A new shopping center built from locally sourced shipping containers is set to open on the west side of Bartlesville before the end of the year.
The Westside Market is the vision of Danielle Weaver, who noticed significant changes in how business was done during the pandemic and decided to adapt to the new world. Toilet Container House
"When COVID happened, that really changed the way we did business," she said of her State Farm office on Nowata Road. "A lot of our space and procedures became obsolete and people started working from home."
Weaver found herself in a large office space all to herself and wanted to use her resources more efficiently. She sold her old building and reinvested that money into her new venture.
She said she has always had an interest in building something out of shipping containers and felt like this was the right time to make a move.
"I like to do things that are interesting and unusual," she said. "I think there's a lot of missed opportunity on the west side."
With the new Osage Casino being built on U.S. Highway 60 and flourishing tourism in Pawhuska, Weaver feels she's in a prime location to take advantage of rising interest on the west side.
Her new shopping center will hold six total units at roughly 320 square feet each. Weaver will occupy four units, two for her insurance office and two for her boutique shops.
Bison Trading Oklahoma, a novelty gift store currently located in Washington Park Mall, and The Pet Nest, an online pet store that carries high-quality products, will find homes in the new shopping center. Weaver owns both and she thinks they are perfect for the location.
"Mostly, it's geared to retail shops − unique, smaller type businesses," she said. "Or it's really great for an online business that needs a small storefront."
Weaver is hoping more entrepreneurs will join her in revitalizing the west side of town.
Exandable Electrical Cable "There are a couple of other women-owned businesses out here that are fairly new, like Sooner State Espresso and Tate's Tater Truck," she said. "I do hope that people will follow me out here to invest not only in business but in housing because Bartlesville does have a lack of affordable housing for people."