After several years of delay, the QuikTrip project along US 75 is starting to move ahead.
At the January Henryetta Economic Development Authority (HEDA) meeting Monday morning, mayor Jennifer Mulholland said the Tulsa-based company is going to take possession of the motel property January 25. Demolition of the structure is expected to begin shortly after that.
The previous owners are being allowed to remove air conditioners and other items from the building.
“There is nothing to report on the west side project,” Mulholland said. “We have been trying to make contact with those people (Harry Patel and Saqib Anwar) and have sent emails.”
Part of the issue was the ability of the city toggle the project developers 12 acres of the property south of the 237 exit on Interstate 40. That land was in the city’s name and council members approved a 100-year lease.
“We have not heard from them. Not sure why but it could be COVID,” she said.
HEDA member Andy Bealko said recent layoffs at Anchor Glass have affected 30 employees there and another 30 could be laid off in coming weeks.
“They changed the process and are making glass in bulk,” he said. They were told that the laid off workers would be the first to be hired back.
“This stinks for our town because Anchor is a significant source of income for our people,” Mulholland added.
Bealko asked Mulholland how HEDA can support the city. “I have heard there is a lot of land available that could be sold.” He pointed out 80 acres now used at the Henryetta airport can be used for housing development or manufacturing.
“I have been hit up about making it a race track,” Mulholland said. “Tulsa says they make a ton of money on racing.
HEDA member Jim Beymer said there is an individual he knows that would buy the airport for his crop dusting business.
The city currently is paying off an FAA grant that is expected to come to an end either in 2021 or 2022. Mulholland said there is about $100,000 still remaining on that grant.