Broken Arrow Makes Progress On Developing 'Innovation Hub'

Thursday, December 12th 2019, 8:00 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

As Broken Arrow continues to expand, city leaders said they're making progress on an exciting new initiative that will bring in thousands of more jobs.

"This is much more robust than just a traditional industrial park," said Michael Spurgeon, the city manager.

Spurgeon said they've hired a consultant to identify industries they want to include in a long-discussed "Innovation District.”

It's something the city describes as a hub for high-tech manufacturing businesses, kind of like Oklahoma's own Silicon Valley.

"There are a number of businesses in the community that have said they're interested in expanding,” said Spurgeon. “We're also looking at those emerging industries that are high paying jobs."

The city has discussed the idea for a couple of years and thanks to a recently passed bond issue, it's getting closer to becoming reality.

Spurgeon said they've also identified three different locations to build the industrial park, but they're not releasing that to the public just yet.

What they do want, are commercial spaces as well.

"What we don't want is just like a traditional industrial type park, or higher manufacturing,” said Spurgeon. “We'd like to basically make sure it's inter-woven with quality of life. Things to do, restaurants, retail."

Spurgeon said they also want to find educational partners to connect kids to these types of jobs.

Which will keep some from leaving the area for jobs that are not currently available in the city.

Spurgeon said they hope to have industries identified by the late spring or early summer.