KGOU

Business Intelligence Report

Wednesdays

A weekly feature produced in partnership with the Journal Record, Oklahoma's weekday newspaper and website specializing in business, legislative and legal news. Editor Ted Streuli and Journal Record reporters discuss business and economic development in the state.

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Workers construct new homes at 12th Avenue NW and Tecumseh Road in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

National figures out this week from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed sales of new single-family homes rose more than 12 percent between June and July.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units is the highest since October 2007 -  right around the time the housing bubble burst. But home construction is showing in the U.S., according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The Wheeler Ferris Wheel is shown behind signage at Oklahoma City’s Wheeler District.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday the Oklahoma City Council took another step toward creating a tax increment financing, or TIF, district for the Wheeler neighborhood near downtown, just south of the Oklahoma River.

The area on either side of Western Ave. north of SW 20th Street will eventually have housing, offices, retail, and the centerpiece has already gone up - a 100-foot tall Ferris wheel.

Midwest City’s Heritage Park Mall.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been about six years since the last few tenants moved out of Heritage Park Mall in Midwest City.

A lone retailer remains – Sears – and a local megachurch also holds it services there, but city leaders hope to revitalize the property and have issued a request for proposals to rehabilitate it.

The Journal Record’s editor Ted Streuli says the idea has been in the works for years, but recently the city council in Midwest City approved a matching $27,000 grant for requests for proposals. The money would come out of Midwest City’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

SandRidge Energy headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been a rocky year for Oklahoma City’s SandRidge Energy.

The company started 2016 learning it would be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and had to shut down many oil and gas wells in northwest Oklahoma due to seismic directives by the Corporation Commission.

Renovation continues on the Sunshine Cleaners building at 1012 NW First St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

In April the Oklahoma City Council approved $550,000 in tax increment financing, or TIF money, for the dilapidated Sunshine Cleaners building just west of downtown.

About the only remarkable thing about the building two blocks from the Oklahoma County Jail is its beautiful neon sign. The roof has caved in, the windows are broken, and satellite imagery even shows an abandoned vehicle inside the building.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett has been a prominent figure during this week’s Republican National Convention.

He delivered speech Monday on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, having just taken over as the group’s president in June. Oklahoma City’s elections are technically non-partisan, but Cornett does identify as a Republican (he made it to a runoff with Gov. Mary Fallin in the 2006 Congressional primary when they vied for U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook’s old seat). During Cornett’s address in Cleveland earlier this week, he talked a lot about the success of Republican mayors across the country.

Steve Hahn, president of AT&T Oklahoma, speaks at the Reservation Economic Summit in Tulsa Tuesday.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

This week tribal and business leaders met just outside of Tulsa for the Reservation Economic Summit.

Dr. Scott Dellinger talks with a patient at Willowood at Mustang senior living center in Mustang.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Last week the insurance industry group Genworth released an annual report that showed returns for home health care in Oklahoma fell in 2015 compared to previous years. But the costs for all healthcare segments in Oklahoma are going up, and the price of home healthcare rose 2.5 percent over last year.

That’s related to a nationwide trend of rising home care costs as Medicare providers try to keep chronically ill patients out of hospitals, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports:

A Williams Cos. employee monitors the company’s compressor station in Sumas, Wash.
Courtesy photo

On Wednesday Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity announced it’s going to stop pursuing its merger with Tulsa-based Williams Cos. 

Updated 8:25 a.m.

Nearly half of the board of directors of Tulsa-based Williams Companies resigned Thursday during an afternoon closed-door meeting where a coalition attempted to oust CEO Alan Armstrong.

Two women pass by the shuttered Pita Pit on Campus Corner in Norman.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

If you graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and haven’t been back for a couple of years, you might not recognize Campus Corner. Over the past decade it’s been a revolving door of burrito restaurants (Moe’s Southwest Grill, Freebird’s, Chipotle, Chimy’s…) and many longtime staples (Cookies ‘n’ Cards, Pita Pit) no longer occupy the space along Asp Avenue north of Boyd Street.

This fall, former University of Oklahoma head football coach Barry Switzer will become a regular presence just north of campus as his “Coach’s Cabana” color commentary program moves to the parking lot of Hideaway Pizza along Buchanan Ave. As The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming reports, it’s part of a growing trend of activity in the restaurant and entertainment district:

Curtis Davis loads a cardboard baler at St. Anthony hospital in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

False Medical Claims Investigations in Oklahoma

About seven years ago, the U.S. Attorney General’s office began working with district court prosecutors to crack down on false medical claims. They are investigated all the time, and settlements have become more common in Oklahoma. Many of the investigations are settled before a complaint is filed.

Adam Brooks, the managing editor of The Journal Record newspaper, said most false claims involve overcharging Medicaid.

Printing Company Xerox Brings Lawsuit Against Metro-Based Tate Publishing

Jun 11, 2016
Tate Publishing & Enterprises at 127 Trade Center Terr. in Mustang.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Tate Publishing, a Christian book and music publisher based in Mustang, Oklahoma, is facing a lawsuit from Xerox. The printing company alleges Tate owes over $1.7 million.

 

Xerox and Tate have been working together since about 2003, and Xerox helped Tate increase their printing operation.

 

Bottles of wine are displayed on shelves at Market Beverage Co., 204 S. Littler Ave. in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been a week since the end of one of the most contentious legislative sessions in recent memory, and attention is now starting to turn to elections this summer and fall in Oklahoma.

Workers install a stone façade outside one of four Senior Wellness Centers being built as part of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 program.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Several Oklahoma City civic leaders gathered Tuesday evening for a town hall meeting to discuss the city’s 10-year general obligation bond issue, which voters won’t decide until next year.

SandRidge Energy sign
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Monday morning Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy formally filed for bankruptcy.

The move wasn’t unexpected among energy observers, but one of the interesting things about this particular filing is that SandRidge has almost twice as many assets as it does debt.

The Zoo Amphitheatre at 2101 NE 50th St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Two months ago Oklahoma City opened The Criterion, a new 3,500-seat theater in Bricktown. The venue has has already seen concerts by My Morning Jacket, Grace Potter, and most recently, Sturgill Simpson this past Wednesday evening. Later this year the Tower Theatre will open in Uptown, and there’s going to be an outdoor patio for concerts west of downtown.

But these are all indoor venues. Oklahoma City only has two large outdoor amphitheaters – The Zoo Amp, and Frontier City – both in the northeast part of the city.

An artist’s conception of the new convention center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Populous and GSB Inc.

During Tuesday’s Oklahoma City Council meeting, Ward 5’s David Greenwell said it’s hard to get excited about things like the proposed MAPS 3 convention center until you see some of the architectural renderings.

Those were presented this week, and one of the issues with this new convention center seems to be parking.

Ward 2 councilman Ed Shadid, who’s pretty vocal about his concerns when it comes to using public money for large-scale projects, raised the point during the architects’ presentation.

Dr. Billy D. Schumpert, left, checks on Debbie Brewer at Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau on Tuesday while Kody Smith, infection preventionist and registered nurse, looks on.
Amanda Corbin / Poteau Daily News

Proposed cuts to Oklahoma’s Medicaid reimbursement rate that could be as high as 25 percent are threatening the services offered by rural hospitals across the state.

Jaynie Studenmund addresses the audience during the Oklahoma City University Meinders School of Business Women in Leadership conference Wednesday at the Cox Business Services Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The nation’s workforce is getting older, and more diverse, with more women and minorities ascending to top spots some of the nation’s largest companies.

The neon sign still stands outside the Sunshine Cleaners building at 1012 NW First St. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The revitalization of downtown Oklahoma City continues to move west, and developers are always looking for ways to offset or subsidize the costs of their projects.

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