GE could receive up to $1 million in incentives for bringing its newest research center to Oklahoma City.
The research giant is building a 95,000-square-foot facility at NE 10 and Central to make its mark as an innovator in the oil and natural gas industry.
It will be GE’s ninth global research center, but the first dedicated to a single industry.
“The project is an opportunity to reinforce Oklahoma City’s role as a focal point for the oil and gas industry,” Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch wrote in a memo to the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust. Couch also is general manager of the trust.
The trust will consider signing off on incentives for GE at its Tuesday meeting, according to its posted agenda. Any incentives still would have to be approved by the city council.
Incentives helped lure GE to Oklahoma City, as Gov. Mary Fallin pledged $3 million from a special closing fund to seal the deal last year.
The center is expected to qualify for state jobs incentives as well.
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Economic Development Division has recommended an incentive package worth as much as $1.75 million: a job creation incentive of up to $1 million and $750,000 to help develop the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority property that has been tabbed as the site of GE’s research center.
“We’re very pleased with the state, city and community support behind GE’s Oil & Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City,” spokesman Todd Alhart said. “They have been engaged with us every step of the way, as we move forward with plans to build our new center and bring 130 high-tech jobs to the city.
“The resolution being considered next week is another example of the engagement and spirit of cooperation we have seen.”
If approved, GE would earn the jobs incentive if it creates 133 new jobs over the next five years, as planned. The estimated average salary would be $129,800 a year in the first year.
GE’s payroll at the Oklahoma City research center is expected to climb from $3.6 million in the first year to $13.5 million by the end of its fifth year, according to Couch’s memo.
Officials estimate GE’s research center will have a total economic impact of nearly $200 million over its first seven years, based the company’s capital investment, wages and state and local taxes.
The $110 million center will be headed by former Oklahoma Energy Secretary Mike Ming. It is expected to open next spring.