COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - The Comanche County Industrial Development Authority now owns 320 acres just west of Lawton that they hope will bring new industry to southwest Oklahoma.
The 320 acres are just northwest of the Goodyear Plant and are what Lawton Economic Development Authority President Brad Cooksey says is shovel-ready land.
"It's got all the utilities in place, there is still some minor work to be done but it also has the rail that runs directly next to it. That's a huge thing nowadays in economic development," Cooksey said.
Cooksey said he doesn't have any particular industry he'd like to bring in, but says the ideas are endless and the potential for the area is limitless.
"It's going to produce a number of jobs. We're going to start marketing this as land that we're ready to build on and to expand on and these businesses will bring jobs. With jobs brings more wealth to the city," Cooksey said.
Cooksey said opening any businesses in the area is still a long way away, but having the land purchased and ready to go will be enticing to industry looking for a home.
"Other communities have shovel-ready land, they're ready to go. It's important for us to have that land too. As we're recruiting businesses, as we've done in the past, we have recruited businesses and got their attention, but we didn't have any land to show them that was shovel ready. This gives us some land that we can advertise and bring the businesses here and say this is our land, this is where we can put you and this is where we can do some work from," Cooksey said.
Cooksey said the sale was finalized on Monday and since then, they've been hard at work getting the word out.
"We've been in touch with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce so through a state level we're already putting the word out and then through our connections with different site selectors and different real estate agents in the whole region, we've sent them the information on it and now the word is starting to spread that we have an additional 320 acres that we can market," Cooksey said.
Cooksey said he hopes to bring industry in as soon as possible, but said those things take time so it could be a while before anything occupies the land.
The Lawton City Council has also been discussing financing an industrial park in Lawton. In January, voters will decide whether or not to repurpose money from the 2016 CIP to do that.
7NEWS reached out to Lawton City Councilman Caleb Davis, who said the purchase of this 320 acres is independent of what the council is working on. But, he said if the measure passes in January, it is more than likely the council would work with the industrial authority and that the money from the CIP would go towards developing that land.