• Cathy O’Connor

OKC celebrates grocery store opening


The community is invited to celebrate the opening of the new, full-service Homeland grocery store at NE 36th and Lincoln Boulevard on Wednesday at 9 a.m. as well as a First Sunday community day on the 5th from 1-5 p.m.

This grocery opening is significant because it breaks a barrier. Now our residents in northeast Oklahoma City have improved access to fresh groceries, a basic necessity that’s been missing from their neighborhoods for more than 20 years.

The Homeland will offer organic fruits and vegetables; freshly baked breads; a custom butcher shop; fresh, ready-to-eat deli foods; wine and beer by the glass; and a drive-thru pharmacy. The store will have indoor and outdoor seating near the grab-and-go prepared food. The outdoor seating will be near service outlets for food trucks, creating an open space for gatherings.

The store is also significant because it’s one of the first projects completed where the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City acted as a developer. We partnered with two other entities to create 36th & Lincoln LLC and develop the project: Milwaukee-based Endeavor Corp., which we sought out for its specialty in developing distressed areas, and Northeast Equity Investment Group. We took on this role because the financing for the deal was so complex that the time and resources required to gather the financial partners, apply for tax credits and acquire the land made the project unfeasible for private development.

We worked with the city to acquire the land by swapping parcels with the Commissioners of the Land Office and buying a small parcel of adjoining land from OG&E. We secured over $10 million in new market tax credits from U.S. Bank and Heartland Renaissance Fund, $3.5 million in tax increment financing and a social impact loan from Metafund’s new Impact Accelerator. We secured private financing and investors passionate about northeast OKC development. We oversaw the construction, and the LLC will own the store and administer the long-term lease with Homeland/HAC.

The Homeland deal is an excellent example of a successful private-public partnership that is sometimes required to complete a complex transaction that can’t be done in either sector alone. It also represents a strategic direction the Alliance is moving: to pursue opportunities as a developer where there is high need in the community.

I hope you’ll join us in celebrating this accomplishment for Oklahoma City.

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