New Development Could Bring A Thousand New Jobs To Catoosa

Monday, December 13th 2010, 9:19 pm
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

CATOOSA, Oklahoma -- A private developer wants to create a massive retail and entertainment district in Catoosa. The project would also create as many as one thousand new jobs.

It doesn't look like much now, but the 66 acre piece of property will likely soon become a retail hub in Catoosa. A movie theater, restaurants, shopping and more.

"It would give the kids around here, they could go to the theater, it would give them somewhere to go and something to do. you know," said Catoosa resident David Beien,

Many people in Catoosa like the idea, so do city leaders. Troy Anderson is the economic development authority chairman.

"I think it's been a long time coming," Anderson said.

Anderson says the $80 million development could draw people from all over, along with their tax dollars.

"It would be phenomenal. Growth overnight. New jobs, more attractions for outside people to come and look at our community, and the potential to even look at new housing for our area," Anderson said.

The development would be across 193rd from the Cherokee Nation Casino complex. Rogers County Commissioners and Catoosa's city council have to approve a Tax Increment Finance zone to make it happen.

The TIF basically, would provide seed money to get the project going with bond funds. When sales taxes from the district pay off the bond, then the city and county start collecting their share of the tax revenue.

"You kind of have to look at everything on a long term scale, if we continue to set there, the land hasn't been used for quite some time. So we're not really getting any benefit at this point," Anderson said.

Both the city and county are expected to approve the TIF. If they do, groundbreaking could happen in January with an opening in 18 months.

"I think it would be positive for as much traveling as people in Catoosa does," said Inola resident Heather Chilcoat.

Catoosa holds a public meeting on the TIF issue December 20th. Rogers County Commissioners are expected to give their okay, next week.