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Business Leads In Tulsa Noticeably Change In 1st Quarter Of 2021

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Tulsa saw a shift in what businesses are looking for in the first quarter of 2021.

City Economic Development Specialist Austin Britt told the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity last week a number of big projects expressed interest in Tulsa over January, February and March.

"Last quarter, the median acreage for a project was 10 acres. This quarter, it was 175. So, we’re seeing a huge jump in the scale of projects that we’re receiving," Britt said.

Britt said many of the leads so far this year have been looking for newly built facilities rather than redevelopments, and buildings of at least 150,000 square feet are in high demand.

Automotive industry projects accounted for one in five leads in the first quarter, the largest proportion of any single type. Even though Tesla chose Austin over Tulsa for a new plant last year, Britt interest from electric vehicle and related equipment manufacturers is up.

"It’s really challenging for vehicle manufacturers to transition diesel or gasoline assembly and manufacturing plants over to electric. So, I think you’re going to see a pretty big shift toward investment in electric vehicle plants," Britt said.

There were 23 total business leads for the city in January, February and March, representing a total potential capital investment of $10 billion and more than 18,600 jobs.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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