The number of commercial permits issued in Shawnee is consistent with years past, but the total value is the second highest in three years. The numbers also show that Shawnee is growing, officials said.


The number of commercial permits issued in Shawnee is consistent with years past, but the total value is the second highest in three years. The numbers also show that Shawnee is growing, officials said.

“We are the regional destination. We are kind of the urban center. We’ve got a pull factor that pulls from a population much larger than the city limits,” Planning Director Justin Erickson said.

Shawnee has issued 47 commercial permits since November 2010 that are valued at more than $11 million altogether.  These permits are a combination of out-of-state and local businesses.

“We are certainly as busy as we have been in the past several years. We’ve got several major projects about to break ground as well,” Erickson said. “We do have quite a lot of commercial going on.”

There is also an increase in less obvious developments like renovations and remodels on existing structures, he said.

There are three different retirement-age living communities in the pipeline for Shawnee.

Primrose is a large two-story project that will combine active and assisted living quarters for retired people. The building will also have detached town-house structures. The company is from South Dakota and has retirement communities in 13 states. The company plans to break ground for the project in November, Erickson said.

One of the retirement communities will be a traditional assisted care facility specifically for people with Alzheimer’s.

There are also plans to renovate the event space venue at Main and Beard.

“It will be used for event space downtown and weddings and proms and that sort of thing,” Erickson said. “That’s a significant investment in downtown.”

While the 47 permits are not above average, it does show that businesses are interested in Shawnee and that people are investing in established structures in the area. But it is the total value of those permits that are important, Erickson said.

The total value of the permits is $11,051,690, which Erickson said was a significant amount. C9ombined with additional capital investments within Pottawatomie County the combined total of investments is $59,855,190 for the area.

“That’s a very, very strong number. It’s not record-breaking growth but its not recession type growth either,” Erickson said. “We are more than holding our own through the twist and turns of the national economy.”

In 2009 there were $9 million in commercial permits. In 2008 there was $13 million, and $7.7 million in 2007, Erickson said.

The largest valued commercial permit was issued in March for $3,121,450. The smallest permit in the past year was issued the same month and is valued at $18,500.

“Business are coming to or expanding in Shawnee for several reason,” Executive Director of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation said.

Shawnee’s proximity to major cities like Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Ft. Smith, Dallas and Kansas City combined with the ease of doing business in the area are some of the reasons for business growth, Burg said.

“The Oklahoma City’s metro area … is going to continue to grow and [Shawnee] represents the last unimpeded frontier that they can grow into,” he said.

Shawnee has issued 44 single-family home permits to date, which does not include October, Erickson said.