Sand Springs has no shortage of retail or office space available for lease or sale. Downtown storefronts sit vacant. The 7,000 sq. ft. Shoppes of Cleveland shopping center built in 2014 has never filled up. The 15,000 sq. ft. Shops at Sand Springs built in 2017 have yet to land a tenant. Numerous other buildings around town sit empty, most notably the 84,000 sq. ft. K-Mart building on Charles Page Boulevard.
The problem? While the City has been slowly attracting big corporations to town (ie: Colton’s Steak House, Aldi Grocery Store, Starbucks, CVS, etc.) most companies with real capital want to build their own facilities. Existing vacancies are typically filled by small local businesses, and even the cheapest real estate in town can be a serious strain on an aspiring entrepreneur.
The Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Sand Springs, is looking to kill two birds with one stone by providing low-cost office space to upstart organizations. The goal is for those businesses to build a customer base and reliable income stream so they can eventually expand into the vacant real estate around town.
Business Incubators not only offer cheap office space, but come with many other perks as well. The Oklahoma Small Business Incubators Incentives Act exempts tenants of certified incubators from state tax liability on income earned as a result of occupancy for up to ten years.
The Sand Springs Chamber incubator will also provide co-working space, conference rooms, electronic equipment such as printers, scanners, and a fax machine, and more. There are currently twelve rooms up for lease. The largest conference room seats as many as sixteen individuals comfortably. There will even be day-passes available for individuals to come use the technology center from their laptop.
The Chamber recently acquired their new building at 109 North Garfield Avenue from the City of Sand Springs with a $1.00/year lease agreement. The facility was formerly the home of the City’s Public Works Department and currently has 2,100 sq. ft. of rentable space.
“The City has been phenomenal to work with on this,” says Cepak. “(Community Development Director) Grant Gerondale has been amazing, that man has amazing ideas.”
Mile High Designs in Sand Springs recently installed new flooring through the whole building and most of it has received fresh paint and updated fixtures.
According to Chamber President Kristin Cepak, the Chamber has received approximately $6,000 worth of in-kind community donations so far, and 85% of the updates and improvements have been made by Sand Springs businesses. Organizations such as Webco and BancFirst are branding the building and providing free office supplies and other resources for the tenants.
The Chamber has yet to release pricing for the rental spaces. For more information on the incubator or other Chamber resources, contact Cepak at 918-245-3221 or visit their website at https://sandspringschamber.com/.