At least $2 billion worth of construction projects have commenced in Enid, and the region, over the past five years. “That is significant. In fact, that’s probably a pretty high percentage of the total construction projects in the state, private construction projects,” Enid Regional Development Alliance Executive Director Brent Kisling said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of that here. “It is a very exciting time to be working in Enid because there are a lot of projects. For a community our size to have this number of construction projects going on is really fascinating.”
Public investment occurred through the Enid Event Center, and the renovation of Convention Hall, he noted. ‘Sometimes a little bit of public investment will help spur some additional private investment,” Kisling said. “I think that’s what we’ve done as a community is really push the envelope, try to get some new things happening and it’s encouraged the private industry to come along with us.”
Growth in industry, energy
The largest project, and the one making the biggest impact on the local economy, is the Koch Fertilizer Plant expansion, Kisling said. It is a $1.3 billion investment in what currently is one of North America’s largest fertilizer plants. “The best part about that project for us is the construction workers that are in town during the project,” he said.
Construction on the three-year project began in October 2014. There will be an average 500 construction workers in town, with a peak of 1,000 workers in summer 2016, Kisling said.
He said the construction has allowed the community to maintain a fairly consistent sales tax level, at a time of softening oil prices, and a reduction in active oil rigs in the area.
The Koch Fertilizer Plant will be adding about 60 engineering jobs in Enid, Kisling said. “And they’ll increase their truck traffic by about 200 trucks a day coming in and out of there. So there’s a lot of ancillary growth in other companies that surround the Koch plant, but some of that is the reason why you have additional truck stops out there,” he said.
Improvements will be made on U.S. 412, from 42nd Street to the Koch plant intersection, Kisling said.
With the increase in production at Koch, a portion of the plant will be taken down every six months for cleaning and repairs. When this occurs, there will be about 650 people coming to town for 30 days, he said. “It fills up every hotel room, it fills up every chair in the restaurants, they’re filling up with gas. They’re not permanent residents here. They’re just here as part of their project, and it’s not necessarily the same 650 people,” he said. “That’s huge for an economy the size of Enid.”
Construction of the Breckinridge wind farm — about a $200 million investment — was another large project that was just completed, Kisling said. During the nine months it took to construct the facility, there were about 200 construction workers in town. “Between those two projects, we’re going to see a huge increase in the amount of ad valorem sales tax brought to this area, to the schools, to the county, to the health department, to Autry Technology Center,” he said.
The Koch plant has a Tax Increment Finance District, and about 90 percent of the ad valorem tax increase is being captured to go toward the construction of the plant’s water treatment plant — which will allow the facility to reuse water and free up 5 million gallons of water a day for Enid, Kisling said. Even at a 90 percent TIF, it would be like a $100 million project coming to town. Kisling said about $1 million in ad valorem taxes will come from the plant, and $2 million from the Breckinridge wind farm.
The Chisholm View Wind Farm, in the northern part of Garfield County, has been complete for two years. It was a $400 million investment, he said. “Whenever it was completed, it was the largest ad valorem taxpayer in Garfield County. Once the Koch plant’s completed, it will be the largest ad valorem taxpayer,” Kisling said.
A new FedEx Distribution Center recently opened on 54th, Hanor Companies will move its corporate headquarters from Wisconsin to Enid, a Pilot Travel Center was recently completed and a Love’s Country Store is under construction, he said.
Development at Cleveland and Chestnut involves the Stonebridge housing addition — consisting of more than 70 homes — and the 200 market-rate Esplanade Apartments, Kisling said.
There will be 64 homes constructed in Tara Estates, and about 30 homes constructed in the Chisholm Creek housing addition, he said.
The Carland Group housing addition — located off of 30th Street — will provide 38 homes that are affordable housing, mixed-use rental and home ownership, Kisling said.
Four hotels — La Quinta Inn and Suites, Candlewood Suites, Home Away Suites and Country Inn & Suites — are under way or recently completed, he said.
Construction of a downtown Hilton Garden Inn is slated to begin in May 2016. Completion of the hotel is expected in the summer of 2017, Kisling said.
The 118-bed Garland Road Nursing & Rehabilitation Center opened in Enid recently. “That is a very nice, very well-designed nursing home,” Kisling said.
Construction at airport, Vance
Two other major construction projects have been the Enid Woodring Regional Airport runway extension and the Vance Air Force Base traffic control tower, Kisling said.
A substantial construction project recently was finished by Aircraft Structures International at the airport. The company — which repairs Cessna aircraft — built its fourth hanger at the airport and has plans for additional construction as well, he to town.
Retail growth continues
The Walmart Neighborhood Market opened in May. “There’s going to be several other announcements coming soon on retail in that area as well as other service-based industries, office space, for the area,” he said. “Really, through that investment, I think you’re going to see continued ripples between there and Jumbo Foods, and the Willow retail corridor. We’re hoping to add to all the retail that we have on the west side of town, and try to draw people further into Enid.”
Zales Jewelers recently opened a new store on West Garriott, Kisling said. Plans for an Academy Sports and Outdoors store, to be located on the former Walmart store property behind the new Zales store, were announced during a city commission meeting on Nov. 17. The store is expected to open in 2016.
Chisholm Public Schools is constructing a new elementary school, Kisling said. A $100 million Enid Public Schools bond issue has involved a number of construction projects over the past few years, including a University Center for students to take concurrent enrollment classes — to gain college credit while in high school, he said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind facility here in Oklahoma,” Kisling said.
Northern Oklahoma College recently held a ribbon cutting for a $5 million dormitory facility — which provides 84 beds for students, he said.
Xpress Wellness Urgent Care built a new facility on Van Buren in 2013, Kisling said. Another medical facility is under construction west of city hall.
ERDA has worked closely with World Harvest Church, which recently constructed a new church on Garland. The church is looking at further development on property there, he said.
Leonardo’s Children’s Museum also is undergoing a complete renovation — costing between $5 and $6 million, Kisling said. “I can think of five other projects right now, just off the top of my head, that are not announced yet, but I feel pretty confident that they’ll happen over the next six months,” he said.
Story by: Enid News & Eagle