McClain County inks deal for commercial development

Published: Thursday, May 21, 2009 7:00 am

The Journal Record

PURCELL (AP) - An 830-acre development will bring $1.5 billion to McClain County by 2021.

Continental Gateway's 271-acre first phase, at Interstate 35 and Highway 59, will include mixed-use industrial, manufacturing and warehouse space plus a transportation center with four restaurants, a full-service truck stop, a cargo screening facility, a limited-service hotel, a truck manufacturing facility and a recreational vehicle park.

Charlie Dry, a former test astronaut and president of Oklahoma City-based American Gateway LLC, and Edward L. Schrank, senior vice president of Atlanta-based Boykin International, were in Purcell May 13 to sign the contract forming Continental Gateway Authority with county commissioners.

"This is a historic moment for our county," said Mark Alfonso, executive director of the Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce. "This will spark economic development for decades in the form of job creation and quality of life. This will give our children the option of finding jobs in our county without having to travel outside the area or outside the state."

Dry said the initial phase will employ 300 people.

"American Gateway has attracted experienced partners, including Boykin International," Dry said. "Boykin is a global development company headquartered in Atlanta, but they also have offices in Oklahoma City, Dallas, Orlando and Houston."

Schrank said his company has worked in 53 countries.

"The project will include the development of renewable energy sources and will be harnessing wind power," Schrank said. "It will be developed in an environmentally sensitive manner and plans to partner with Mid American Technology Center for training."

The project was first discussed in 1997. Dry credited Alfonso with pulling the deal together.

"These guys had a vision years ago," Dry said. "They have gone through heck and I give them and Mark full credit. This has been their vision and it just so happened that we caught the vision. Once we started meeting we knew we were on the same page."

Back to top