Tulsa Economy Takes Big Hit With Williams Layoffs, Canceled Outlet Mall
TULSA, Oklahoma - Some employees at Tulsa's Williams Companies are out of a job after the company started handing out pink slips Tuesday.
A spokesman said the layoffs are part of the ten percent reduction in workforce they'd already announced.
The layoffs will continue into next month.
They said the reductions are focused on sustaining Williams' future growth and not related to the proposed merger with Energy Transfer Equity. In total, about 100 of the 1,000 employees based in Tulsa will lose their jobs.
The Williams layoff announcement isn’t the only blow to Tulsa. News On 6 partner, The Frontier, first reported that Horizon Properties also ended its plan to build an outlet mall in east Tulsa.
It was the City’s second attempted at an outlet mall after Simon Premium Outlets decided to build in Jenks, rather than near Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain.
That project was one of Councilor Connie Dodson’s priorities from day one in office.
“A lot of us, when we shop, we are crossing into Broken Arrow, and Catoosa and Owasso; and those sales tax dollars are being lost to other communities,” she said.
In September, Simon Properties went with Jenks over Tulsa to build its outlet mall after strong opposition from people who didn't want to see one near Turkey Mountain.
The proposed east Tulsa mall was planned for the southeast corner of the intersection where Interstate 44 meets Interstate 244.
Clay Bird with the City of Tulsa pointed out that with the sheer number of cars there, the land will definitely be developed into something significant.
Dodson said something like Tulsa Hills would fit well there.
“You just have a group of retail that supports itself and becomes its own community. It doesn't have to be a mall, but a shopping district or a retail district," the councilor said.
With Simon planning the mall in Jenks, the City of Tulsa estimates it will lose $4.5 million annually in sales tax on top of the sales tax that would've been generated by the outlets in east Tulsa.