If you are like me, you probably thought the announcement of Lawton buying Central Mall (now Central Plaza) was a bit of a foolish idea. 'You just bought WHAT?' (You have to hear that in a husband voice after a trip to Hobby Lobby to get the real feel!) But, it's a done deal and with FISTA - Fires Innovation Science & Technology Accelerator as a major tenant, there is a new vibe in downtown Lawton.

Jeri Anderson
Jeri Anderson

FISTA is a Trust Authority with it's purposes to plan, establish, develop, construct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip and make available Fires Innovation Science and Technology Accelerator (FISTA) facilities, appurtenances, and related improvements within the territorial boundaries of the City of Lawton, Oklahoma, that will attract defense contractors, high-technology industry, innovative businesses and the like with capabilities to directly support the Cross-Functional Teams of Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF), Air & Missile Defense (AMD) and Fort Sill's FIRES Center of Excellence (FCoE) in the Army's comprehensive modernization, driving innovation and integrating capabilities to the warfighter.

Plans for the Central Plaza location are pretty aggressive.  I was actually finding myself excited about the proposed changes to the area, with green spaces, water features, and even some outside areas.  Jason Wells, owner of Insight Real Estate Company which manages  the Central Mall, now Central Plaza introduced the Mayor who took us through some of the plans.

During the announcement of the new name for the mall, Robert Peterson, local artist unveiled an original art piece that will be on display at Central Plaza, along with art works from other local artists as the project progresses.

Take a look at what City of Lawton and FISTA officials have in mind for the new shopping, dining and entertainment venue in downtown Lawton

Central Mall Renamed!

I work in downtown Lawton, and love the close shopping venue just a couple blocks away.  I'm not gonna lie, I left with a new excitement for what's to come in downtown, and even if we only see half of what some of the conceptual renderings looked like, it's going to be amazing.  I do think the name missed the mark just a tad though.  Why couldn't we just call it 'Central Perk'? Or would rights to that name be out of our budget?

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