Muskogee, OK Economic Scene Prompts More Business

By Kevin Litwin on May 25, 2014 at 6:00 am EST
Muskogee Little Theatre

I love Muskogee. It's a city of great potential for showing other communities how to lead with economic and humanitarian programs.

Marlon Coleman, Muskogee City Council member, Church Pastor

New businesses continue to move into Muskogee, a city with a thriving economy that provides residents with high quality-of-life amenities and up-to-date infrastructure.

CVS Pharmacy, QuikTrip, Freddy's Steakburgers & Frozen Custard, Casey's General Store, La Quinta Inn and Suites, Muskogee Inn and Suites, and Taco Mayo are just some of the new businesses taking root in Muskogee's economic landscape. Meanwhile, companies and organizations like Grace Living Center, Martin Luther King Community Center, and Muskogee Little Theatre have plans to soon locate or expand here.

“Muskogee is a city of 39,000 people in a county of 75,000 and a market trade area of 220,000, so businesses are taking notice,” Mayor Bob Coburn says. “With those impressive population numbers, we plan to grow the local commercial economy even more.”

Coburn says Muskogee still has a need for more supermarkets and large apparel stores.

“A lot is happening these days within Muskogee as well as just outside the city limits,” he says. “All the construction activity, which involves a variety of business sectors, is creating excitement throughout this community.”

A New Muskogee Little Theatre

A major upcoming project in the heart of the city is construction of a new Muskogee Little Theatre. It will be in the cultural district, across from Three Rivers Museum and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

“Nationwide, downtowns are reinventing themselves by creating cultural and entertainment districts, and that is exactly what is happening in Muskogee,” says Coni Wetz, Muskogee Little Theatre executive director. “The city gave us a downtown tract of land because they want us to build in the new entertainment district.”

The City of Muskogee Foundation is contributing $5.5 million to the building project, while Muskogee Little Theatre raised another $1 million.

“Once we move into the new facility, we will sell our current old theater on Cincinnati Avenue,” Wetz says.

Centers of Attention

Also upgrading in Muskogee is Grace Living Center, replacing its existing facility with a new assisted living complex called The Springs at Honor Heights that opened in late 2014. The $11 million facility on West Okmulgee Avenue will have 91 private rooms.

In addition, the long-standing Martin Luther King Community Center on North 3rd Street will be torn down and replaced with a spacious new facility. A $250,000 campaign is in progress for the project.

“We are hoping to have the required funds soon,” says Marlon Coleman, fundraising chairman as well as a Muskogee City Council member and church pastor. “I hope the new center will bring the Muskogee community even closer together, with its doors open for people of all races.”

Coleman says when most people hear “Martin Luther King Community Center” they think it's only for African-Americans, but the Center is for everyone, thereby going along with Martin Luther King's wish for peace along color lines.

“I love Muskogee,” he says. “It's a city of great potential for showing other communities how to lead with economic and humanitarian programs.”

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