Jenks’ Riverwalk expects to be nearly full within a year

Aug 27, 2015


JENKS – New and pending leases promise 90-percent-plus occupancy for Jenks’ Riverwalk retail and office center within a year, according to Mike Payne, CEO of Onefire Holding Co.

That marks a dramatic turnaround for the 170,000-square-foot Arkansas River development, which saw its occupancy rate drop below 40 percent three years ago.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation acquired Riverwalk in a February 2012 sheriff’s sale for $11.5 million. The tribe transferred ownership to its commercial investment firm, Onefire, in May 2014.

Payne expects to almost double Riverwalk’s occupancy rate by the end of this year. He attributed that to momentum building around construction of the $22 million FlyingTee golf and family entertainment center, which Timberlake Construction started in March.

Muscogee (Creek) Principal Chief George Tiger also linked the growing demand to potential synergies with another tribal construction project, River Spirit Casino’s $365 million expansion on the river’s opposite bank in Tulsa.

That effort, targeted for completion late next year, will include a Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant, 30,000 square feet of convention space, a 2,500-seat entertainment venue and a 27-story hotel.

“We look at this as very much a destination,” said John Vollbrecht, managing partner of FlyingTee Golf. “Obviously, locals will be coming for a good time, but we see it also as a regional draw, with Margaritaville being built across the river.”

Timberlake should finish the 53,000-square-foot, three-story FlyingTee next spring. Jenks-based RW Restaurant Development will operate the complex, leasing it from Onefire.

Since construction’s start, Payne said Riverwalk has leased almost all of its 70,000 square feet of office space. Onefire has completely leased one of two previously empty 26,000-square-foot office buildings, along with the second floor of its twin building. Payne said pending contracts promise to fill its first floor by the end of the year.

That leaves only 5,000 square feet of office space available, on the second floor of Riverwalk’s main complex.

The complex also has signed several retail leases for restaurants and shops to open this fall or next spring, when FlyingTee should debut.

 “We have a couple of good restaurants coming in, almost anchor-type tenants,” Payne said. “And then I think that final wave will be filling in. By next summer we fully expect to be at our operating capacity, somewhere in the 90-percent neighborhood.”