The Osage LLC is extending its business-seeking efforts into the Southwest desert by partnering with an Arizona-based developer to create Osage LLC West. The newly formed venture is pursuing building projects in the Phoenix metropolitan area with the help of LLC subsidy Osage Manhattan Builders and an Arizona-based CEO to lead those efforts.
The LLC is partnering with Mike Oliver, who is Osage West LLC’s CEO. Oliver lives in Peoria, a northwest Phoenix suburb, which is growing population-wise like other Phoenix suburbs where development competition is fierce as the metropolitan cities compete with each other to build shopping, eating and entertainment attractions to create jobs and increase tax revenues.
In Peoria’s case, Osage West LLC is exploring the possibility of building an airpark with a municipal airport. Elected city officials gave their initial blessing for discussions to commence on the topic earlier this month.
On Feb. 1, the Peoria City Council voted unanimously to approve an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) with Osage West LLC and Oliver. Since the negotiations are a first step in exploring the potential development, it would take years before the airpark is built – pending building studies, contract bidding, operational permit approvals and other development hurdles associated with the project.
“Osage West LLC has developed a plan to build a municipal airport on a 2,240-acre property in northern Peoria,” Economic Development Services Director Scott Whyte said in a written statement to the City Council dated Jan. 10. “The project includes plans to build a municipal airport on 400 acres and a manufacturing, industrial, business park on the remaining 1,840 acres. The purpose of the ENA is to provide both Osage West and the City freedom to explore this opportunity in depth and to negotiate potential public/ private partnership for the financing, acquisition, development and operation of the project.”
News of the negotiating agreement hit Phoenix area news media outlets shortly after its Feb. 1 approval prompting phone calls to the Osage News about Osage West LLC which had yet to be announced by Osage LLC officials in Oklahoma. The Osage News visited with LLC CEO Carol Lease on Feb. 11 who said Oliver reports to the Tulsa-based Osage LLC board of directors and Leese. Osage West LLC is pursuing other development projects in Peoria which would include the expertise of LLC subsidiary Osage Manhattan Builders if those projects get the green light.
Leese said Oliver has been working in his Osage West LLC capacity for about a month, adding the LLC got to know Oliver through recent construction bidding work within the past six to eight months.
The creation of Osage West LLC was prompted by Arizona state law, which requires LLC entities to be licensed by the state. Oliver will be the primary contact for business conducted by Osage West LLC with Peoria, Leese said.
“He’s very well connected and attends the council meetings,” Leese said. The Osage LLC has 51 percent ownership of Osage West LLC while Oliver owns the remaining 49 percent, he said.
On the Peoria airpark development discussion, Leese said “that’s way in the future” meaning discussions need to be held on topics outlined in the ENA including:
· The infrastructure needed to support the project, including but not limited to water (supply and treatment); sewer (treatment and disposal); roadways; electricity and gas utilities; and telephone and fiber optic.
· Potential end users for the project appropriate to the city’s targeted industries as articulated in the adopted Economic Development Implementation Strategy.
· Proximity, transportation and topography issues including, but not limited to potential impacts caused by having a municipal airport in proximity to Luke Air Force Base, which is about 13 miles southwest of downtown Peoria in Glendale.
Leese also notes Osage LLC West is in talks to build parking structures and renovate a sports facility in Peoria. If those talks are a success, Osage Manhattan Builders will be in charge of the construction projects, Leese said.
Osage West LLC is vying to build three multi-level parking garages as well as renovate the Peoria Sports Complex, which is the spring training facility for Major League Baseball teams San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners.
A representative for Osage Manhattan Builders will relocate to Arizona for the projects if the talks are successful, Leese said, adding the decisions should be made within a month. Osage Manhattan Builders is 55 percent owned by the Osage LLC and 45 percent ownership belongs to Manhattan Construction Company, according to the Osage LLC Web site.
LLC predicts 2011 will be “a successful year”
The Osage LLC released a statement Jan. 24 in which the entity – charged with managing the Osage Nation’s business activities independent of the tribal government and gaming ventures – predicts 2011 will be “a successful year.”
“We’ve got everything structured, in order, now 2011 starts our revenue-generating years,” Leese said adding all of the LLC goals and objectives have been met, including the set-up of the LLC’s infrastructure, since he started his post in March 2009. This year the LLC plans to pursue “an aggressive strategy-driven operating plan,” he said.
In addition, the LLC plans to launch a “Deal Flow Management System” online to allow the public to electronically submit potential business deals to the LLC. Leese said the LLC hears hundreds of proposed business deals from the public each year and this system “is designed to connect the company with potential business deals that merit investigation,” he said.