The promise of high-paying jobs has flooded the area with more workers than many of the oil-rich communities can handle.
In other parts of the country, high unemployment and a still-sluggish economy have caused building demand to plummet.
Not in and around Oklahoma’s oil patch.
Oklahoma now is importing jobs, workers and homebuilders to feed the need fueled by the success of oil and gas drilling.
St. Louis-based USA Wealth Partners on Wednesday will hold a grand opening and ribbon cutting at its Homestead Development just south of Interstate 40 in Elk City.
The neighborhood was planned and started in the early 1980s, but the oil boom went bust early into the project.
Roads and utility lines were installed on the more than 100-lot division, but fewer than 10 homes were completed.
So for 30 years the rest of the neighborhood remained empty.
Until a new oil boom set in.
USA Wealth Partners took control of the development this summer. The last home is expected to be completed in about two years.
The Missouri group at first was reluctant to invest in Oklahoma. But, after seeing the strong demand, it bought properties in Sayer and Altus and has plans for other Oklahoma projects as well.
“Western Oklahoma, if it is not the best area, it is at least one of the best areas in the United States for developers,” said Carolyn Warenberg, USA Wealth Partners’ senior managing partner.
The current boom has benefitted communities throughout the country, but Warenberg said Oklahoma has been among the best at preparing for the growth.
“These municipalities have established infrastructure so that they can accommodate new rooftops,” she said. “If you don’t have the water, sewer and power, you cannot put in new commercial development or new rooftops. If you look at communities like Clinton, Weatherford, Elk City, and Sayer, they are investing money into building out their infrastructure.”
©2012 The Oklahoman
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