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December 3, 2013

Proposed Corporate Center in TIF would have industrial complex

NORMAN — The economic development component of the University North Park TIF is coming to fruition. City Attorney Jeff Bryant updated the Norman City Council on the status of the TIF on Tuesday.

With the previous focus on the retail portion of the development along 24th Avenue Northwest, the proposed Corporate Center on the TIF’s north end has been an occasional side note in ongoing discussions.

The Corporate Center will encompass a business park and industrial complex on 60 acres with easy access to the nearby Max Westheimer Airpark.

The Corporate Center has not been a side note to the Norman Economic Development Coalition, as Executive Director Don Wood, his staff and the NEDC board have worked to move forward with development plans and to court potential business clients.

The NEDC purchased 30 acres within the northern section of the TIF district and is purchasing an additional 31.67 acres. That deal is expected to close this week, possibly today.

Shortly thereafter, the city council, operating as the Norman Tax Increment Finance Authority, will consider a resolution to allow for an infrastructure loan to build internal roadways to connect industrial and business park sites, as well as sewer, water and drainage improvements.

The estimated infrastructure cost for these improvements rings up at $6,285,000, but repayment sources within the first year include an Economic Development Authority grant for $2.5 million, an industrial access grant for about $350,000 and first user lot sale proceeds totaling about $1.1 million, according to city staff notes.

Having infrastructure in place will be key to enhancing the marketability of the site. Currently, NEDC has one tenant lined up and should close on that deal by the end of the year. Those negotiations are expected to come to completion this week. The tenant, so far undisclosed in accordance with confidentiality agreements, is described as a business that would bring quality jobs to Norman.

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