Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
Steve Trice knew it wouldn't take long for his company to outgrow its space.
Trice, president and CEO of Jasco Products Co., founded the company in 1975. On the heels of a move into a new corporate office, Trice has broken ground on an expansion to the company's warehouse at the former Fleming Co. buildings on 60 acres at 10 E. Memorial Rd.
While the national economy has slowed development and expansion plans for most companies and driven others out of business, Jasco, with about 250 employees, is expanding. The company is a licensee for General Electric consumer electronic accessories, computer accessories, home electric products and personal security and surveillance products. Many of Jasco's products for GE are manufactured in Asia and are on the shelves in 80,000 retail stores around the U.S.
The planned expansion is for an additional 144,000 square feet to be built onto the existing 388,000-square-foot distribution center. The $4 million project is set for completion in December.
"We simply have outgrown the size of our current distribution center," Trice said.
The new space was designed by architecture firm Kerr 3 Design Group, and Van Hoose Construction is the contractor for the building.
In 2004, when General Electric sold Jasco its home electrical products division, Trice found the company's building on 122nd Street would not be large enough. He began looking for a new site and settled on the Fleming properties.
The company began moving its operations to the new location over the last five years, and last year sold its former home to the Trammell Crow Co. for $6.3 million.
In May 2008, a 20,000-square-foot expansion to the existing 26,000-square-foot office building on Memorial Road began. The $2.4 million expansion was completed earlier this year and the Jasco corporate offices moved to the building.
Randy Lacey, with Grubb & Ellis Levy Beffort, said Jasco's expansion of its distribution center is the exception, especially as many industrial projects have ground to a halt this year.
"That's pretty rare even now," he said. "A lot of users are really taking their time and being more deliberate and a lot of expansions are on the back burner right now."
Lacey said aside from perhaps some users expanding their space, he does not expect to see any speculative industrial projects this year.
"The only way anything is going to get financed is if it has significant leasing," he said.