Norman has become the first city in Oklahoma to gain certification of a property under the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s new Site Ready certification program.
The property of University North Park Advanced Manufacturing Centre, located on the north side of Norman, is a 30-acre site featuring all the utilities, including telecommunications, that are crucial for commercial development. Due to the site being accessible by Interstate 35, it will lure industries like aerospace, bioscience, energy and weather, and radar technologies.
According to Brent Kisling, Executive Director at the Department of Commerce, the new Site Ready certification program will help Oklahoma communities to both markets and sell their properties to site selectors and commercial entities. He also believes that this will help create more job opportunities and investments in their area.
Kisling pointed out that the communities and companies were constantly complaining regarding his Department about the complications involved with its site certification application process. The new Site Ready certification program is an attempt to make the process more user-friendly, he added.
Maureen Hammond, the Interim President & CEO of Norman Economic Development Coalition, has welcomed the decision of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to revamp its Site Ready certification program. She hopes that it will not only streamline the site selection process and but also increase Oklahoma communities’ accessibility to marketing tools.
The application process to earn certification has been made quite simple for site owners or communities under the new Site Ready certification program.
The revamped application process requires site owners or communities to input every information about the site, including its accessibility by interstates, the population of the area surrounding the site, current zoning regulations, utilities available onsite, and more. All this information is then verified by a third party to ensure if the site meets the new Site Ready certification program requirements.
The site owners or communities will be charged a $1,000 application fee per site. After completing the application through the Department of Commerce, site owners or communities will be awarded the Site Ready certification. Thereafter, their site will be listed on LocateOK.com, Oklahoma’s buildings and sites database.
Knowing that Oklahoma has a range of properties and sites of commercial use, the new Site Ready certification program will support Oklahoma communities to meet the demand for project-ready sites in areas designated for economic development.