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Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Interior Department Approve Landmark Leasing Deal

29 Nov 2013, 11:47 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

In a landmark step for Native American self-determination, the U.S. Department of the Interior and Citizen Potawatomi Nation formally approved tribal leasing regulations in a signing ceremony Nov. 25. The regulations aim to help spur investment and commercial development on the nation’s trust lands in central Oklahoma.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn and Potawatomi Nation Chairman John Barrett participated in the ceremony at the Potawatomi National Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee. The ordinance is the sixth approved by the Interior Department under the HEARTH Act (Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership), which was signed into law by President Obama in July 2012. The legislation restores the authority of federally recognized tribes to develop and implement their own laws governing the long-term leasing of Indian lands for residential, business and other purposes.

Secretary Jewell, who also chairs the White House Council on Native American Affairs, said in a statement: “The Citizen Potawatomi Nation now has the authority to decide how it wants to do business on its lands, making it easier for families to do things like buy and build houses or open businesses in the communities where they have lived for generations. Today’s action encourages economic development on Indian lands, generating investment, new jobs and revenues.”

“The very essence of self-determination is that it should be the tribe that decides how its lands may be used for the good of its members, and that is what the HEARTH Act and Interior’s comprehensive reform of Indian land leasing regulations does,” said Washburn. “These parallel efforts have a real impact for individuals and families who want to own a home or build a business. These initiatives help strengthen self-reliance and secure the well-being of future generations.”

Seal Courtesy of: www.potawatomi.org



Enel Green Power Kicks Off $250M Wind Project in Murray, Carter Counties

24 Nov 2013, 12:44 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Enel Green Power North America Inc. has started construction of a %250 million wind power project in Murray and Carter counties.

The Origin Wind Power Project will have 150 megawatts of installed capacity and will be able to generate approximately 650 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. The plant will eliminate an estimated 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the air.

Owned by Origin Wind Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power North America, the wind farm is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2014.

Origin Wind Power will have the necessary elements to qualify for production tax credits, Enel Green Power said in a statement. The new project will join two other wind farms in Oklahoma, Chisholm View (235 megawatts) and Rocky Ridge (150 megawatts), operating in Oklahoma. Enel Green Power operates more than 1,265 megawatts of installed capacity in North America.

Photo Courtesy of: www.enelgreenpower.com



Miller-Valentine Details Plan for $8M Affordable Housing Project in El Reno

18 Nov 2013, 10:12 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Miller-Valentine Group and Frontier Community Services are developing Fairway Breeze Apartments, a 48-unit affordable multi-family project in El Reno.Scheduled to open next year at 600 South Country Club Road, the development’s price tag is $8 million, the El Reno Tribune reported.

Although Fairway Breeze is classified as affordable, Miller-Valentine said in a statement that prospective residents must be able to demonstrate verifiable income, have no outstanding balance from previous rental residences and must not have a criminal record. Section 8 applicants are not eligible.

Two-bedroom units will rent for about $800 per month and three-bedroom apartments will be priced at around $900, Mark Sandidge, director of El Reno Community Services, told the Tribune.  The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency and the city of El Reno are providing additional support.

Billed as pet-friendly, the fairway Breeze will feature fully-equipped gourmet kitchens, energy-efficient appliances, patio or balcony with extra storage and central air conditioning. The community will feature a clubhouse which includes a computer room and a fitness center. The community grounds will include a playground and outdoor picnic areas.

Miller-Valentine’s president of residential property management, Jim Fenwick said in a statement: “It is our privilege to touch and enhance the quality of living and give our residents piece of mind while living at Fairway Breeze Apartments.”

Founded in 1963, Miller-Valentine Group develops real estate in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the U.S. Miller-Valentine Group manages more than 13,000 residential housing units and over 50 million square feet of commercial space.



Parkes Development Wins Key Approval for $33M Tulsa Retail Project

11 Nov 2013, 4:16 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission has approved Parkes Development Group L.L.C.’s proposal for a $32.5 million retail development in the South 81st Street / Highway 75 corridor. Dubbed The Walk at Tulsa Hills, the project will create more than 1,000 permanent and temporary jobs, estimates the Nashville, Tenn.-based developer.

Parkes is working to identify tenants, expected to include a grocery store, restaurants, shops, a movie theater and an outdoor living store. The Walk at Tulsa Hills, located to the south of Tulsa Hills on the east side of Highway 75, would generate an estimated $50 million in sales and nearly $1.2 million in sales tax revenue annually.

Robert Martin, Parkes’ director of development, predicted that “The Walk at Tulsa Hills will be a place for families to gather for food and entertainment, and try out stores that are brand-new to this market. We are encouraged by the TMAPC’s approval and will work with the city to complete the plans, while engaging the surrounding community in the process.”

“The Walk at Tulsa Hills development is expected to generate a payroll of $18 million between construction and permanent jobs,” said Mayor Dewey Bartlett in a statement. “This is exactly the type of development we are working daily to attract to Tulsa, and I am very pleased we have reached the point in the timetable that we can discuss this accomplishment publicly.”

Parkes Development Group LLC. logo: www.parkescompanies.com



Agency Approves $29M Plan to Replace Moore Facility Destroyed by Tornado

3 Nov 2013, 7:10 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Norman Regional Health System has reached a major milestone in its plan for a new facility in Moore. The Norman Regional Hospital Authority voted to approve a plan for a new $29 million healthcare facility in Moore and expanded services at the HealthPlex hospital in Norman. The plan allows for future expansion.

The new building will be constructed on the former site of Moore Medical Center at Telephone Road and 4th Street. Norman Regional had owned and operated Moore Medical Center for six years when it was destroyed by a tornado on May 20. Groundbreaking is scheduled for next fall, and opening is targeted for fall 2016.

“Our commitment to the Moore community is strong,” avid Whitaker, Norman Regional’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We have been in Moore since 2007, and our health system was able to operate a hospital in Moore since that time. An unfortunate tragedy took that facility, but we will be back soon and stronger than ever.”

Services offered at the new facility will include 24-hour emergency service; diagnostic imagining; physical medicine services; laboratory services; physician offices; community education and meeting space; and a wellness/lifestyle center.

“While we are not rebuilding exactly what was destroyed, our plans allow for additional services and amenities to be added later so that the building can grow along with its community,” Whitaker said.

Rendering courtesy of www.normanregional.com