Q&A: Planet Fitness opening in Eastland; parking lot improvements underway

Rumor confirmed: Planet Fitness Eastland bound

Do we know if Planet Fitness still plans to move into Eastland Shopping Center?

The rumor has been confirmed: Planet Fitness is locating in Eastland Shopping Center. Planet Fitness has submitted plans to the City’s Building Services Department to locate a facility at 514 S.E. Washington Blvd., commonly referred to as the site of the former Stage store. Plans show the facility will occupy 14,912 square feet of space at the location, with nearly 4,700 square feet of accessory storage space.

But wait, there’s more

Recently, there has been a lot of construction activity at the west entrance to the Eastland Shopping Center. Does this involve adding additional traffic turn lanes onto the highway? Storefronts, especially in the section where Planet Fitness plans to locate, are getting a facelift as well, and the resurfacing of a portion of the parking lot is underway. With Chick-Fil-A nearing completion, is there an update on on-going retail development for the shopping center?

According to Eastland Inc. President Dan Wells, KSL Dirt Works has been contracted to extend the turn lanes in the East Shopping Center parking lot to accommodate traffic waiting to turn out of the parking lot onto the highway. Wells says the lanes will extend from west to east to about the center of the parking lot, near the new Hobby Lobby area.

Just to be clear, the construction work seen at the west entrance of the shopping center involves turn lanes in the parking lot only, not on U.S. Highway 75.

Most people are aware of development occurring at the 60-year-old shopping center, including the construction of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, which is located near the west entrance, as well as an expanded Hobby Lobby, which moved from its previous location in the center to the former Atwoods building. (Atwoods relocated to a larger store on South U.S. 75.)

According to Wells, Chick-Fil-A is set to open later this year or early next year, Planet Fitness should open next spring or summer, and the parking lot improvements will be finished and the west entrance open by Black Friday (Nov. 24.)

Wells said there are no other tenants to announce in the short term but that Eastland ownerhip/management hopes to continue ongoing development at the center in the future.

Panhandlers on notice: Temporary business license needed

Is panhandling against the law? I have noticed an uptick in people asking motorists for money at some of our busier intersections. Is there something that can be done about this?

Police have been in the process of researching this question, as panhandling, per se, is not against the law in Oklahoma. However, it is against the law in Bartlesville to panhandle or solicit for “money, clothing or other valuable thing” without first obtaining a temporary business license, according to the City’s Municipal Code (Section 5.)

Temporary business licenses are issued by the City of Bartlesville’s Building & Permit Office. However, it has been determined that permits for these types of transactions (panhandling/soliciting) will not be issued unless the applicant has proof of permission by the property owner to conduct these practices on private property. Permits will not be issued for these practices on any City-owned property or public rights of way.

Bartlesville Police Department officers have begun strictly enforcing the law, according to BPD Patrol Division Capt. Rocky Bevard. Failure to comply could result in issuance of a citation or an arrest of the offender, he said.