December 15, 2016

Do Business

Top 5 Reasons to do Business in Downtown Poteau

  • Steady Traffic: Being in the heart of the Old Town District ensures that you’ll be seen. The average weekly traffic counts along Dewey Avenue (Main Street) average more than 3,000 vehicles a day. Downtown Poteau offers a walkability score of over 60. This is in contrast with the U.S. average score of 48. The downtown district is the only area in Poteau that is fully sidewalk accessible, meaning that there is a consistent flow of pedestrian foot traffic.
  • Lower Rent: On average, rents in the downtown district range from $300 per month to $800 per month. In contrast, rental rates outside the downtown district can run $1,000 or more per month. For small to medium sized businesses, including start-ups, locating your business in downtown Poteau simply makes good financial sense.
  • Community Atmosphere: With over 500 employees downtown, the district has a unique community “feel” to it. Businesses help one another out. This business network helps downtown thrive. Downtown Poteau can be thought of as an “outdoor mall”; businesses working together help bring in and retain new customers.
  • Steady Growth: Since 2013, Downtown Poteau has seen strong growth. Following the fires in the early 1980’s, the downtown district entered into a period of steep decline. A new revitalization program was instituted in 2013 which helped reduce the vacancy rate from over 50% to less than 7% in 2016.
  • The “Hub” of Poteau: Two main roads intersect the downtown area. McKenna comes in from the south from the college and Witte runs towards the north and connects the downtown residential district. Both of these roads, along with traffic from Broadway, bring a significant number of people downtown. In essence, the downtown district is the “hub” of several major roads.

The Downtown Poteau Retail Environment

Shopping downtown Poteau has never been easier. The recent upgrades with parking and pedestrian accessibility has
transformed the downtown area into a true destination point. Combine that with pedestrian friendly zones and you have a recipe for retail success!
Downtown Poteau is rapidly expanding. The core downtown district is the most developed and features a wide variety of retail and eating establishments. Currently, work is progressing on revitalizing the remaining areas of the downtown district. While Dewey Avenue is the most populated of the downtown roads, many businesses are springing up along Witte and McKenna streets.
Several new projects have significantly helped improve the downtown retail environment. A new sign at the end of Dewey helps direct travelers to the old town district. After arriving in the old town district, visitors are welcomed by freshly painted buildings, pedestrian friendly zones, a beautifully landscaped Town Square, and many new anchor stores that draw in a significant amount of traffic.
One of the biggest assets to the downtown area is the resources offered by Historic Downtown Poteau, inc. Along with
business planning and development, HDP assists with marketing on an individual basis. In addition, HDP promotes the entire downtown district as a welcome destination point.
To date, there are over 500 employees downtown, along with 17 apartments. Downtown Poteau now employs 13.157% of Poteau’s population. This has been one of the most rapidly growing areas in Poteau in recent years.

Downtown Poteau Business Opportunities

Bi-yearly, Historic Downtown Poteau, inc. conducts surveys to analyze what types of businesses county residents most want to see downtown. Used in conjunction with market data provided by the City of Poteau, this gives a good overview of the desired businesses needed downtown. These are businesses that there is a high demand for and include, in order of demand:

  • Department Stores: According to market research, this opportunity has the largest variance between supply
    and demand, with most residents highly desiring more department store options. (Supply/Demand gap in
    excess of 13m)
  • Full Service Restaurants, Eateries: Residents feel that there are not enough unique places to eat in Poteau. They would most like to see places that offer breakfast and lunch items. (Supply/Demand gap in excess
    of 7m)
  • Entertainment: Residents feel that there is simply not enough to do. Most surveys have indicated that
    residents have a desire for live music and dining, children’s events and activities, and local “teen” recreation
    destinations.
  • Clothing and Apparel: One of the most requested types of shops revolves around new trendy, affordable clothing and accessories. (Supply/Demand gap in excess of 8m)
  • Childrens Toys, Apparel, and other: When asked, many residents requested more locations that offered
    items geared towards babies and children. This also includes “hobby shop” type locations.
  • “Booth-based” types of businesses: These types of businesses would provide facilities for independentvendors to rent out booth spaces, or “Pop up shops”. Requests have been for themed shops, such as Shabby Chic or Home Decor.
  • Specialty Retail Boutiques: Many residents have requested more themed specialty shopping venues.
  • Health and Beauty Shops: Residents desire more options for purchasing specialty health and beauty aids. (Supply/Demand gap in excess of 11m)
  • Other requested shopping includes: Pet stores, shoe stores, fine jewelry, art/craft supplies, sporting goods,
    and books. (Supply/Demand gap in excess of 2m)