In order to better help Oklahoma communities market themselves and their available sites to site selectors and prospective companies, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (Commerce) has revamped its site certification program. Norman is the first community to complete certification of a new property, the University North Park Advanced Manufacturing Centre, through the updated site certification program.
“Our state is full of available properties and sites with features that could meet any company’s needs. With Site Ready certification, we help Oklahoma communities better market their assets and have a better opportunity to bring new jobs and investment to their area,” said Brent Kisling, Commerce Executive Director. “We received feedback from communities that parts of the application process were cumbersome and the last thing we want is to create barriers for communities. By revamping this program, we are making it more user-friendly both for the communities and companies seeking a location.”
The University North Park Advanced Manufacturing Centre is a 30-acre site located on the north side of Norman just off I-35. The property offers sites ranging from four to 15 acres – with all utilities available onsite, including telecom. The target industries for the property include aerospace, bioscience, energy, and weather and radar technologies.
“Corporate executives and site selectors expect to find community and available site information quickly and through digital means easily accessible online,” said Maureen Hammond, Interim President & CEO, Norman Economic Development Coalition. “We are pleased that the Oklahoma Department of Commerce has prioritized the Site Ready certification program and is supporting Oklahoma communities by increasing our accessibility to marketing tools and streamlining the process for site selection. Norman is proud to be the first community under the new program to receive Site Ready designation for University North Park Advanced Manufacturing Centre.”
Commerce’s Site Ready certification program helps Oklahoma communities meet the demand for project-ready sites by designating available sites that are prepared for economic development. To earn Site Ready certification, site owners and/or community leaders must complete an application through Commerce. In the application, site owners or community leaders identify key data about the site, such as site accessibility by interstates, population within a certain radius, current zoning designations, available utilities and more. Once the application is completed, an objective third party verifies the information submitted and ensures the site meets program requirements. There is a $1,000 application fee per site.
Once a site receives Site Ready certification, the site receives special designation on LocateOK.com, the state’s buildings and sites database. This website is a commonly-used resource by site selectors and corporate real estate professionals and provides them with detailed, site-specific information on properties available for purchase or lease, including proximity to major transportation routes, area labor force statistics, utilities, cost of living details, and business incentives for site selectors’ consideration.
“The Commerce recruitment staff utilizes LocateOK and shares it with clients on a regular basis,” said Jennifer Springer, Commerce Director of Business Development. “Sites and properties do not have to have the Site Ready Certification in order to be listed on this site, but it does provide an extra level of verification that lets companies and site selectors know a site is ready for their project. I encourage communities to get their available properties and sites listed on this site and to utilize the Site Ready Certification Program.”
For more information about LocateOK.com and the Site Ready Certification Program, visit the Commerce website or contact Ray Little at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no cost for communities to list available sites and properties on LocateOK.com.