History – 2007 thru Present
The year 2007 began with considerable difficulty for the Fritts family because of Alton Fritts’ deteriorating medical condition. Dementia is a very difficult illness for everyone concerned. Often the patient is unable to express the nature of their problems and, even if the symptoms are well understood, there’s frequently not much that can be done.
In March 2007 the Chick-Fil-A negotiations that had already been underway for many months moved to the purchase contract stage. It still took more than 18 months to close the transaction and nearly 24 months for the store to open.
In May 2007 we began interviewing real estate agents to pre-lease a strip center we proposed to build in front of Home Depot. We had prepared a preliminary plan and budget and had established a tentative lease rate for the center in consultation with our professional team. Our lenders indicated strong interest if we could secure leases for at least 60% of the center. After a year of intense effort we were still a long way from our goal so we canceled the project in May 2008.
In early June 2007 a fellow from Dallas called to inquire about some land west of Home Depot. As normal, he couldn’t tell us who might want the land, for what purpose, for how much, or when. Later we learned the “who” was Target.
Alton Fritts became increasingly ill and subsequently died at home on September 21, 2007.
The purchase contract with Direct Development for the Target anchored retail center was eventually signed on October 19, 2007. Eventually there were 9 amendments to this contract.
Terry and Jason Fritts were permitted to attend the Target CPR meeting in Minneapolis in June 2008. In this meeting the plans for the Moore Target were disseminated and discussed in minute detail. This was the step just before funding authorization was granted by Target for the construction of the store. Later that authorization was given but before actual construction could begin the recession of 2007 took its toll on Target and many other retailers. So in November 2008 the Moore Target was postponed, only to be canceled entirely in 2009.
Meanwhile negotiations continued with Chick-Fil-A, eventually resulting in the first sale of property to an outside entity on October 6, 2008. The store opened for business on February 5, 2009. Before the opening of Chik-Fil-A, the old Fritts farmhouse was demolished. It was a very emotional day for all of the members of the Fritts family.
Also in November 2008 negotiations commenced with Jack In The Box for a pad site located at the southeast corner of Fritts Blvd and SW 19th Street. These negotiations resulted in the sale of the site and the subsequent opening of a new restaurant on July 20, 2010.
During the Target negotiations our developer had received many inquiries about potential retail opportunities. Some of these seemed viable even thought the Target project had been canceled. So in early 2009 we once again began working on the retail center project. This time we were successful in pre-leasing almost all of the space. However, the recession had made it extremely difficult to secure lending. We continued working with our banks and eventually found a way forward. Construction of the retail center began in earnest in middle 2011.
In December 2010 Target contacted the Fritts family to express interest in reviewing the site but this time as a stand alone Target store. The complex negotiation that ensued included Fritts, Target, and the City of Moore, finally resulting in the opening of the Target store on SW 19th and Fritts Blvd on July 24, 2011.
We began construction on the Fritts Farm Retail Center in front of Home Depot in late May and early June of 2011. The building is Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) construction including the roof deck. ICF has many advantages including strength, efficient insulation, no air infiltration, high thermal mass, wind and weather resistance, great sound attenuation, and durability. All of these are important to us as owners and developers of property we hope to last for many decades. Work was completed and stores began opening in March, 2012.
Raising Cane’s opened their new store in front of Target on May 3, 2012. It was one of the best openings we’ve been privileged to attend. We began negotiations with Raising Cane’s on May 11, 2011 and closed the land sale in January, 2012.
Construction began on a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store in May, 2012