Foreign Trade Zone Expands in Nine Sites

Article excerpt

Oklahoma City's Foreign Trade Zone 106 has grown by 793 acres in nine sites, it was announced Tuesday.

This adds to the potential economic development throughout metropolitan Oklahoma City, said Alba Weaver, president and chief executive of the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

"Three of the sites already have tenants moving in. At least one of them an expansion and relocation to Oklahoma City," Weaver said.

The second expansion of the foreign trade zone, established in 1984, was approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Trade Zone Board.

This expansion will have a great impact on Oklahoma's ability to compete effectively in a global economy, said Craig R. Knutson, chairman of the Port Authority of Greater Oklahoma City.

"The benefits and advantages of operating in a foreign trade zone can dramatically impact the bottom line of a manufacturing firm by reducing direct costs and offering streamlined procedures for filing reports and payment of duties and tariffs," said Knutson, who also is Southwestern Bell Telephone's economic development director.

The nine expansion sites are:

* Mid-America Business Park I and II, five acres and 50 acres, owned by Russell Vaught.

* South River Industrial Park, owned by the City of Oklahoma City, 292 acres.

* Continental Distribution Park, SW 29th Street and Council Road, owned by Clay T. Farha, 42 acres.

* An industrial park south of SW 29th Street between Rockwell Avenue and Council Road, 110 acres, owned by Western Heights Properties.

* Airport Northeast, 30 acres, owned by the Oklahoma City Airport Trust.

* Kelley Pointe Industrial Park, 33rd Street and Kelley Avenue, Edmond, 200 acres, owned by Clay T. Farha.

* Kelley Avenue International Trade Center, south of 15th Street between Kelley Avenue and BNSF Railroad, 43 acres, owned by Jackson Financial Services.

* Tower Industrial Park, Tract II, Tower Drive and Woodview in Moore, 21 acres, owned by Steve Wells.

It took a year to receive approval for the expansion, Weaver said.

The expansion came out of an initiative for a marketing plan by the port authority's board, she said.

"We looked at the different sites and felt that this was a part of marketing that we could use to increase the visibility of the foreign trade zone," she said.

Three other applications for expansion of the zone are under review. These include Xerox in Oklahoma City, Imation Enterprises in Weatherford and the Conoco refinery in Ponca City.

At least two of them are expected by mid-summer, Weaver said.

"After we did our analysis, the companies performed their own analysis and determined that this would be of interest to them," Weaver said. …