MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 23, 2013

QuikTrip gets more time to inspect site

Company may need federal water permits for development

— Muskogee Redevelopment Authority members approved a request by QuikTrip officials to extend by 90 days the inspection period included in a contract for the sale of land.

Officials said the extension is needed in order for QuikTrip to assess whether property at the southwest corner of U.S. 69 and Shawnee Bypass is suitable for development and avoid a contractual breach.

City Attorney Roy Tucker said an environmental review of the site revealed the site may “contain waters of the United States.” Such a finding, if confirmed, would require QuikTrip to obtain Clean Water Act permits from the Army Corps of Engineers before development could begin.

“It is not unusual to run into things like that during the inspection process — it’s just part of the discovery process,” said Tim Heuback, director of store operations for Tulsa-based QuikTrip. “We are committed to that corner and excited about coming to Muskogee.”

The contractual amendments approved Monday by city councilors provide QuikTrip 180 days from the date of execution to “inspect the property and perform and ... obtain any tests, surveys, studies or assessments” company officials deem necessary. The original contract, executed April 26, provided a 90-day inspection period.

A second amendment provides QuikTrip officials an opportunity to extend further the inspection period up to six months on a month-by-month basis. Each request for an extension, which must be based upon the company’s inability to obtain approval for the desired curb cuts and modification of Corps maps, would cost QuikTrip an extra $2,000 a month.

QuikTrip, ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the country’s top 100 employers, plans to build a 5,700-square-foot store combined with a travel center that incorporates its third-generation design at the Muskogee location. A QuikTrip spokesman said earlier this year that if everything goes as planned, the Muskogee store could open during the third quarter of 2014.

The privately held company employs almost 13,000 workers to support its more than 660 stores located in 11 states. The $10 billion company inked a contract in April to purchase the city-owned parcel for $826,596 — 20 percent less than the appraised value — plus transactional costs up to $15,000.

The Muskogee Redevelopment Authority bought the nearly 6-acre parcel from the county, which took title of the parcel about 55 years ago through its power of eminent domain. County commissioners had the tract appraised in January after receiving requests from potential developers or their agents. The parcels appraised at $1.03 million.

In a letter dated Feb. 22, City Manager Greg Buckley offered to pay $826,596 for the tract, a 20 percent discount from the appraised value. Commissioners accepted the offer about a week later, and city councilors approved the purchase by the Redevelopment Authority.

The city’s purchase was funded by a $1.1 million note issued by the Muskogee Redevelopment Authority and purchased by the City of Muskogee Foundation. The terms of the note provide for a five-year payoff with an annual interest rate of 2.75 percent.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

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