Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the owner of the rail loop at Ardmore Industrial Airpark. The loop is owned by Sovereign Oklahoma Development, LLC and they are also the entity that leases the loop. This information has been corrected in the article below.
Editor’s note: With the city poised to take on the new goals created for Ardmore Vision 2025, The Ardmoreite is offering a series examining the results of its predecessor, Vision 2020. This installment focuses on the improvements and upgrades that have taken place at Ardmore Air Park.
It’s been a busy decade at Ardmore Industrial Airpark. Ardmore Development Authority CEO Mita Bates said much of the activity has focused on the creation and improvement of new infrastructure that will help existing businesses grow as well as attracting new companies to the area.
"When you look at it, it’s a World War Two era Army Airbase with 70-year-old water and sewer lines in some cases, so we’ve been having to go in and fix up the bones to get it all dressed up and ready to go," Bates said.
She said when Vision 2020 first began, the runway had recently been completed, and they have spent the time since continuing to improve the facility to match with the industries already in the area.
One major project was the development of the rail loop along the east side of the area. The loop is owned by Sovereign Oklahoma Development, LLC and they are also the entity that leases the loop. The rail loop was developed with a long-term goal of fostering future development.
"We spent a lot of time and energy getting that project together," Bates said. "It actually wasn’t even completed with all of the pieces falling into place until about two years ago."
Other improvements are the reconstructed control tower which opened last year and an 80,000-square-foot warehouse completed this summer. Bates said the ADA has seen heavy interest in the new facility and they expect to have it leased in the near future.
Bates said they have also been working hard,making the site more attractive to those looking to invest in a new building or a new pad site.
"We’ve spent a lot of time and energy over the last couple of years working on deferred maintenance items," Bates said. "If you haven’t been out to the airpark recently and you go there now you’ll see that there have been numerous old foundations removed. That creates the ability for someone to have a pad-ready site much easier than before.
Bates said the ADA is working with multiple companies on the development of several projects, and they will be holding a groundbreaking for a new business later this month. She also added that Ardmore is well-known to many large national corporations.
"Last week I was at the National Business and Aviation conference and people do know where Ardmore is," Bates said. "The work King Aerospace is doing with Boeing and other aviation companies has really put us on the map, and they are all very fond of the airpark."