Owasso Continues to Increase Economic Development
By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
NEW GROWTH: Owasso has continued to grow over the last few years despite the low economy. Shopping centers such as Tyann Plaza have begun to flourish with stores and restaurants.
KELSY LORIN TAYLOR for GTR Newspapers
Owasso 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.
One of the most important aspects of bringing economic development to the City of Owasso is through local support. “This may be seen as a circle,” explains Owasso Economic Development Director Chelsea Harkins. “Through the support of our community, tax revenues will help businesses. In turn, these businesses give back to the community.”
Those businesses are then rewarded with the continued support of Owasso. “Every year, we reach out to them and ensure that they are strong and successful,” notes Harkins. “If they need assistance we provide resources for them and follow up with any help that we can give to get them to where they need to be.”
With an increase of businesses and the success of those that are already established in Owasso, Harkins feels that new jobs will become available. “It is so important to create a framework to bring in high quality jobs in Owasso that pay $50,000 or more with full benefits. To piece this framework together, my team is working alongside of the Community Development Department to line codes, ordinances and zoning districts. This will protect areas in Owasso by attracting the appropriate kind of development to make wonderful jobs possible.”
There are a number of companies that are planning their establishment in the community. This will include large retail and dining options that will fill a need in the market. “Though, I am not able to announce them just yet, I’m sure that everyone will be very excited about the additions that will begin to come to Owasso this year.”
Of the additions that can be announced at the moment, Harkins explains that Panda Express will bring a wonderful new menu to the area. The restaurant will be breaking ground soon as part of The Market Shopping Center. Neighbors will include Wal-Mart and Kohl’s among others along 96th Street. In keeping with their style, the company will be constructing an outparcel, offering the perfect place to grab a quick and healthy meal.
Harkins continues to share that Charlie’s Chicken will also be added to the community. “I am very excited about their chosen location since it is near 76th Street and Highway 169. In fact, they are utilizing the former Wonder Bread Store, which has stood empty for quite a while. I always like to see new businesses re-purpose and occupy an already existing space.”
This area of Owasso will soon be undergoing a variety of capital improvements. Harkins notes that, “The view from Highway 169 near 76th Street is what the city refers to as a gateway. It really is the first glimpse that is seen of our community from the Tulsa area. Everyone is working together to make this an appealing and intriguing entrance to our community.”
In addition, quality of life in the community will soon be addressed. “The portfolio of Owasso should represent an up and coming community, which is attractive to businesses.” Harkins adds that in order “to fill this portfolio, improvements are being made to area parks, ponds, trails and sporting areas. This will be wonderful for residents and may even bring many more individuals who would like to call Owasso home.”
For additional information about economic development within the City of Owasso, visit www.cityofowasso.com or call 918-376-1518.