KGOU

Business Intelligence Report

Fridays at 6:44 a.m., 8:44 a.m., 12:35 p.m., and 5:44 p.m.

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.

Ways to Connect

Taxis are parked outside Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The ride-sharing industry in Oklahoma has gone largely unregulated since Uber first arrived in Oklahoma City in 2013. The services have been challenged by limousine and taxi operators, but there’s little in the way of formal rules for how Uber, or its major competitor Lyft, can operate.

House Bill 1614 would change that. Whenever a driver turns on the app and are transporting or picking up passengers, a $1 million liability insurance policy would apply.

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talk in the Oval Office following their Nov. 29, 2012 lunch.
Pete Souza / The White House

For the past three presidential election cycles, Oklahoma has cemented its status as the “reddest of the red states.” No Democratic presidential candidate has won a single county in Oklahoma since Al Gore in 2000, and in 2004 neither incumbent President George W. Bush nor Democratic nominee John Kerry visited the state nor spent any advertising dollars here.

Oklahoma received only $1,300 in ad revenue from national GOP and Democratic organizations during the 2012 election cycle, according to campaign finance data analyzed by FairVote and The Journal Record's Brian Brus:

Jenks Mayor Lonnie Sims speaks during a press conference on the upcoming vote to renew the Vision 2025 sales tax.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

A Tulsa tax package will be up for renewal by voters this fall, but with a new twist.

Vision2025, a Tulsa County tax plan similar to Oklahoma City’s MAPS project, is a 0.6 percent sales tax passed in 2003. Since then, it has raised over $600 million for various community projects.

But this year, cities affected by the tax plan have the chance to opt out, says Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant in Red Rock, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

For the past several weeks the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has heard from attorneys for Oklahoma Gas & Electric regarding the utility’s request for approval to spend $1.1 billion.

Sue Wyglendowski grooms one of the 16 collies she brought from Mantua, Ohio, for the 2015 Collie Club of America National Specialty Show at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Last week, Oklahoma City said it would reopen the search process for the site of the MAPS 3 convention center, and on Tuesday the city council voted to abandon the originally planned location near the Myriad Gardens.

The previous site plan for the downtown Oklahoma City convention center.
Courtesy rendering / The Journal Record

Tuesday afternoon Oklahoma City leaders announced they would start looking for a new site for the convention center that's part of the Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS 3, proposal voters approved in 2009.

Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, at Interstates 35 and 240 in Oklahoma City, has merchant tenancy above 50 percent.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday the city council of Oklahoma City voted to create two new business improvement districts, or BIDs, in south Oklahoma City.

One will be along SW 29th Street between May Ave. and Shields Blvd., and the other calls for spending $22,000 with the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce to improve the area around Interstate 240 that runs from I-35 to I-44.

American Energy Partners, LP founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon, who co-founded Chesapeake Energy in 1989.
Provided / The Journal Record

One of the country’s major oil and natural gas producers, and a huge driver of Oklahoma City’s and the state’s economy, filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging its founder and former CEO stole trade secrets during his final days at Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

Aubrey McClendon has been no stranger to the controversy. In 2012 the Chesapeake board of directors significantly curtailed his responsibility, before he eventually stepped down during the first half of 2013.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2015 State of the State address on Feb. 2, 2015.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order Monday imposing a moratorium on hiring and pay raises for state workers.

New state workers can still be hired as long as it’s approved in writing by the statewide elected official or cabinet secretary who manages the particular agency, and they have to explain why this is necessary.

Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Air Force officials attend the announcement of a deal that will provide more land for Tinker Air Force Base.
Kelly White / Tinker Take Off

On Wednesday Tinker Air Force Base announced it now owns 158 acres of land just west of the base to house the maintenance hub for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46A Pegasus, which is designed to be the next-generation aerial refueling plane.

The land previously belonged to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co., which used it as a yard to serve the General Motors assembly plant that closed nearly a decade ago.

The proposed Core to Shore tax increment financing district boundary.
The Journal Record

This week the Oklahoma City Council voted 8-1 to authorize Mayor Mick Cornett explore the idea of creating two new tax increment financing, or TIF, districts in downtown Oklahoma City.

These subsidies for redevelopment and community improvement projects embody the idea of “public-private partnerships” between cities and businesses.

Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid cast the lone “no” vote.

Traffic passes in front of the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Tuesday the Oklahoma City Council approved a request for proposals for a hotel catering to the convention center that will be built as part of the series of projects funded by the MAPS 3 temporary sales tax extension.

During the meeting, the council heavily stressed the importance of building enough parking for the hotel, convention center, and other uses around town, as well as alternate funding to make sure developers can complete the project.

Crew members service a Southwest Airlines jet at Tulsa International Airport.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

Last week Tulsa International Airport unveiled a public relations campaign encouraging more travelers to fly out of northeast Oklahoma, and it’s already paying off.

Tulsans will soon have three more destinations to choose from after Allegiant Air announced Tuesday they’re adding nonstop year-round service from TIA to Las Vegas starting in April, and seasonal service to the Tampa Bay area and Los Angeles beginning in May and June, respectively.

Pedestrians walk in front of Cafe 7 at the First National Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Downtown Oklahoma City has been buzzing about the fate of First National Center.

The 84-year-old Art Deco skyscraper heavily inspired by the Empire State Building dominated the Oklahoma City horizon for four decades. But it’s had a rocky quarter century since its namesake bank folded in the mid-80s after the oil bust, and occupancy has been down since Devon Energy consolidated its operations in its flagship headquarters on Sheridan Ave.

Cory Moates, owner of Moates Excavating, left, and Tim Kent, environmental director of The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, inspect ongoing chat disposal from a site near Quapaw. The pit is the top of a collapsed mine near Picher.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

Monday The Journal Record published its Tribal Economic Impact issue, a deep dive into how Oklahoma’s federally recognized Native American groups fund their services and contribute to Oklahoma’s economy.

With billboards pointing toward Oklahoma City and messages about booming careers and less traffic in Oklahoma City, Continental Resources is promoting itself in Houston. The energy company is making a connection, as revealed on online applications.
Continental Resources / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City made national headlines last week when a few stations on the south side started selling gasoline for less than $2 per gallon.

Friday morning West Texas Intermediate crude oil was trading below $60 per barrel, with Brent crude right around $63.

Joseph Hollowell and Drew Polk hold a Christmas tree in the tree shaker at Sorghum Mill Tree Farm in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The weather is turning colder, and it’s been wet and dreary all week, so Oklahoma’s long-term drought doesn’t necessarily come to mind the way it does during the summer month.

We’ve discussed the effects of Oklahoma’s drought on the cattle ranching industry, but the ongoing climate event also impacts a different kind of agricultural worker – Christmas tree farmers.

George Rainy pushes an electrocardiogram machine through the emergency department at St. Anthony Hospital in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s the time of year when a lot of people are thinking about health care. Many private employers’ option periods just wrapped up, and on November 15 annual enrollment opened for the Affordable Care Act.

A layout of the planned $50 million, 450,000-square-foot retail development at the intersection of NW 10th Street, N. Czech Hall Road, and Interstate 40 near Yukon.
Courtesy Rendering / The Journal Record

The Interstate 40 corridor in western Oklahoma City and Yukon is growing fast and some companies are looking at development prospects in the area.

The Journal Record's Molly Fleming reports GBT Realty Corp. plans to build a $50 million, 450,000-square-foot retail development on 80 acres at the intersection of NW 10th Street, N. Czech Hall Road, and Interstate 40 near Yukon.

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Editor's note: The audio version of this story contains language that could be misleading. Written proposals from Clayco and Milhaus both discuss plans for a public-private partnership, and government incentives.

Downtown Oklahoma City is growing and there is need for more office, commercial and residential space. The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority called a meeting this past Tuesday to talk about the empty lot at the southwest corner of Sheridan and Hudson avenues.

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