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Midwest City taking next steps to acquire mall

The City of Midwest City is seeking to revitalize the former Heritage Park Mall area. Photo by Jeff Harrison

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

Midwest City will begin working to acquire the former Heritage Park Mall property.

The Midwest City Urban Renewal Authority last week authorized city staff to begin efforts to acquire the property as part of the urban renewal plan. They will develop an appraisal of the property and negotiate with the property owner.

“It will authorize staff to obtain an appraisal, review the appraisal, make a good faith offer based on the appraisal and attempt to negotiate with the purchase of the property,” said Emily Pomeroy, an attorney with the Center for Economic Development Law. “If we are able to enter into a purchase agreement for the property then we will, subject to approval.”

If an agreement cannot be reached, the city will attempt to acquire the property through use of eminent domain. Governments have the power to seize private land for public use, with proper compensation.

Both parties have the right to challenge the value of the property.

The land targeted for acquisition includes the main portion of the mall, the former Montgomery Wards building and former What-A-Burger. Midwest City Economic Development Trust already owns the former Sears building which is also included in the Urban Renewal Area.

Pomeroy said the Authority will be making the offer for the property.

The Authority also approved policies for the relocation of anyone displaced by the Urban Renewal Area during the Oct. 10 meeting. The policy includes relocation benefits such as moving expenses.

“They ensure the fair and consistent treatment of any person displaced in acquisition of property under this plan,” Pomeroy said.

Under the Oklahoma Urban Redevelopment Act, municipalities have tools to prevent the spread of blight in their communities by encouraging redevelopment and rehabilitation of properties that are blighted.

Midwest City’s urban renewal plan was approved in April and includes authorizations, relocation policies and procedures and how it will be implemented. It also defines the area, objectives and actions, and land uses.

The plan does not include details about how the property would be redeveloped or potential future uses. Any development will include input from the public and be subject to design review and consideration by the urban renewal authority.

“We wanted to make sure that the public had notice that now they’re going to really acquire the property,” Pomeroy said.

During the meeting, former Mayor and State Sen. and Dave Herbert announced that he is stepping down from the Urban Renewal Authority. The longtime Midwest City resident was the vice-chairman of the Authority.

“I really believe my wife’s illnesses and stuff that I need to do at the house and take care of her, plus the fact that the actions that are being taken here are going to be good for the city for a long time,” he said. “I think a younger person needs to be stepping into the chair.”

Herbert said it would be his last meeting but offered to help in other ways.

Chairman Jack Fry thanked Herbert for his dedication to the city over the years and inspiration to other community leaders.

“You have been very much appreciated in our community for all that you have done,” Fry said. “And I want to tell you how much you mean to me personally and to my family. What you have done for the community is outstanding and your service has been honorable.”

Members of the Urban Renewal Authority are appointed by the mayor and approved by the council.

Londyn McNair takes a swing at the plate during a scrimmage Friday at Choctaw High School. Photos by Ryan horton

Former state senator Dave Herbert announced his resignation from the Midwest City Urban Renewal Authority during an Oct. 10 meeting. Photo by Jeff Harrison


  1. Veronique on October 20, 2023 at 12:04 am

    Why don’t we just use it to house welfare recipients. They can be given a store to make a home and just maybe this would encourage them to get off welfare and get a real job. We as a society should not have to pay for them any longer.

    • Pamela on October 20, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Why not encourage businesses to pay a living wage so that people can stop needing assistance. Most people needing assistance have jobs but minimum wage doesn’t pay enough to get by without additional jobs and/or assistance. Stop corporate welfare!

      • Christina on October 20, 2023 at 3:31 pm

        Thank you! It’s so frustrating to see people who have obviously never been on the real ‘rock bottom’ side of life comment about this stuff with common stereotypes

  2. Teressa Gipson on October 20, 2023 at 10:03 am

    I think that they should renovate it and make another mall. I used to go to Heritage Park Mall every weekend. It’s so iconic, and has history. 😎

    • Cindy Smith on October 20, 2023 at 4:51 pm

      I do too! That mall was great and could be again.

  3. Alexis on October 20, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Why don’t you remodel the mail to make rooms for the homeless

    • Sam on October 21, 2023 at 12:52 pm

      Make room for the homeless? So Mideast city can become a hot bed for more drugs and violence? Or a housing place for illegal’s? Absolutely not! Mwc already has enough violent crime and drugs.

  4. Jason on October 21, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    Convert or renovate an area of the old mall into an open to the public vehicle maintenance garage, where they could rent a stall space, by the hour or by the day, to do things like oil changes, brake changes, coolant system or fuel system service on there own cars

  5. Beth on November 6, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    I think they should turn it into a concert hall. They can gut most of the building. Maybe keep a few store spaces for merch and/or food & drink. The parking spaces are there along with stoplights for some of the exits. I guarantee it would bring in decent shows.

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