Dunham’s Sports, a Michigan-based company, has been working to open a store at Shawnee Mall. After running into some delays, latest estimates point toward the end of March. Shawnee Mall Leasing Agent Fred Heichman said the company is anticipating an open date around March 31.

Dunham’s Sports, a Michigan-based company, has been working to open a store at Shawnee Mall. After running into some delays, latest estimates point toward the end of March.

Shawnee Mall Leasing Agent Fred Heichman said the company is anticipating an open date around March 31.

“It could be a little sooner or a little later, but that's the goal,” he said. “The date had at one time been pushed back to April, but they are making headway.”

Heichman said it’s a big store. “It's more than 60,000 square-feet. There's a lot involved in making sure everything opens up nicely,” Heichman said.

He said the business wants to make a good impression.

“No one wants to see it open more than we do,” he said.

Delays have pushed the projected opening from fall into spring.

In August the retail chain realized its first proposed timeline was a little too ambitious.

“Their original goal was to be open in time for Black Friday,” said Jared Cooper, chief building official for the city.

Tim Burg, executive director of Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, said Dunham’s hit their first snag when they discovered area contractors were too busy and there wasn’t a big enough workforce to do the job as soon as originally planned.

“They had to back off the projected completion date,” Burg said, “and take a wait-and-see attitude.”

Burg said he was personally disappointed that the company didn’t make their Black Friday opening.

Dunham’s is going to have a virtual game where players can choose any actual golf course in the country, Burg said.

“I know I’m just excited for it to open, but in reality I know you can’t just rush the job and expect everything to run smoothly,” he said.

“I did get to tour it. It’s very impressive,” he said.

“There’s nothing like it in the southeast part of Oklahoma,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful addition to retail for Shawnee,” Burg said. “It’s been targeted ever since our retail study in 2012. Conservative figures indicate that Shawnee is losing $100 million a year in consumer sales that are leaking out to other areas. This project can help fill that gap.”

Dunham’s is renovating the old Sear’s location –– on the north side of the mall, west of the food court.

Justin Erickson, city manager, said, “I’m pretty excited to get that space filled up.

This is the first Oklahoma store for Dunham’s, Heichman said.

“This is one of only four stores west of the Mississippi River,” Burg said. “Al Blazek, Dunham’s Sports marketing director, told me that the store is projected to employ 25-45 people between full and part-time positions.”

Dunham’s Sports has more than 200 stores across 17 states in the northeast, according to their website at dunhamssports.com.

 

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