Congratulations to Muncie Power Products, the first tenant in the Peoria-Mohawk Business Park at 1555 E. Mohawk Blvd.
Construction started last week on a new 250,000-square-foot plant for the Indiana-based manufacturer of power take-offs and other hydraulic components for work trucks.
The new plant will replace a facility at 7217 E. Pine St. that employs 250. The project kicks off excitement for the 120-acre Peoria-Mohawk Business Park, a public-private partnership designed to bring more jobs, income and hope to north Tulsa.
City leaders celebrated the new project with golden shovels and press availabilities. They treated it like the big deal that it is.
This is the sort of good economic development news that Tulsa needs after the disappointment of losing the massive Tesla CyberTruck Gigafactory to Austin.
The two projects aren’t comparable in scale, employment or price, obviously, but intuitively, we all know that Tulsa’s future prosperity has a better chance of growing out of the development of home-grown businesses and entrepreneurs who have already chosen this market than it does at winning the Tesla lottery.
That isn’t to say it was wrong to compete for the thousands of jobs Elon Musk was offering. We only argue that we should also get excited about a bundle of smaller deals that promise good-paying jobs for hard-working Tulsans. And we are.
The Peoria-Mohawk Business Park is a conscious effort to use public and private resources to bring more business development to Tulsa’s north side.
Several groups deserve note for their funding and work in that cause, especially the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the citizens of Tulsa, who approved an extension of the Vision 2025 tax program in 2016. That package included $10 million to prepare the land for industrial occupants.
In 2016, we predicted that project on the southeast corner of 36th Street North and Peoria Avenue would lay the groundwork for Tulsa’s next big economic boom.
And we stand by that prediction.