springfield, Mo.; and Movie Machine in Wichita.