Passersby along 96th Street and Garnett Road have recently seen dirt move across the large, open field behind Smith Farm Marketplace.
The City of Owasso announced that a private development company is moving forward with a major construction project along the high-traffic corridor that will be home to new commercial and residential properties.
The new mixed-use planned unit development, called Smith Farm Village, will span the nearly 35-acre lot that has sat vacant for the last several years. Crews plan to expand the intersection’s many restaurant and shopping offerings, and introduce new rental housing to the Owasso community.
“There’s going to be commercial along the arterials at Garnett and 96th that’s going to kind of mirror what we already see in the Smith Farm’s area,” city planner Alexa Beemer said. “And then on the south edge … it’s going to almost function like a horizontal apartment complex.”
Nearly 15 acres of Smith Farm Village will accommodate large-scale commercial tracts, and just over 12 acres of the development will play host to single-family detached rental homes — the first housing of its kind in Owasso, Beemer said.
“They will all be rented; they will not be owner-occupied,” she said. “We haven’t seen anything like this in the city yet where it’s a dedicated rental community.”
The PUD’s gated lot of separate, one- to two-story units — 65 in total— will serve those individuals or small families who are looking to lay down roots in Owasso, but aren’t ready to fully invest in a home yet, Beemer said.
“Owasso does need that kind of middle housing — housing that’s not the estate-sized lots, but it’s also not just your standard apartment complexes, something maybe for people just starting out, people who are older,” she said. “I think this kind of fits that bill.”
Chelsea Levo Feary, the City’s economic development director, echoed Beemer’s sentiments about Smith Farm’s new homes, citing their debut to the community as an incentive for potential renters to take up residence in Owasso.
“This is a unique concept,” Levo Feary said. “It’s working well in other parts of the country, so it’s an offering that adds some mix to our residential … and (we) hope that it will attract more residents to our area that are looking for that.”
Situated in the center of the Smith Farm PUD will also be a natural wetland, currently located on the vacant lot. Crews plan to preserve the forested area, and add walking trails and other recreational features to the land for residents to enjoy.
“Just given the nature of where this residential area is situated, it is nice to have that kind of built-in buffer in these backyards against these commercial tracts,” Beemer said.
The city planner said she’s looking forward to seeing dirt continue to move on the property as the project develops over the next year.
“I think it’s exciting because it kind of just shows what we all have known for the past couple years, and that’s Owasso’s growing,” Beemer said. “And I think with these unique projects like this, it’s kind of helping us form our identity as a city.”
Smith Farm Village is one of three major planned unit developments the City of Owasso is in the process of constructing, including Parker Village at 106th Street North and Garnett Road, and Redbud Village north of the Tulsa Tech Owasso campus off of U.S. 169.