Restaurant and retail space planned for E. Reno Ave. and S. Douglas Blvd.
By Jeff Harrison
A busy intersection could soon have more businesses.
Midwest City leaders recently approved plans to rezone property near S. Douglas Blvd. and E. Reno Ave. for a new commercial development.
The proposed development would be built at 208 S. Douglas Blvd., the former site of Douglas Boulevard United Methodist Church. The church closed several years ago and has remained largely unused.
The developer, Rod Baker said he plans to demolish the main church building and construct one or multiple commercial buildings. He said he plans to leave the existing 6,000-square-foot metal building, which served as the fellowship hall, on the back part of the property.
According to online property records, the church building was built in 1975 and the fellowship hall was added in 1981.
Baker said he was involved in developing the CVS and Little Caesars located north of the church building. He also built another Little Caesars on Air Depot Blvd. and developed a former Walmart building, located near E. Reno Ave. and Midwest Blvd., into a self-storage facility.
“We’ve had our eye on this property for some time and it finally made sense to try and acquire it,” Baker told the council at the Jan. 26 meeting.
Baker asked the city council to rezone the property from R-6 Residential with a Special Use Permit for a Church, to C-3 Community Commercial.
Councilman Pat Byrne said he welcomes the commercial development in the area.
“I have had several people contact me over the last several years encouraging the city to get that corner developed,” he said. “It’s one of the main intersections in Midwest City and it’s a vacant building there. It’s not a good look if you’re passing through.”
His fellow councilmembers agreed and unanimously passed the zoning request.
Baker said he hopes to begin demolition in spring and have the first phase built by this year. He could not announce any possible tenants at this time.