State law allows properties in the land trust to be exchanged for real estate of equal or greater value. The exchange of the Shawnee land for marketable commercial real estate in Oklahoma City will create hundreds of thousands of dollars in new annual revenues for the Land Trust from lease agreements and rents that will be put back into Oklahoma schools, said Harry Birdwell, secretary for the Commissioners of the Land Office, which oversees the Trust.
“As we improve benefits to schools in the state, on (the) other side of coin we have utilized what resources we have available to stimulate economic growth in Shawnee,” Birdwell said.
The land exchange was from about two years of research and negotiations, Birdwell said.
“This has been a complex project to navigate,” Williams said, “but everyone we encountered and worked with at the CLO (Commissioners of the Land Office), City of Shawnee and Pottawatomie County were eager to help get this thing across the finish line.”