Cost increases, shipping delays, and inventory shortages are a few of the reasons that local business owner Leslie Day has pivoted from her intention to rebuild her lumber yard at 800 West Dewey Avenue, the main showroom of which was severely damaged in May 2019’s tornado and had to be demolished.
In a recent interview with Sapulpa Times, Day said that the family business has “been there about 25 years, since 1993 or 1994,” but that the storm impaired the building so much that it was no longer operable. Then a contentious, more than two year settlement process with the insurance company ensued. “It took a long time to get through it, but it has been settled and I’m finally able to move forward,” said Day. “It’s such a relief. It’s been a long, long, frustrating road. But we are through it.”
Day does have a store at 1255 South Sheridan in Tulsa, Day’s Building Material, which many Sapulpa customers patronize, “but they wanted the convenience of having a store in Sapulpa.”
However, she said that when she looked at rebuilding the business here and putting a store back on the property, she found it was not financially feasible. “It didn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to reopen.”
Although Day has received many offers to sell the property, she says she was reluctant to do so. “I did not want to leave the community; I love having a business over here,” she said. “The town and ppl have been very good to me.”
So she and her manager, Mark Gould, who’s now working at the Tulsa store, brainstormed. In addition to being in the retail lumber business, Day also owns rental property and builds homes, and eventually the idea for luxury townhomes surfaced.
Day intends to “utilize every bit” of the 5-acre property for the development, which will feature 1 and 2-story 3-bedroom townhomes with garages and “beautiful landscaping,” and, she plans, amenities like a convenience store stocked with everything from toilet paper to premade meals and which will deliver to residents, and a clubhouse, dog park, swimming pool, and playground, “if it fits.” She will also build living quarters for a property manager “who will be on site at all times.”
This development, Day says, “will bring so much more to the City than a lumber yard. There will be property taxes, sales tax from the convenience store, and new residents that will shop and spend their tax dollars here.” She also “envisions more families” and students in the Sapulpa Public School district, because of the 3 bedrooms available in each unit.
Day’s next steps are to submit an application with the City, get approval from the Planning Commission and City Council for a rezoning, and to obtain the appropriate permits. “My architect will work with a civil engineer, and I’m sure there’ll be Technical Advisory Committee meetings and meetings with utility companies. The planning part is what is so time-consuming.”
In the meantime, she will be demolishing the other 4 buildings and lumber sheds on the property and working out numerous other details.
Ultimately, Day is excited to provide something new to the community that has meant so much to her for so many years.
“I just saw an opportunity; it just kinda clicked,” Day says. “Let’s put something beautiful like that coming into town. I plan to call them, ‘The Route Townhomes.’”