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EDMOND, OK-Wanting to take advantage of a surge in activity along the city’s stretch of Interstate 35, Mercy Health Systems of Oklahoma has acquired 18.25 acres for $3.2 million. The company is currently conducting a feasibility study that should be completed by the end of the year to determine the acreage’s best use.

JLB Properties of Edmond had the land on the market about two years and then received four offers within three months, according to Andy Burnett, investment adviser for Sperry Van Ness in Oklahoma City. Burnett says the sudden interest was sparked by development around land, situated at 2017 Interstate 35.

Burnett tells GlobeSt.com that, in addition to Mercy Health Systems’ offer, JLB received offers from retail developers. Ultimately, the healthcare provider, represented by Oklahoma City broker David Sasser, ended up with the land due to the certainty of closing the deal.

“They were an end user with a strong motivation to close. The other buyers needed to put together tenants before closing,” Burnett says. Of the 18.25 acres acquired by Mercy Health Systems, he says about two acres will be part of a greenbelt to separate residential neighborhoods from the project.

Development was somewhat slow along the corridor until Wal-Mart built a super center at 1225 Interstate 35, which opened in fall 2006. “There’s a lot beginning to happen in that area,” Burnett explains. “In that corridor, the Wal-Mart came along first, then everyone’s been following behind them.”

Burnett says there is still a large chunk of raw land available, but end users are starting to snap it up for development. “Overall, it’s a great access point for anyone in northern Oklahoma,” he says. “I-35 is the most convenient, fastest route to go and experience shopping in Oklahoma City shopping. These developments are right along it.”

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