Edmond reports economic impact of medical complexes [The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City]By Diana Baldwin, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma CityMcClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Jan. 30--EDMOND -- Edmond has seen an economic impact of more than $300 million from renovations at OU Medical Center Edmond and construction of the Integris Health Edmond and Mercy Health System medical complexes, participants in the annual Edmond economic preview learned Tuesday.
More than 1,000 people will be working at those locations once Mercy Health Edmond opens its 200,000-square-foot complex with doctor's offices and a wellness center this summer. Mercy will have on staff 200-plus employees, according to Janet Yowell, Economic Development Authority executive director.
Mercy Health Edmond is located on the west side of Interstate 35, just south of 15th Street. Integris has been open for about 1.5 years and has 295 employees at its 210,000-square-foot hospital across the interstate north of 15th Street.
"Integris is building a heart cath lab that will open this spring," Yowell said. "They have additional land there that could grow more jobs and facilities at that location."
OU Medical Edmond, with 448 employees, is at Second Street and Bryant Avenue.
"The majority of the activity has been and will be 8.5 miles along the I-35 corridor in the middle of Edmond," Yowell told 274 city, school and business leaders. "This is where the activity has been going on and will be going on in the coming months."
Sam's Club is in the process of getting a permit to build a 138,000-square-foot building and fuel station, just north of Walmart at 15th Street and I-35, at the Shoppes of Fox Lake.
"You should start to see activity in the next 30 days," Yowell said.
Plans to develop three corners of the intersection of Covell Road and I-35 are getting under way to build a hotel, conference center, sports complex and technology training center.
Francis Tuttle Technology Center is the first building to be constructed as part of that development. The 38,000-square-foot training center will house a business incubator and the Center for Municipal Excellence, a program to train a professional, qualified labor force for municipalities.
Dirt work and the moving of oil tanks is under way on the northwest corner where the conference center and hotel will be built.
Edmond has made an $11 million investment in the conference center, sports complex and infrastructure. Officials consider it a way to promote economic development and increase sales tax revenue.
"Developers will purchase back the land over the next 15 years," Yowell said. "We will see sales tax revenue as these areas are built out."
City council members also have approved an Edmond Economic Incentive Policy that sets out incentives for retail owners who open a business in Edmond, or for local businesses that expand.
"We are very excited about this and we want to help stimulate growth," Yowell said. "Edmond is serious about economic development both by investing new developments and this new incentive policy.
"We really want to take control of the future that we have and maximize the remaining land and the large parcels of land we have left. We want to pursue appropriate types of economic development.
"We look forward to a bright year in 2013."
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