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By: Nate Morris, senior editor
TULSA, OK – In a press release on Wednesday morning, Spirit Aerosystems, a Wichita based airline manufacturing company, announced that it will begin a multi-year, $80 million expansion project in 2019.
The expansion will bring 250 new manufacturing jobs to the city as the Tulsa site will become a preeminent producer of the company’s 737 airliners.
According to the press release, the company was swayed by incentives provided by the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and the state of Oklahoma to expand its work within the city.
Outgoing Governor Mary Fallin called it “a thrilling development for our state”.
At Wednesday’s city council meeting, Mayor Bynum called the announcement “the perfect way to end the year”. He reminded the council of the announcement earlier in the year that Amazon would build an addition fulfillment facility in Tulsa.
The mayor noted that this year brought job growth from some of the largest employers ever to invest in the city, noting that Tulsa has “outpaced the growth” of Oklahoma City, the state and the nation as a whole.
Most of these investments, from Amazon, Quick Trip and now Spirit, will be housed in the northeast section of the city, near Tulsa International Airport.
This has lead to some community leaders calling on the city to invest in additional rapid public transit systems along the 36th Street North corridor, linking much of North Tulsa to these new economic hubs.
According to the Tulsa Equality Indicators report, economic opportunities in North Tulsa are three times lower than opportunities in midtown. The report also showed that those in North Tulsa who rely heavily on public transportation are more than twice as likely to have a commute of more than 30 minutes.
A Google search shows that a commute from 36th St North and Peoria to the airport area (a 10 minute drive) would take approximately one hour to complete by bus.
The expansion of the Spirit Airlines facility, the new Quick Trip Headquarters and the Amazon center are all expected to be completed within the next three years.