SeneGence International has acquired 226 acres just west of the new OG&E facility on Highway 33 to build its Midwest Distribution Plant and other facilities.
SeneGence International is a multi-million dollar company with holdings in California, Canada and Australia. It bought the acreage for $1.5 million outright from the Creek County Industrial Authority. Chairman Greg Pugmire and company owners Joni and Ben Kante signed the papers Wednesday with CCIA members, several local realtors and attorneys for both sellers and buyers witnessing the historic transaction.
Also present were City of Sapulpa Economic Director Ted Fisher and District 1 County Commissioner Newt Stephens.
The Kante family purchased the nearby old Sapulpa Country Club property last year for a retreat and vacation home. They live in Irvine, California and at the time was expanding company facilities there as well. All the while they also were planning to locate an additional distribution center in the Midwest that would be more central to their just under 50,000 independent distributors. St. Louis, Mo., Dallas and Oklahoma City were considerations.
The closing on the Creek County property Wednesday at the American Abstract Office was attended by several of the key people involved in making the deal happen. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled on Oct. 7 in the afternoon at the acreage followed with a ribbon cutting and celebration at the company’s new Midwest Pick and Pack Warehouse in downtown Sapulpa.
The company also recently bought what many remember as the old McCracken Feed Store building at 301 South Main from Troy Belk’s T & T Power Sports. His company also has enlarged and moved to 14001 W. Hwy. 66. SeneGence employed contractor Will Berry with D.C. Bass Construction to do an extreme makeover of that property and convert it to fit the needs of a warehouse. Few will even recognize the building that at one time was painted like the Purina Mills Checkerboard.
Mitch McLaughlin of Tulsa is the newly named operations manager for SeneGence Midwest division. He currently is hiring 75 people to staff the warehouse which will run three shifts. The warehouse will eventually be part of the Highway 33 complex. Joni Rogers-Kante, founder of SeneGence said the Main Street building will likely then become available for community use or non-profit entities under the auspices of her Make Sense Foundation.
The acreage on Highway 33 (some will remember it as where Safari Joe’s Wildlife operated for a time, or the old Thompson Ranch) was recently tapped to be developed by Valor Arms Company for a weapons manufacturing plant. The State Auditor’s concern about use of $1.125 million tax-payer money by the county to acquire the Jim Sellers property by eminent domain halted that use of the land.
When the Kantes were told the acreage so close to the property they had bought for their Oklahoma home was becoming available, they told Keller-Williams real estate agent Bradd Bingman and realtor Bob Nale (the same two who helped secure the old Country Club property for them) to go to work.
“It really has been a team effort,” Bingman said. “Everyone is excited about this . . . and so many worked to make it happen.”
Bingman said it is an epic for Sapulpa when everyone is in agreement and everything comes together for something this grand.