The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a $2.5 million grant to the City of Norman and the Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC) for infrastructure development for the University North Park project.
U.S. EDA utilizes investment funds for critical infrastructure for projects that have a significant impact on job creation. NEDC was eligible for the competitive grant because the project had enormous job creation capacity and they were able to match the grant amount, which is an EDA requirement. ACOG helped facilitate the application process as an early indicator of its future role as an Economic Development District (ACOG is still awaiting an official designation). The Norman City Council accepted the funds at its October 23 (2012) meeting.
The University North Park Advanced Manufacturing Center is a 30 acre business park targeting aerospace, medical devices, and other high tech, advanced manufacturing. University North Park Corporate Centre is a Class A office park that offers six pad sites, a large water feature, state-of-the-art telecommunications and immediate airport access. Both of these projects are being developed by the Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC), a four-way partnership of the City of Norman, the University of Oklahoma, Moore Norman Technology Center, and the Sooner Centurions, a committee of the Chamber of the Commerce.
NEDC projects high-end, high-wage jobs primarily for college graduates. The average wage for the University North Park project is expected to be in the $50,000 to $70,000 range. The project area is in a premier location adjacent to Interstate 35 and the University Town Center retail center with over 2 million sq. ft. of retail, a 300 room Embassy Suites Hotel, a new 75,000 sq. ft. convention center, and a lifestyle retail center. It is also adjacent to the Max Westheimer Airport.
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.