Over the past few months, quietly there have been a lot of individuals working together with investors and leadership from out of state, who wanted to acquire the STI manufacturing facility north of town on Wolverine Road.
You have heard us state before that economic development is a team effort and building a team that wanted to see this business survive and thrive in Shawnee was necessary to help the new investors anyway possible.
In the case of this project, there were attorneys, bankers and property owners who were reviewing lease terms, and negotiating what the final version of those terms would be. City of Shawnee staff working with the DEQ, and side by side with the current and prospective business owners to make sure the new company was doing everything by the book to be able to be in compliance with the regulations associated with their wastewater discharge.
Manufacturing professionals from the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance were on the team, providing the resources they have available to business, to offer them another set of eyes and the expertise they have in manufacturing. Leadership from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, was ready to join in as needed, as were countless others who are too numerous to mention.
For those who are familiar with how something like this takes place, a lot of economic development work is done behind the scenes and out of the public’s eye. To some that causes great concern as there are “secrets” they feel they have a right to know about. On that note we must agree to disagree, as those who wish the facility to fail and remove them as a business competitor are constantly looking for ways to hurt their chances for success.
In regard to this project, there were too many meetings to count, hundreds of emails to send out, respond to and share, at least a half dozen lease proposals to compare, markup, discuss and negotiate on, and issues that should NEVER be part of the front-page news, until the heavy lifting has been done.
We are confident that much of this work that took place with this project would be boring to everyone except those who are and were in the trenches. Those are the individuals who were trying to help save a manufacturing facility and attract new capital investment to the community so this would become a success, rather than just a hope.
The good news is that the tubing plant located on Wolverine Road will not become a large, dark and empty building. It will once again be a place were our neighbors, friends, and acquaintances will be employed, producing products that are needed all over the world.
Because there were those who were positive this facility was not worth throwing away, who had the financial wherewithal to make the necessary capital investment, and who have the technical knowledge to make the necessary upgrades and repairs, this facility will once again be a key part of our local, regional and state’s economy.
Make no mistake this is not going to be easy, as it will take a lot of hard work, by a lot of people. But it is going to be a success for the new owners and this community at the same time.
So now that the cat is out of the bag, you can tell everyone you know, that there is a new owner of the tubing plant on Wolverine Road and they are called, Bison Metals Technologies, LLC.
Welcome to Shawnee BMT, we are ecstatic you have the vision to be a success in Shawnee, Oklahoma and the World!