ENID, Okla. — When it comes bringing new business to the old Kmart building, 4010 W. Garriott, "nothing is guaranteed," according to Enid Regional Development Alliance.
With demolition work at the site marching toward the three-month mark, ERDA director Lisa Powell cautioned that rumors regarding future tenants are, for now, still just rumors.
"Until an announcement is made, nothing is guaranteed," Powell said. "It's all just ongoing conversations between the developer and tenants."
Two businesses in particular have been the subject of speculation, Harbor Freight Tools and Tractor Supply Co.
Tractor Supply confirmed in July it plans to open up a new location in Enid by early 2020, but did not share any information about where it planned to move in.
In August, Harbor Freight said it was in negotiations with the owner of the former Kmart, TLM Realty, about possibly moving in.
A spokeswoman for the California-based retailer said Monday it aims to open in Enid by mid-2020 but that lease negotiations still are ongoing.
"Assuming everything goes as planned, the store would open middle of 2020, but this is not official," the spokeswoman said.
On Saturday, the city of Enid posted a construction update to its Facebook page with the caption, "ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Signs of progress at old Kmart can be seen with the demolition in progress for development of future Harbor Freight and Tractor Supply."
City Manager Jerald Gilbert said the city is unaware if the two businesses have reached an agreement with the developer to lease the property, and the post wasn't intended to suggest otherwise.
"Quite frankly, I was excited when I saw they were doing some demo there," Gilbert said. "Whether or not there's an actual deal with the developer, I don't know."
Neither company has put in ink where it intends to move, Powell said, and both have looked at multiple locations in town.
Following a conversation with developer TLM Realty, Powell said, "They are working to find tenants for the building, and that work continues."
Workers at the site spent several weeks removing asbestos from the inside of the structure, and clearing away space for new occupants. Recently, focus shifted to include the exterior awning, which still was being taken apart on Monday.
"At this point, all of that work is generic," Powell said, changes made so far would be necessary for any potential tenant, and "are not necessarily indicative of any specific tenant or any agreements that have been made."
One certainty is that the building is being prepped to house multiple businesses.
"The plan was to break it into smaller pieces, and at one time, the discussion was that it would be four, four different units," she said.
However, Powell said "any of that can change," and she isn't so sure that earlier idea is in favor anymore.
"It is still a project very much in flux and in evaluation," she said.
Tractor Supply is based out of Tennessee, and its more than 1,700 stores sell home and land maintenance products, pet and animal supplies, lawn and garden needs, clothing, and more.
Nearest locations to Enid are in Stillwater, Watonga and Guthrie, according to the company website.
Harbor Freight has more than 1,000 locations and offers tools and an assortment of DIY-friendly products, as well as parts and accessories.
There are 15 Harbor Freight stores in Oklahoma, with the nearest in Ponca City.