Macy's to bring $800 million economic impact over 10 years

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 12/17/2013 6:24 pm Published: 12/17/2013 4:45 pm

It's the largest jobs announcement in Green Country in a decade. Macy's announced the retailer will be bringing more than 1,000 jobs when it builds a massive distribution center in northern Tulsa County near Owasso.

The facility will be going on 76th Street North near Longview Avenue. It will support more than 1,500 full and part-time jobs year-round. Then another 1,000 jobs will be added during the holiday shopping season.

Plus, the company will employ up to 500 workers to build the facility in the next year and a half.

"Total investment is $170 million for the facility, which for our company anyway, that's a lot of money. We don't take those decisions lightly," said Frank Julian, vice president of legislative affairs for Macy's.

Tulsa beat out 149 other possible sites in a four-state area to get the facility.

Julian said the building will be 1.3 million square feet, big enough to fit 46 football fields inside.

"The building is so large that when they build it they will have to take into account the curvature of the earth," he said.

And it will be high-tech to keep up with orders from Macy's and Bloomingdales stores, and online sales.

"Our goal is from the time a customer places an order, we want that merchandise out the door in 24 hours," he said. They hope to move more than 150,000 packages a day during the holiday season.

"The indirect effects will be countless," said Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo.

Smaligo said you have to consider all those employees will spend money at local small businesses ... and buy homes.

"Everyone in this region is going to be affected by this in one way or another," said Smaligo.

The facility is expected to pump $800 million into the local economy in the next 10 years.

"We will get involved in supporting this community as it's supported us," said Julian.

Between the state of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation and the city of Owasso at least $2.5 million incentives helped convince Macy’s to come to Oklahoma.

“We were very impressed with career tech and the other training facilities that are available in the region because the system is so high-tech,” said Julian.

Governor Mary Fallin said the state shelled out cash from the so-called quick-action closing fund the state legislature created to attract businesses like Macy’s.

“It’s $1.5 million, and it’s specifically tied toward education and training. We were told that the closing fund would make the difference in closing this deal,” she said.

It will help vo-tech schools like Tulsa Tech begin training workers so they’re ready to start when the facility opens in April, 2015.

Fallin said the tax dollars were a good investment.

“They draw in other companies to do business with them. And so it’s a great economic incentivizer to bring other companies to come in. And it will certainly be good for the small businesses,” she said.

Senator Jim Inhofe also supports the business and introduced legislation to make permanent the Indian Lands Accelerated Depreciation tax provision, a key reason for companies such as Macy’s to choose Oklahoma to relocate and expand their operations.

“I am proud to welcome Macy’s and their new fulfillment center to Oklahoma, which will create 1,500 new permanent jobs and an additional 1,000 more during the Christmas shopping season," said Inhofe. "Our nation’s largest companies such as Macy’s continue to relocate and expand in Oklahoma because our state’s pro-growth policies. In my discussions with the Macy’s team, they noted many reasons for locating to Oklahoma but stressed the importance of the Indian land tax provision in their decision. This provision in the federal tax code allows businesses that purchase capital equipment for use on former or current Indian lands to depreciate it more than 40 percent faster than would otherwise be allowed. In light of Macy's announcement, I am introducing legislation to make permanent this important tax credit that encourages businesses to invest in Oklahoma's economy and job market.”

Construction is scheduled to start in April 2014 and be complete by April of 2015.

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