As the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce expands its role in economic development, a large part of that is recruiting companies to do business in Stillwater. The Chamber took a big step forward Friday by breaking ground on an industrial park located just south of Airport Road and east of Highway 177.
“The Stillwater Industrial Foundation gifted its assets to the Chamber in 2015. Those assets included cash and roughly 100 acres of land near ASCO, Armstrong, and National Standard,” Chamber president Justin Minges told the News Press. “Over the past year we have been working on making a new industrial park a reality.”
Of that space, 65 acres will be used for the business park with 23 acres zoned Commercial at Perkins and Airport and 43 acres zoned General Industrial (east of the train tracks), according to Minges.
“We’re hoping this park provides a space for local companies to expand, as well as attract other industries to Stillwater,” he said.
Minges thanked Kelly Harris of Keystone Engineering, Arvest Bank and Lambert Construction for getting the space ready.
“For those of you that have been around for a little while, you know that this project has been a long time coming,” he said. “There’s been a lot of folks that have been involved, all the way back to Stillwater Industrial Foundation, far before the Chamber ever had their hands on this. During the interview process when I joined the team, this is one of the projects that the board made it clear was going to be project No. 1 for us in trying to get it to the finish line.
“This is a community project. This is not a Chamber project.”
It was the first public appearance for newly elected Mayor Will Joyce.
“We’ve got a lot of plans, we’ve got a lot of things we’ve talked about doing and it’s time for us to start doing them. It’s great to see us doing it now and getting this groundbreaking done and getting this project underway,” he said.
Minges said of the 23 acres of commercially zoned space “is for sale today,” and highlighted lots that could be used for local entrepreneurs. Stillwater-based XploSafe is planning on being one of the first companies to have a building at Commerce Place.
“Looking to the future of the City of Stillwater, we’re on the cusp of, I think, great economic things to come, more jobs, and we’re proud to be a partner with the Chamber in trying to get that done,” City Manager Norman McNickle said.