Tulsa's troubled telecom industry got a spark Friday, as Cox Communications broke ground on its multi-million dollar headquarters.
The state-of-the-art, $18-million building is going up near 51st and Garnett, and consolidates 6 different Cox locations under one roof.
Cox puts most of its money in its network and officials say that Tulsa is getting one of the company's few, big capital improvements. Cox Communications Vice President John Bowen, "Y'know, our company, which I think is about a $28-billion company with 6-million customers and 25,000 employees. We were the only building approved nationwide that will go in this year."
Tulsa city leaders say the new headquarters will provide a nice boost in property taxes and demonstrates a long-term commitment from Cox.
When that building is complete, Cox will be moving out of its Eton Square location. The restaurant and retail center at 61st and Memorial has fallen on hard times in recent years. Eton Square still has a solid core of dining spots like Uno's and the Atlantic Sea Grill.
But overall, occupancy has plummeted below 50%. The company that took over the leasing duties this year says the center just needs better marketing. Mark Rooney, CB Richard Ellis Real Estate, "The location is still a great location. We're just a mile from Woodland Hills. A mile and a half from 169, a mile and a half to St. Francis."
The leasing company says they're close to signing a major, athletic-style retailer to fill in the biggest vacancy at Eton Square. They think they can be back to 85% occupancy very soon.