Sac and Fox to buy land where Stroud outlet mall once stood

Stroud, Oklahoma (AP) 10-07

Sac and Fox plan to buy some of the land where an outlet mall destroyed more than eight years ago by a tornado once was located.

The Tanger Outlet Mall, located along Interstate 44 about halfway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, was leveled by the May 3, 1999, storm and has been vacant ever since.

The Stroud City Council and the city’s Hospital and Development Authority now have approved the sale of 18.3 acres of the former mall site to the Sac and Fox Nation. The tribe will pay $1.35 million for the land. The authority had paid more than $150,000 in interest on the property, but it is not charging the tribe interest on the sale.

The city made that decision to encourage the tribe to develop the land, Stroud City Manager Steve Gilbert said. City officials say they hope the sale of the land will bring retail back to the Lincoln County town of about 2,700.

The Tanger Outlet Mall had 44 stores, supplied the equivalent of 300 full-time jobs and accounted for half the city’s sales taxes when the tornado destroyed it.

The tribe had approved a resolution for the sale in December. It has not finalized plans for the property, and although a casino is a possibility, other uses of the land will be considered, said Georgia Noble, the chairwoman of the tribe’s business enterprise board.

Noble said the tribe wants to diversify its interests beyond gaming and perhaps begin a commercial business venture.

She said the tribe will seek to have the 18.3 acres place into trust status through the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, as federal law requires that tribal casinos be on trust property. That process could take up to two years, she said.

The remainder of the 57-acre site is owned by Gardner Tanenbaum Group in Oklahoma City, and Stroud officials are trying to market that land.

Information from: Tulsa World,