Homeland announced Monday that it will build a new state-of-the-art grocery store at NE 36th Street and Lincoln Boulevard to open in late 2020 or early 2021.
“This is a carefully planned, thoughtful project that’s more than just a store,” said Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice.
If plans develop as intended, the move will help reduce the “food desert” status of the east side of Oklahoma City which lost its last full-service grocery when Super Saver closed August 5th.
The company announced it will invest $16 million in the project and generate up to 75 new jobs. Hiring for the new store is expected to begin in 2020.
“This is an exciting day for Northeast OKC, not just to have a full-service grocery but also a corporate headquarters,” said Mayor David Holt in a text message. “It’s a fantastic investment by Homeland and I am grateful to them.”
Plans for the store include “a pharmacy, and will boast of an array of fresh offerings such as organic fruits and vegetables, freshly baked breads, a custom butcher shop and fresh, ready-to-eat deli foods,” the announcement said.
“As an Oklahoma City based company, Homeland is moving forward to present a unique shopping experience to provide fresh healthy grocery options to customers in the underserved northeast Oklahoma City area,” said Marc Jones, CEO, and President in the announcement.
“Homeland has worked closely with and received tremendous support from our City Council members, the Mayor, Chamber, and economic development organizations to develop a plan that will meet the needs of our friends and neighbors who live in northeast Oklahoma City.”
Win for Ward 7
Nice has been working to draw more full-service grocery stores to the east side of Oklahoma City since her election in 2018.
“A brand new, full-service grocery has been a continuous process for northeast Oklahoma City,” said Councilwoman Nice in a prepared statement. “I want to thank Marc Jones and the Homeland board for their work. This is a carefully planned, thoughtful project that’s more than just a store.”
Nice was careful to point to the work of previous Ward 7 Council members.
“Every City Council representative from Ward 7 since 1993 has worked toward this moment: Willa Johnson, Skip Kelly, John Pettis and Lee Cooper, plus so many other residents,” Nice said.
“I am honored to be part of a team that has worked so hard to meet a need in our community.”
Nice praised the company for it’s long term commitment to the well-being of the community and employees.
“Homeland is locally owned and employee owned,” Nice said. “It pays living wages. This is what a true investment in your community looks like. This is another of many efforts to come as we continue the renaissance of northeast Oklahoma City.”
Homeland (HAC, Inc.) is based in Oklahoma City with its corporate headquarters currently at 390 NE 36th Street near where new construction is to occur.
An announcement by the company said that they plan to build the new 30,000 square foot store next to a new 35,000 foot national corporate headquarters.
It is a unique company in that it has been 100% employee-owned since 2012 and became a founding member of Certified Employee-Owned an organization that certifies employee-owned businesses.
According to the company, Homeland is the largest grocery chain in Oklahoma with 30 locations state wide.
The HAC, Inc. grocery chain has a total of 74 grocery stores in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Georgia. Homeland is the largest segment of that chain.
The announcement comes with a letter of intent with a new LLC which will own and develop the new store and headquarters building.
The LLC has as its members The Alliance of Economic Development of Oklahoma City with Endeavor Corporation and ESmith Legacy Communities.
Under the agreement with the other members of the LLC, the City will contribute funds from the Northeast Renaissance tax increment finance or TIF district for the project.
“This is our first big Opportunity Zone win,” said Mayor Holt.
An opportunity zone is an area designated by the federal government for investment with financial incentives for the investors.
In this opportunity zone, one of the investors is a fund “backed by Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Holt said. “A great day all around!”