North Tulsa Business Park Turning Green


Sunday, July 10th 2011, 7:19 pm
By: News On 6


Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Plans are underway to convert a portion of the Vann Industrial Park into an environmentally friendly campus for businesses that specialize in green technologies.

Near 61st St. North and North Victor is 50 acres of vacant land. Katie Plohocky of GreenPark Tulsa wants to turn the green landscape into a green business scape.

"We see a thriving industrial park with lots of energy efficient, environmentally friendly industries," Plohocky said.

It's to be called GreenPark Tulsa with businesses that research, develop, or manufacture green technologies. The goal, she says, is to redevelop this land and bring 2000 jobs to North Tulsa.

"We know we try and focus, so much, on retail here and those are minimum wage jobs. We need to bring in jobs that people can sustain and support their families on and we feel that this could be an avenue for that," she said.

There are those who are skeptical that green technologies can provide a large number of jobs. A recent report said the people who make solar panels or design and make wind turbines make up less than 1 percent of the American workforce.

But Plohocky says it's important to look at the big picture. She says manufacturers of wind turbines or other green technologies often need to have new parts, those parts have to be made and new jobs are then created.

She also says as time goes on the dependency on wind and solar energy will only increase. Another goal of the park is to design it to be a friend of the environment.

For example, businesses that collect storm water instead letting it drain away or have companies side by side that follow each other in the chain of supply to limit the cost of transporting a product.

Eventually, she hopes to take a somewhat forgotten part of the Tulsa landscape and turn it into a nerve center for 21st century technology.

Plohocky expects to have designs ready by this fall of what this park could look like. She also hopes some businesses begin construction as soon as next summer.