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Plans made to redevelop west side of 2nd Street

The Lawton Economic Development Authority has officially set the ball rolling to expand the redevelopment of Northwest 2nd Street.

The authority last week voted to direct staff to begin work on a plan to redevelop the west side of the street from Arlington to Ferris avenues, a project that Mayor Fred Fitch said would benefit the existing development on the east side of the street.

So far redevelopment on the east side has been centered on the south side of the 12-block area that constituted the project's first phase  the Hilton Garden Inn and Lawton Convention Center, the row of big-box stores just off of Railroad Street on the east side of the project, and two buildings with small shops, as well as the new Mattress Firm store.

Fitch said some retailers are interested in the north side of the first phase but want to see the west side of 2nd Street cleaned up. With the authority's vote last week, the city can start work with its legal firm to explore financing options, as well as approach banks.

Richard Rogalski, the city's community service director, said there has been some informal estimate of costs, but "right now it's just ballpark information."

The process will take some time, he said, and will allow the authority to move if there's interest in expansion. "You can't start it after you need it," he said.

Fitch said the west side of 2nd Street  as well as other downtown property  was included in the original redevelopment plan.

"We know it's the right thing to do," he said. "It was always our intention" to move to the west side.

The Lawton Constitution

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