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Plan Nearly in Place to Draw $900 Million in Private Investments to TUL

Tulsa Airports

Tulsa International Airport is close to having final approval for a plan to subsidize public improvements that will draw new businesses to the area.

"We are looking to spur development of hotels around the terminal, support services for the terminal — a convenience store, for instance, or restaurants that serve the traveling public," said airport spokeswoman Alexis Higgins. "We're also looking for those industrial development opportunities where people are looking to expand or grow or even relocated their business from another area."

An economic plan drafted last year for nearly 7,000 acres around the airport is expected to spur $900 million dollars in private investment before 2045. The plan creates five tax increment financing districts, or TIFs, within that area.

When developments increase tax revenue, it will be set aside to pay for public improvements to attract further development.

"Utility work, road work, all of those things that are needed but may not be available today on some of the parcels of land that we have," Higgins said.

Tulsa County formalized its role this week in the Tulsa International Airport Development Trust, the body that will manage the TIF.

"Several of us here at the county are happy to partner with the City of Tulsa and the airport authority to impact a project that will certainly have positive economic impacts on this region," said County Clerk Michael Willis, one of two county representatives among the initial seven trustees.

The plan now awaits final approval by the City of Tulsa. Existing Tulsa airport authorities will remain in place.