LURA adds new uses for downtown mall
Officials at Central Mall say America’s malls have to recognize a new economic reality if they want to survive: retail is out; food and entertainment is in.
Members of the Lawton Urban Renewal Authority (LURA) acknowledged that new reality Tuesday by agreeing to amend the Urban Renewal Plan that overlays Central Mall, formally adding new uses to the list of activities cited for the Downtown I Urban Renewal Plan.
Downtown Lawton — essentially an area between Southwest 7th Street to Railroad and Interstate 44 — is covered by three Urban Renewal Plans which date to an era when the landscape changed dramatically after old structures were demolished. While Urban Renewal efforts happened in multiple areas in Lawton, one of the most dramatic was the one that replaced old downtown with today’s Central Mall.
The mall is within the Downtown I plan, with other plans (Civic Center and D-6) adjacent to that site. While traditional zoning codes (such as mixed use and commercial central) still apply in the downtown area, those zoning codes are overlaid with the Urban Renewal Plans which carry more weight than do the zoning codes.