City Councilor Jack Henderson unveiled his plan to bring more than 1,000 jobs to north Tulsa on Thursday, saying it would top anything he has ever done in his 13 years on the council.
“North Tulsa has been looking for an opportunity to have jobs in our community for a long time,” Henderson said. “This will be the first opportunity to have jobs close to the people.”
The proposal calls for using $18 million from the Vision 2025 sales tax renewal to prepare 162 acres of property in north Tulsa for development.
The 162 acres would be bound by 36th Street North on the north, Lewis Avenue on the east, Mohawk Boulevard on the south and Peoria Avenue on the west.
The formal name of the project is the 36th Street-Peoria-Mohawk/Mapleview Site Development.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation confirmed Thursday that it has purchased the land for the proposed development area.
The hope is to attract a large business to locate on the site, Henderson said, that would bring with it more than 1,000 high-quality jobs and create approximately 500 other jobs in the Tulsa area.
Those jobs are estimated to generate more than $53 million in annual employee income as well as $736 million a year in sales tax and more than $800,000 a year in property taxes.
Henderson said Oklahoma State University of Technology intends to help with job training and job placement.
Henderson’s proposal was well received by councilors and Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
Councilor G.T. Bynum said the proposal was exciting because of the potential economic impact it could have “right out of the gate.”
Henderson’s presentation included a breakdown of how the $18 million would be spent. About half would go for earth work, with another nearly $4 million for street work.
The funds would also pay for stormwater, water, sanitary sewer and other infrastructure needs.
Kian Kamas, vice president of economic development for the Tulsa Regional Chamber, said that it is not uncommon for the chamber to receive requests for large property sites like the one on which the Macy’s fulfillment center was built.
“On a very regular basis we don’t have anything to submit within the city of Tulsa,” she said.
The City Council plans to have its Vision 2025 sales tax proposal ready for an April vote. In the meantime, it must pick from more than $2 billion in proposals to determine what projects make the ballot.
The .55 percent sales tax is estimated to create $226 million in five years; $470 million in 10 years; and $732 million in 15 years.
In addition to economic development proposals like Henderson’s, the proposal is expected to include hundreds of millions of dollars for low-water dams in the Arkansas River and funding for public safety.