The Edmond Sun

Business

June 1, 2012

Francis Tuttle brings I-35/Covell plan to city planners

New building will include business incubator

EDMOND — Francis Tuttle continues to build a future of economic growth in Edmond as the City of Edmond’s partner in career technology.

A 40,000-square-foot Francis Tuttle Center for Municipal Excellence is being developed on the northeast corner of Interstate 35 and Covell Road. The center also will accommodate Adult and Career Development courses and workshops, complete as a business innovation center with classrooms and offices for a business incubator, said Peggy Geib, head of business and industry services at Francis Tuttle.

A hands-on business incubator is designed to help new and fledgeling businesses develop for success. Francis Tuttle is in the process of identifying the client intake for the incubator, Geib said.

The 11,000-square-feet of incubator space is expected to produce four graduates of the incubator process after the first three years from when the facility opens, Geib said. That equates to an additional 20 or more companies added to the community in a five-year period, she said.

“Businesses participating in incubators are 80 percent more likely to succeed than those that don’t,” Geib said of research conducted by the National Business Incubator Association.

The research shows that every dollar invested in an incubator returns about $45 in tax revenue to the communities in which those companies reside, Geib said. Eighty-four percent of incubator graduates stay in their community to continue a return on investments, she added.

“For every 50 jobs generated by an incubator, there are about 35 additional jobs that are created as a result of that,” Geib said.

Incubators are often built as an independent building. The Edmond location will be unique because it is incorporated with the Adult and Career Development, customized training and the Center for Municipal Excellence, Geib said. Seminars also will be included.

“These clients in the incubator will have access to that whole world,” Geib said.

Geib said the architectural plans have been submitted to the City of Edmond. Once the design is approved, Geib said it should take about 12 months to construct the facility.

“We’re looking at the summer of 2013,” Geib said for an opening date.

City Councilman Nick Massey said the organization is providing an avenue for entrepreneurs to take a great idea and turn it into business.

The area is becoming a mecca for economic growth in Edmond. Just across the street on the northwest corner, the City of Edmond closed this week on purchasing 7.1 acres of land for a full-service hotel and conference center, said Janet Yowell, director of the Edmond Economic Development Authority. A purchase price of $2.2 million will be taken from the city’s Real Property Tax Fund.

“This is where we’re actually going to get business development and bring in primary jobs,” Yowell said.

The Francis Tuttle development will be the first construction project in the area, Yowell said.

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 114

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