Kanbar Properties, Tulsa Winch and Thermal Engineering International envision larger work forces

Kanbar Properties, Tulsa Winch and Thermal Engineering International envision larger work forces

Kanbar Properties, owners of a 16-building downtown portfolio, and two local manufacturers could receive more than $7.6 million in payroll tax rebates under the state Quality Jobs incentive program, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce announced Thursday.

Kanbar, as well as Tulsa Winch Inc. and Thermal Engineering International (USA) Inc., have promised a total of 321 jobs due to new or expanded hiring. The companies would quality for up to 5 percent in rebates from their state payroll taxes if they meet the program’s employment criteria.

Kanbar plans to employ 80 people to help develop real estate in and around downtown over the next three years. The state would repay the company $1.87 million in payroll tax rebates if the benchmarks are met.

California inventor and philanthropist Maurice Kanbar formed the company to manage and lease the 2.2 million square feet he purchased in late 2005 for $108 million.

At the time of the purchase, Kanbar said he intended to make many of the office buildings mixed-use and bring shopping, restaurants, entertainment and loft apartments to downtown, though most of that has yet to materialize.

Other recent Quality Jobs recipients include Thermal Engineering, of Sapulpa, which plans to create 130 jobs in an expansion. The company, which designs and builds heat recovery steam generators, could receive nearly $3.07 million in Quality Jobs rebates, the Commerce Department said.

The state’s Quality Jobs criteria require that companies spend $2.5 million in new payroll for at least four straight quarters within the first 12 quarters enrolled; that 75 percent of sales be to out-of-state customers; and that basic health insurance coverage is offered.

By ROBERT EVATT AND ROD WALTON – Tulsa World

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