Incentives Help Tulsa County Land Macy's Distribution Center

Tuesday, December 17th 2013, 10:18 pm
By: Emory Bryan

In one of the biggest jobs announcements in Northeastern Oklahoma in nearly a decade, department store giant Macy's announced it's building a big distribution center outside Owasso.

It will make Macy's one of Tulsa County's largest employers.

The board at Macy's made the decision Friday that will bring a massive addition to Tulsa's workforce. The deal was brokered by the Tulsa Regional Chamber - and in two years - it's expected that 2,500 people could be working for Macy's.

No one could remember the last time there was a jobs announcement like this in Tulsa. Macy's, with stores in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, plans to build a massive distribution center in Tulsa County.

"These are huge numbers," said Justin McLaughlin, Tulsa Regional Chamber.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber helped close the deal with the impact estimated at $80 million per year.

"The people who work there are going to spend their dollars in healthcare, in retail, so you'll have a huge downstream impact on the economy," McLaughlin said.

12/17/2013 Related Story: Macy's To Build Order Fulfillment Center In Owasso

Macy's chose a field just outside the city limits of Owasso for the location, after looking at 150 sites. The city put in a half million dollars, and the state is still negotiating other cash incentives, for worker training and infrastructure development.

"When a project of this magnitude of this size comes along, they come down to three or four sites that are equally good, and that's when you have to make a case for why you're the best community - and that's when the incentives come into play and become very important," said Justin McLaughlin, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The payoff is a $170 million building, with jobs for up to 500 construction workers until it opens in the spring of 2015. Then Macy's will hire 1,500 employees, 1,000 more around Christmas - enough to support 528 other new jobs in the area.

"And small business owners throughout our community will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the jobs there," said John Smaligo, Tulsa County Commissioner.

The Chamber says the center will support hundreds of outside jobs - especially for shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. They'll deliver Macy's items ordered in stores and online - to customers in the center of the U.S.

Besides all that - all those people and property will generate at least $1.5 million dollars in new taxes.