O’Connor: Land swap positions OKC to attract large employerPublished: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record
Some of our biggest property deals are high-profile and recognized by the public as having great potential to impact our economy – the Omni Hotel is a great example. Other property deals are less noticed by the public but have a significant impact on Oklahoma City’s ability to draw outside investment, large headquarters and hundreds or even thousands of jobs.
This week, the Alliance for the Economic Development of Oklahoma City and the Commissioners of the Land Office closed such a deal. The commercial property exchange provides the Alliance with a large acreage to attract a company seeking to expand or relocate. The property is located at Interstate 240, between Eastern and Bryant avenues, and represents 577 acres of land available for development.
The land has easy access to I-240, I-35 and the Santa Fe railyard, has Oklahoma City utilities and outstanding electric power and natural gas service, and is in an established Opportunity, New Market, and Enterprise Tax Credit Zone. Its proximity to Tinker Air Force Base is also a selling point and we’ve been eyeing the property for some time. The Alliance worked with the Commissioners of the Land Office since last fall to acquire the property and the land exchange was approved at a CLO commission meeting earlier this year.
The property at I-240 was exchanged for two commercial properties, acquired by the Oklahoma Industries Authority, an office managed by the Alliance. The office buildings are located on Caliber Drive in the Quail Springs Office Park in northwest Oklahoma City and represent an expected annual net income of over $950,000. The Westgate Retail Center is part of the Chisholm Creek Development in northwest OKC. This five-tenant retail center is expected to generate over $435,000 per year for distribution. This property exchange makes a significant addition to the $6.1 million in annual net income the CLO already distributes to Oklahoma education from its commercial real estate investment portfolio.
Oklahoma City has the ability to acquire and combine land onto 500+ acres of contiguous property for industrial purposes, something other cities just aren’t able to do. We will now be marketing land to attract a company with 1,000 or more jobs. We appreciate the cooperation of the CLO, have a strong working relationship and look forward to collaborating again on future land deals.
Cathy O’Connor is president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.