By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
SUCCESFUL AREA: Bass Pro Shop set the bar for business growth in Broken Arrow.
KELSY LORIN TAYLOR for GTR Newspapers
Broken Arrow has become a successful and growing community that continues to show promise for a bright tomorrow. Through economic development and community support, businesses continue to look at the area as prime real estate.
With the economy turning around, the community is moving ahead with development. “Thankfully, there is an increased interest in projects this year and we are looking forward to the day that they are completed,” explains Broken Arrow Economic Development Team Vice President Norman Stephens.
Involved with the team for a year and a half, Stephens has had the opportunity to meet with these prospective businesses and also to work with those that are already established in the area.
So far this year, the team has made strides by creating a new retail policy that helps businesses that are interested in expanding or beginning in the community. “This means that these business owners will know exactly what is needed to do this and the available resources that are available through the city.”
Another thing accomplishment this year has been the evaluation of holes within sales tax. “There are a lot of items that are not available in Broken Arrow. By seeking out companies that offer these needed items, those holes are filled and our citizens are offered the convenience of a better selection. Some of the types of businesses that we are currently after are those that offer men’s clothing, electronics, office supplies and home improvement resources.”
Another area that is needed in Broken Arrow retail is sporting goods. Stephens is excited to announce that, “the team has been working with Dick’s Sporting Goods over the last year and were able to put together a package for them. Their crew will be breaking ground in the next couple of weeks. It will be their first location in the state.”
There are also currently plans being considered by a company for the creation of a large soccer complex in the area. “Though I can’t mention the name yet, the company is completing the gathering of investors. The $26 million project will be enjoyed by many soccer players and their families.”
One of the areas that has been a focus of revitalization is Main Street. Lined with historic buildings, the area offers a unique opportunity for businesses to grow alongside of supportive neighbors. Stephens notes that “there are incentives that the team is creating for those interested in opening their business in this area.”
In addition, the team is planning improvements for the Aspen Creek Interchange area, which is near 121st and Aspen. “Soon, an interchange will connect the Creek Turnpike to Broken Arrow and improvements to the surrounding roads will be made. This will bring the exciting opportunity for development of the area.”
One of the areas that continue to be very successful has been Northeast Crossroads, which is made up of the like of Bass Pro Shop, Los Cabos and Charleston’s. Seemingly on top of Broken Arrow, these and other establishments are centered around a beautiful lake, which adds a unique charm to the area.
Recently, a rumor formed that led many to believe that an would be established in Broken Arrow. The world-wide chain offers modern furniture in a fun and almost theme park setting. Stephens says that “IKEA would be a wonderful addition to the city but they have very specific criteria to follow when expanding to other states. Oklahoma does not yet meet this guideline that mainly focuses on a concentrated population.”
With common goals, the City of Broken Arrow works very closely with the Chamber of Commerce throughout the year. Both continually encourage citizens to shop locally as much as possible to increase sales tax revenues. “This brings funding to the area, which gives back to the community.”
For more information about economic development within Broken Arrow visit www.brokenarrowok.gov or call 918-259-2400.